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Piano & Musicianship

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Music Together®

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Piano & Musicianship

Getting started

Book your first lesson

Join us for

Music Together®

Welcome

Welcome

Musical Training & Artistry

Higher Voice Studio is where singers, instrumentalists and performing artists of all ages, levels and styles, develop their musical voice and cultivate their unique artistic expression.

Founded by Hilerie Klein Rensi in 2011, Higher Voice Studio has quickly become the most sought after music school in the regional Pittsburgh Area.  Bringing her expertise as a private voice instructor, coach and professional opera, musical theater and rock singer, Hilerie has taught over 1000 students who have ranged from professional country singers to high school students looking towards a career in classical music. Responding to the growing need of excellence in vocal education, in 2014 Hilerie began training talented and aspiring voice teachers, creating a place where students can be instructed and supported by multiple experts while receiving a unified vision of healthy, solid vocal technique. In 2017, Higher Voice Studio purchased and completed an award winning renovation to their 6000 square foot building in beautiful downtown Carnegie, complete with nine teaching studios, three lobbies, a classroom and a performance venue for their students and the community.  

Now offering piano lessons, guitar lessons, open-mic nights, workshops for all, and Music Together® classes for children ages 0-5, Higher Voice Studio continues its mission to provide the most complete education for the artist of all ages, levels and styles.  To provide a community where singers, musicians and performers of all ages levels and styles can try boldly, fail loudly, grow endlessly, create joyfully, and who are united in the belief that bringing out the best in each other, helps to bring out the best in ourselves.  To create a home where everyone can find their inner voice and set it free.

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Private Voice Lessons

Voice lessons at Higher Voice Studio are as individual as you are.  We have never taught the same lesson twice and we work tirelessly to develop a plan that best fits your unique needs.  Our teachers are experts in bringing out the voice that is inside you.  With advanced technique exercises, deep empathy, many lifetime’s worth of experience, endless encouragement and a healthy sense of humor, every one of our voice teachers have heard the call.  The call to help you SING! 

Piano & Musicianship Lessons

Learning to play the piano will improve just about every aspect of your skills as a musician,​ ​and it will make you a better singer. Sign up for piano lessons at Higher Voice Studio, and we will teach you how. You can learn to play from the page, by ear, or a combination of those, in any style you’d like: jazz, classical, pop and improvisation. Learn how to accompany yourself and your friends, music theory, you name it….  It’s never too late to start!

Guitar Lessons

From songwriting to sitting around the campfire, if guitar is the instrument you reach for to bring out the music inside you, then we want to be your guide. Learn the chords and technique to get you strumming and humming down your musical road.  Then join us for our free monthly open mic night and play your heart out, but don’t be surprised when we all start singing along.

