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Danielle Dutro / My Encounter

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1. What influenced you to start singing and start a business?

I started singing when I was in middle school. I was a really shy kid and my mom thought singing lessons would help bring me out of my shell. Well, something clicked and I have been singing ever since. I decided to make it my business once I graduated from Cal Poly. I had been teaching voice a little while I was in school and had been a swimming instructor since high school so, I knew I loved teaching and opening my own studio seemed to be a natural progression for me.

2. Being a vocal coach must be exhilarating; you get to witness emerging talent and also help create new ones! What is your usual age group and have any of your clients gone professional? (meaning record deals, creating cds, gigs,etc) How do you feel about this?

I love it! I teach all ages but seem to have built a bit of a niche teaching kids. I have a few students that perform regularly with bands, quite a few that do theatre, one just got the part of Belle in a local production of Beauty and the Beast. I currently have one student working on an album and another student who just finished her debut album and signed with a management company! I take a lot of pride in my students successes. I love watching them grow and develop as artists and I love getting to be part of it.

3. If there was a new student researching your service, what would you tell them? Without giving away your secrets ;), what goes on in your studio?

Well, I use a mixture of techniques that I have learned to teach voice. I really like for my students to have a decent understanding of the anatomy of the voice because it really is the only instrument that you can’t physically see when you play it. So, I find that having a good understanding of how each mechanism works can really help in understanding how we create different sounds. Once my student has a good grasp on technique, then comes my favorite part. We get to start working on how to convey emotions through the sound of the voice. To me, this is the most fun part of the discovery process because there are endless choices! I would probably use the analogy of painting in the process of learning to sing. You have to learn the structure or technique, which would be the outline of the painting, and once that is learned we can use broad strokes of color in the voice. As you get more advanced you can learn how to add the detail to create whatever texture, color and scene that you want.
4. When shooting your portraits, you mentioned “I usually am holding a cup of coffee.” What is your favorite? Do you have a favorite local spot to go as well?
Oh yes, I always seem to have a cup of coffee or tea in my hands during the day. I have recently discovered the fancy shmancy Kona coffee, which is amazing. But I also enjoy a good cup of black tea. It just depends of the day. For a local cup I enjoy many different places but there is something about the atmosphere in Linnea’s that keeps me coming back.

5. Have you lived in SLO your whole life? What is your story?

I am originally from San Diego and I moved to SLO to attend Cal Poly. I ended up falling in love with my would-be fiance and decided to make SLO my home after I graduated. I have lived in the area for eight years now and feel like a true local!

6. I noticed over your dining table you have some photographs framed. Are those yours? I could never get a macro shot right! I am pretty jealous. Are you a photographer? What do you shoot?

They are! Thank you! Speaking of jealous, I am completely jealous of your eye and aesthetic! So, it is really flattering to have you say so! I do a little photography – I really love portraits! I really love the freedom and challenge that can go along with finding the perfect angles, backgrounds and expressions that really show each individual person’s unique personality. And of course, I love flowers!

7. Back to the reason, I am here! Before you sang for me, you mentioned you and your fiance do gigs? What does that entail? Where have you performed, and name maybe one favorite memory.

Yes, we play as a duo, she plays piano and I sing. We tend to do more laid back types of gigs. Winery type settings, dinner parties, weddings and the like. Oh gosh, my favorite would probably have to be our first official gig we had together. We played at Croad Vineyards in Paso. It was my first time as a paid musician, not hers, and I was so nervous! I brought along my sheet music because I was so worried about forgetting the words and I was so nervous I stared at it the whole time. Needless to say, things have improved!

8. Your voice is beautiful, thank you for singing. Why did you choose that song?

Thank you! I used “Over the Rainbow” as my encore at my senior recital when I graduated from Cal Poly. I use it now as my final song at just about every gig we have had since. It holds a special place in my heart because my senior recital was the first time much of my family had heard me sing as an adult and that song has become my most requested by family when I visit. I think of it as my signature song…

9. Do you write your own music?

Oh goodness, I have tried but it is not a skill that I have developed very well. I have one or two that I think are decent, but I never think they are polished enough to be played in front of anyone. I think my fiance and my mom are the only ones that have heard them!

10. Give your students or singers out there some advice.

The best advice that I can give is to keep singing! As long as you keep the passion for it and work hard, good things will come your way!

Find Danielle HERE.


Posted by

I'm definitely human, not a robot. I am not controlled by the population. I'm from Los Angeles but didn't like it there. I'm now on the Central Coast, my residency shall be unknown. I'm a photographer but you think you're better. I sneak into places with my camera. I make stencils but not for you ... maybe. I shoot what my eyes see. I make friends with aliens. If you are in front of me, you are going to be shot. If you are torn down or abandoned, I will find you. I will try not to break your heart.

1 Comment so far Join the Conversation

  1. Danielle is an amazing teacher! If you have ever wanted to sing but didn’t have the confidence, a few lessons from Danielle will have you receiving standing ovations at your next karaoke night!


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