Stories to Tell: Bringing Life to the Lyric

[Recent Workshop November 2023]

Online Workshop with Michele Weir

This 2-Saturday workshop is a deep dive into the transformative power of musical storytelling for jazz singers! Drawing from the artful storytelling abilities of seasoned actors and poets, we’ll practice specific techniques for expressing the emotion underneath the lyric, including variation in vocal tone color and pacing, purposeful use of space and dynamics, creative treatment of word stress, vocal inflection, phrasing, and special vocal effects such as using a little growl in the voice, or a breathy hush.

A foundational principle for this workshop is that - it’s only a short step between speaking poetically and singing expressively. With this in mind, we’ll practice song lyrics first as expressive spoken word, experimenting with a wide spectrum of differing emotional perspectives. Then we’ll apply the same concepts to your vocal performance of the song. This workshop provides an opportunity to up your game as a jazz singer, expanding the reaches of your expressive options! You’ll also have the opportunity to strengthen your skills in between the two Saturdays via optional homework assignments.

Come ready to listen / learn / sing! See FAQ below and free to reach out to Mich if you have any questions!


SESSION #1: November 11, 2023 / 11:00 - 1:00 pm (PST / Pacific Standard Time)
SESSION #2: November 18, 2023 / 11:00 - 1:00 pm (PST / Pacific Standard Time)


HOSTED BY: MusicHabit


Your Instructor

Michele Weir
Michele Weir

Michele Weir is a distinguished educator who has made significant contributions to the advancement of vocal jazz education, globally. As an arranger / pianist / vocalist, she is well known for her versatile skill set and ability to inspire. As one student put it, “Thank you again for being such an amazing mentor. You are truly the person I strive to be.”

Michele’s arrangements have been performed by renowned vocal groups such as New York Voices and the Swingle Singers, in addition to orchestral works played by symphonies including the Boston Pops. Michele served as Vocal Producer for the Manhattan Transfer’s 2009 CD release, The Chick Corea Songbook,contributing two arrangements to the project as well. Her numerous educational arrangements are available through various publishers in addition to her online platform, the MichMusic Store.

Currently on faculty at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Michele is an active teacher and clinician. Her expertise has taken her to over 20 countries, presenting at premier music conferences such as the World Choral Symposium, the Jazz Education Network Conference, and the ACDA National Conference. A notable highlight was her invitation to be Keynote Speaker for the inaugural International Jazz Voice Conference in Helsinki, 2015.

Michele’s educational contributions include globally recognized book/CD sets: Vocal Improvisation (Schott Music), Jazz Singer's Handbook, and Jazz Piano Handbook (both from Alfred Publishing). Innovating further, she introduced the first iOS app designed for scat singers, ScatAbility, as well as her online educational resource, MusicHabit, designed for jazz singers, pianists, arrangers, and educators. (

Michele is a former member of the Grammy-nominated PM Singers vocal group under Phil Mattson’s direction, and she collaborated with jazz guitarist Bruce Forman on their duo CD, The Sound of Music. As a performer, Michele has headlined as a vocalist for numerous educational events and toured as pianist and background singer for Bobby Vinton, among others. Michele served as Music Supervisor for the DreamWorks film, Prince of Egypt, journeying through Europe and Asia to oversee the music production for the film's international dubs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do to prepare?
Be comfortable using Zoom, especially the mute/unmute function! Otherwise, no specific prep needed.
How will I get the Zoom login link?
You'll get an email 1-2 days prior to start of the workshop. Will include Zoom login and possibility some musical materials or info.
Can we ask questions during class?
Yes, Michele welcomes questions! Depending on time, some may be deferred until the end of the workshop. Mich normally stays 30 (+) minutes) after each workshop for questions.
Do I need to be on camera during the sessions?
It's ideal to be able to see everyone to help develop a sense of community! But: if for any reason you prefer to keep your camera closed it's certainly ok - we want you to be comfortable.
Can I reach out to Michele with questions in the days / weeks after the Workshop?
In short: yes! If you need significant time, please consider booking a private lesson with Mich.
What is the time zone for the Workshop?
Pacific Standard Time (PST). To calculate the time between your location and the workshop location, just Google, "What time is it in Los Angeles?" (We welcome students from anywhere in the world!)
How can I contact Michele if needed?
For now, please contact Michele through this page: Or if you already have her email address you can write her directly.