18 Reasons Why

18 Reasons Why

We are the right school for you

  1. Because you want to find your musical voice- You know you do!  Maybe you’re a professional singer and your voice is feeling tired at the end of the night.  Maybe you’ve been writing music, but don’t know how to play an instrument.  Maybe you’re singing at school, but you’ve never gotten that solo you auditioned for. Maybe that piano’s been collecting dust in your living room and you don’t know where to start!  Maybe you used to sing in high school, but now you have a “real job” and just know that something’s missing.  Maybe you only sing in your shower!  Or maybe you’re too afraid to sing even with the windows rolled up in your car, for fear that someone would hear you.  Gasp!!!  But still, you want to!  We want you to too!  We want you to make music not because you’re good at it, but because it’s good for you!  You’ve got a musical voice inside you that wants to come out!  We will show you how to sing; how to get your voice to sing, how to get that piano to sing, how to get that guitar to SING!
  1. Voice, Piano and Guitar lessons in ONE location- because our voice students want to learn to accompany themselves on piano.  Because our guitarists want to sing.  Because you’re busy and you don’t want to drive everywhere for the education that you need and want! Every one of our instructors are multi-instrumentalists and intent on supporting all of your musical aspirations, whether that’s one instrument or three! 
  1. The most gifted, qualified & inspired instructors in Pittsburgh- Because singing, playing piano, and guitar are skills that can be trained.  You were born with the ability to walk, but it was only through learning, experimenting, falling, getting up and then trying again and again that you gained the skills to be able to walk.  Our team of experts are experts in learning, experimenting, falling, getting up and then trying again and again.  That’s why Higher Voice Studio has the most knowledgable and effective strategies for helping you succeed.  We’ve been there!  Not one of our teachers was born this way. We didn’t wake up as professional musicians.  All of us learned how to do it!  And now we are all called to show you how you can do it too!
  1. A proven track record of excellence in music education since 2000- because we love what we do and we are darn good at it!  Visit our testimonial page to hear what students and parents alike have been saying for years.  Higher Voice Studio is THE place to study voice, piano and guitar and we do hope you make Higher Voice Studio your musical home.  
  1. No long-term contracts– because we want you to want to be here as much as we do.  Higher Voice Studio doesn’t require semester or year long contracts for any of our lesson programs.  With month-to-month tuition, our students and teachers have the freedom evaluate lesson goals and musical progress, and can respond accordingly so that our students can have the highest quality learning experience. 
  1. Monthly open mic nights- Because you want to put yourself out there!  You’re tired of waiting for someone to cast you, or to choose you for the solo, or to give you that big break so you finally show everyone and yourself what you can do!  You don’t need permission to perform!  Come to our Open Mic Night. Play!  Sing!  And feel the love of a crowd on the second Friday of every month.  You need this!
  1. Free Group Classes- Because you can’t learn everything in a private lesson.  “Wait, but don’t you teach private lessons?,” you ask.  Yup!  But we also know that some things can only be learned surrounded by a supportive community. We offer tons of free classes such as Acting for Singers, Sight-Singing & Musicianship Classes to help you learn the language of music, Group Voice, Piano and Guitar Classes and even Masterclasses with our owner and founder, Hilerie Klein Rensi.  Did you miss your lesson this week because of illness or a scheduling conflict?  No worries!  Register for a free group class!  All the best information, from all the best teachers, with all of your musical family and friends, all under one roof.
  1. Recitals- Because we love to show off!  That’s right!  You’ve been working hard all year and you’re proud of all you’ve accomplished.  Well, we are proud of you too!!  Bring your friends and family on your musical journey and perform in front of a supportive community who want you to be the best you can be.   
  1. An award winning and inspiring facility- Because you deserve to learn surrounded by beauty.  Winner of the Pittsburgh Business Times’ “Pittsburgh’s Coolest Building Renovation,” our 3 floor, 6000 square foot, fully redesigned building features 9 teaching studios, a small classroom, three comfortable lobbies for students, friends and families, and a first floor performance venue for recitals, workshops, open mic nights and group classes. 
  1. Comfortable lobbies for clients and families- because you’ve got work to do. Our three lobbies offer comfortable chairs and couches, free WiFi, a table for puzzles, and spots for completing homework and plugging in multiple devices.We also provide observation windows on every door so you can watch your child’s lesson while you wait.  
  1. Parents and family are alway welcome in lessons- because the more the merrier.  Our founder, Hilerie, has so many fond memories of her parents and even her grandparents listening in on her music lessons as a child, so at Higher Voice Studio our families are always welcome to a be a supportive presence for their children. Come on in and watch the magic happen…..
  1. Centrally Located to all of Pittsburgh and beyond- because our students come from everywhere.  We are easily accessible from I-79 and I-376, downtown, the North Hills of Pittsburgh, the South Hills of Pittsburgh and only 15 minutes from the airport for our students that are flying in for their lessons. 
  1. In the beautiful heart of downtown Carnegie- because we love our little borough.  Higher Voice Studio is at the foot of The Carnegie Library and Music Hall and right off Broadway (we couldn’t make that up).  To our left is 131 East (one of our favorite little restaurants), Off The Wall Theater & The Carnegie Stage, Firebox Art Studio, The Carnegie Coffee Shop (located in Carnegie’s historic post office) and LeoGreta (Pittsburgh’s Best New Restaurant 2018). To our right is Bakn (Featured on Food Network), Quantum Spirits (craft distillery and awesomeness),  Rileys Pour House (voted Best Irish Pub in PIttsburgh), and we’re surrounded by some of the most beautiful boutiques and shops offering everything from antiques and gifts to mead.  Are we bragging?  Definitely, yes.
  1. Workshops- because sometimes you want to really dig in.  Answering questions about everything from breathing, audition techniques, nerves, and 21st Century belt technique to vocal health, Higher Voice Studio’s founder, Hilerie Klein Rensi offers several workshops throughout the year, teaching the techniques that her voice students all over the world use to release tension in their instrument and gain strength, endurance, freedom and confidence throughout their entire vocal range. 
  1. Guest Artists- because we have famous friends who also want to teach you.  Higher Voice Studio is not only a community of students, it’s also a community of teachers and we are always excited to bring in guest faculty, artists, musicians and performers to guide and mentor you on your path.  From top voice faculty at college programs around the country to Emmy Award winning recording artists, our students have access to a world of information and experience in the music business and performing world through regular guest workshops throughout the year.  
  1. Free Parking– because you shouldn’t have to pay for that.  During most popular lesson times like Monday-Friday 3pm till 9pm and weekends, free street parking and lots are available within walking distance to the studio. Unless you want to drop you child off and then go grab a coffee next door at the Carnegie Coffee Shop, which is fine too, of course!
  1. Morning, Afternoon and Evening Lesson Times- because you do other cool things too.  Our students and families are busy juggling multiple commitments and schedules, so we offer a wide variety of lesson times to suite your busy lives.  Offering earlier spots for retirees, homeschoolers
  1. Handicap accessible- Because we want everyone to make music!  Don’t let a wheelchair stop you from becoming the musician you want to be.  Our facility is fully accessible and we will do all that we can to accommodate your unique circumstances, so that you receive the musical education you need and deserve.  

Testimonials

We Love You Too

Ciara O'Neill Mendoza

“…let me preface this by saying I may be a little sentimental in my discussion of this topic.  I can’t help it.  Those four plus years of lessons were the years I was figuring out who I wanted to be and those 30 minutes to an hour were critical, acting as a foundation for all the singing and artistry that has happened since.  I can’t be the only one that you’ve taught that was inspired to take singing beyond the initial goal when they walk through the door for their first lesson.  I learned that singing grows with you.  It can go from fun and games to a tool for soul searching and all that’s in between.  Without your lessons I never would have thought that singing was a valid and worthwhile art form and career path, though certainly difficult.  I learned about trying to have patience with myself and accepting that some things are a constant battle (see: tongue tension).  It’s never ending!  What didn’t I learn from you?  I could write an essay on all the things I got out of lessons with you.  Technically?  Like I said, a foundation for all the work I continued – breath, posture, phonation…  All pondering on the matter aside, this seems like a good time to thank you.  You were a great voice teacher, but beyond that you became a great mentor.  I owe you more than I could ever say.”

Cassie Relyea

“Hilerie is a fantastic teacher.  I remember coming in when I was around twelve years old and feeling so nervous that I was gonna have to sing opera or that the teacher that my mom had set me up with was gonna be mean or harsh to me.  But that wasn’t the case.  Hilerie was friendly and down to earth.  She saw my potential and was as excited about my singing as I was.  When I was having a hard time motivating myself, she was there to push me forward to be the best that I could be.  As time went on, she became more than a teacher.  She became a mentor and a friend.  I miss and love her dearly and I don’t regret a single thing that I did while I was under her teaching.  I am still inspired by her to this day and I’m so excited for what she’s doing in Pittsburgh.  She definitely changed my life for the better, in more ways than one.” 

Mary Beth Willis

“Hilerie has been an incredible, inspirational, teacher, friend and mentor for both of my daughters, encouraging them to be their best in all of life’s struggles and adventures through the pursuit of music and excellence.

Hilerie manages her lesson times and plans effortlessly- with time for friendly and purposeful chat, constructive critiques, instructions to prepare for the next lesson, to cover lesson goals and, of course SING! Lessons are truly just plain fun, and we always completed the class with a sense of having accomplished something significant.

Hilerie takes the time to get to know and listen to her students and families, developing goals about what is wanted and needed from vocal lessons-  preparation for festivals, auditions, performances, recitals, choral rehearsals, family duets, or just self-satisfaction- she is a unique and extremely gifted teacher!  Great for beginning or advanced vocalists of any age!

Personal, Private, Challenging, Inspirational- time with Ms. Klein Rensi is time well spent.”

Haley Yanko

“When I first came to the studio, I was skeptical about how much vocal improvement I would see. Trust is rare, and to trust someone with your voice, your soul, is no easy task. I trusted Holly from our very first lesson.  Together, we’ve worked on my voice for one year and I am absolutely stunned at the difference between then and now. The pace of the evolution is insane!  It has been such a dramatic transformation, not only in my voice, but also in my confidence.  All of it, I owe to Holly.  I used to sing at the volume of a whisper.  Now I have a powerhouse voice.  Techniques taught at the studio are top notch.  If you are passionate and dedicated in following her instructions, Holly will take your voice to new levels.  You CAN have the voice of your dreams, and you WILL surprise yourself, guaranteed.  Lessons are never boring, after all, singing is an adventure!  Holly and I have a blast, and I truly enjoy and anticipate my lesson each week!  Trust me, there is no better place to begin your vocal journey than Higher Voice Studio.  Joining has been one of the best decisions of my life.  Hilerie Klein Rensi and Holly Van Hoey, changing lives one voice at a time!  Give them a call. In one year’s time you’ll be congratulating yourself on the best decision you ever made.”

Gary Ingraham

“I LOVE Hilerie, both as a friend and a coach.  I was reluctant to start taking lessons in my mid-50s because I was convinced that nothing could be done to mend or improve my aging voice, especially since I had never before considered the proper method for caring for and using my vocal chords.  Boy, was I wrong!  Since I started working with Hilerie, my band-mates have commented on my progress.  My toughest critic – my wife – has noticed, too.  I’m more comfortable singing on stage and my stamina has improved tremendously.  Hilerie is patient, encouraging, and most of all, she knows her business.  Her bright personality, sharp wit and delightful sense of humor all help to make lessons an enjoyable experience.  I would very highly recommend her to anyone – at any age – who is interested in improving his or her confidence and singing voice.”

Laurie Kudis, Charm and Chain

I have been working with Holly for a little over a year now.  My experience has been extremely positive and encouraging from the beginning, and Holly has been compassionate and supportive as I develop and expand my range, address specific vocal challenges with simple and effective methods, and when working on challenging material.  More than anything though, Holly has encouraged me to express MY unique voice, as well as help me to continue to build confidence in my instrument.”

Lauren and Hannah Hobbs, The Hobbs Sisters

“As both a friend and a teacher, Hilerie is inspirational, encouraging, knowledgable and positive. We have learned so much in the 18 months we have taken lessons from her. As singers who are performing every weekend, our vocal health is critical to our career and Hilerie has made our voices stronger and healthier. We are constantly thankful for her guidance and support each week as she strives to make us better singers and performers. She is an amazing mentor and we feel so blessed to be her students!”

Dedra Rantovich

“In the short time we have been with you, Kara has developed so much as a singer AND person.  You’ve helped her tremendously!  Can’t wait to see what the future holds!”

Sara Botkin

“I love studying with Hilerie. I have experienced a marked improvement in my technique and singing has become easier than it ever has been.  Hilerie also has a wonderful way of making music come alive – she is as excellent a coach as she is a technician.  She also has a positive and uplifting attitude that is infectious.”

Johnny Luoma

“Hilerie is not just interested in your growth as an artist; she is also interested in your growth as a person. The two go hand in hand. She breaks down singing into something relatable and makes you fully aware of every aspect of your body, and how it connects to singing. Over the past year, being a part of Higher Voice Studio has changed my voice for the better. I would not be where I am today without her incredible teaching technique and guidance.” 

Johnny Only

“As an adult male with a weekly show, as a vocalist and performer of children’s music, I wanted a vocal coach who understood the theatrical elements of performance and would take my children’s music seriously.  Hilerie could do both and with such insight, that along with improving my vocal technique, she was also improving my shows with suggestions that ranged from nutrition, to audience perception, to developing and keeping a winning attitude.

If Hilerie was the vocal coach for a president of The United States, not only would the president use much better breath control during his speeches, but he would legislate that all supermarkets carry nothing but organic food harvested using sustainable farming techniques, his foreign policy would be so good that it would usher in a whole new era of world peace, and we’d all have such a winning attitude that the economy would be going straight up with no sign of stopping!”

Emily Palma

“I started going to Hilerie in June of 2012.  Ever since then, I have been making significant improvements at each lesson. Not only has my voice become stronger, but when I sing, I am singing in a healthy way.  At first, I was nervous to go to lessons because I had never done them before.  I just sang without thinking of how I was using my voice.  Hilerie helped me to realize that if I am not using the correct and healthy technique while singing, then I can potentially damage my singing career.  I cannot express how helpful going to voice lessons with Hilerie has been for me.  I have heard such a strong improvement in my voice and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to work with such an amazing woman!”

Don Kain

“I am a guy who is well over 50 and had never performed or taken voice lessons, but had always loved to sing.  Music had always been a source of inspiration and personal growth for me.  My goals were to sing more often, to sing better, and to explore my potential.  Working with Hilerie was a WONDERFUL experience.  She is very positive and encouraging.  She creates a fun and relaxed atmosphere, where you feel like it is ok to take chances and challenge yourself.  I learned so much from Hilerie, which helped me to improve my range, tone and confidence in singing solo.  Studying with Hilerie is good for your heart and your soul!”

Tina Otis

“My daughter started with Hilerie when she was just 5 years old. Over the four years that she took lessons she learned a wide variety of music along with many vocal warm ups and exercises to enhance her singing. She really looked forward to working with Hilerie every week, and has been singing on a regular basis at our church ever since. In her own words, ‘Miss Hilerie Rocks.'”

Lori Relyea

“Hilerie is such an awesome voice instructor, but more than that, she is a great person and friend. She becomes her students’ friend and mentor, helping and encouraging them along the way. Of all the instructors I have had in the past, Hilerie is my favorite. She was able to teach me things that none of my other instructors ever did. She really cares about each of her students. When my daughter was experiencing some major health problems, Hilerie was a great friend and encouragement to me. She took time to find information about doctors and diet that she felt would help, and she kept in touch even when we stopped lessons for awhile. She was genuinely interested in our lives. Even though she has moved her studio to Pittsburgh now, she still keeps in touch with us and offers to give us lessons whenever she comes in town. I love Hilerie and truly miss her!”