Q & A
What the what does “velum” and “posterior cricoarytenoid” mean?
Oh anatomy! How I once feared spelling you wrong, or getting a D+ on your tests! Although let’s be real, I still trip over your pronunciations. (Yes, I realize the irony there.) The velum is also known as the soft palate. It’s right behind the hard palate, in your mouth, on the top. If you put your finger-pad on the roof of your mouth, you’ll feel the hard palate. Now, S-L-O-W-L-Y move your finger toward the back of your head. Don’t go too fast, or you’ll trigger the gag reflex, and that won’t be pretty. That soft fleshy thing you feel is your velum, or soft palate. You can feel it stretch when you yawn. The posterior cricoaryteniods are the muscles responsible for opening (or abducting) your vocal folds. This is helpful, so you can take in breath, and not die. For all the other reasons this is helpful, see this very cool, but a little gross, video of these muscles in action using a cow larynx.
Who trained you?
  • Pamela Hicks, in Hayward, CA
  • Leslie Mannring, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
  • Howard Skinner, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
  • Don Benham, Patten University, Oakland, CA
  • Jack Krauscoup, Oakland, CA
  • In 2017, I was selected by the National Association for the Teachers of Singing as one of their Interns. My teachers for this internship were Mary Saunders-Barton, Kenneth Bozeman, Peggy Baroody, W. Stephen Smith, and Warren Jones.
  • A ridiculous amount of workshops, Master Classes, books, videos, more books, Seminars, Certification Courses… you know, all that school you do after school called professional development. (Hey Indy Teachers… sound familiar?)
Who can be part of the studio?
  • Vocalists, Actors, Businessy-People, Industry Leaders and Influencers, Voice Teachers, Choir Directors, Drama Teachers, Stage Directors, Vocal & Music Directors, Podcasters.
  • Doesn’t matter how old you are, and we’ll approach your training with age-sensitivity in mind. Five year olds should focus on different things than 14 year olds or 95 year olds.
  • Serious beginners, avocational performers, and professionals who’ve got a growth mindset and a love of learning.
  • Hashtag Truth: I’m not the best person for a dabbler. It’s just who I am. Good news though: I am very much about the right fit, so if you don’t know where to start in finding the right voice teacher for you, reach out! One of my team will help you figure out what you need, and how to find it.
So do you do group classes?

For Students: All group learning opportunities are for those enrolled in the studio.

For Voice Related Business Owners: I absolutely do! In fact, there’s a very cool little subscription service, just for you, called The SpeakEasy Cooperative. Click here to find out more.

What kind of training do you offer?

For Voice Users: Singing, Music Theory, Acting, Public Speaking & Presentation Skills, Audition & Role Prep.
For Voice Champions and Biz Owners: Business Strategy and Growth, Pedagogy & Voice Nerdery Deciphered, Teacher Mentoring, “Fill the Gap” Sessions (for you and your students, together!)

How do I start?
  1. Voice Users: Book here.
  2. After this call, you’ll have an Initial Fit Session.
    If you’d like to jump right in, and schedule our Initial Fit Session, by all means, do so, by clicking here.
  3. Once we’ve had our Initial Fit Session, and know we’re a good fit, we’ll decide the best way to move forward ~ Drop-In’s, Tuition, or a Customized Goal Based Package.


  1. Voice Biz Owners: Book here.
  2. Once we’ve had our Quick n’ Dirty Session, and know we’re a good fit, we’ll decide the best way to move forward ~ The SpeakEasy Cooperative, follow-up sesh, or the How to Run Your Studio Without Hating Your Boss Class. (Or a combo!)
  3. I don’t really have a three. But it makes for consistency, so here you go.

Easy as 1, 2, 3!

How much (Investment level)?

Depends. Your experience is personalized for you, so you may invest more or less than your neighbor.

Voice Work Packages (six month commitment) start at $2500.

Voice Users: To get started, Phone consult or Video Chat is always complimentary! Book your time to discover if faithculturekiss studio is right for you HERE.

Then, you’ll have your Initial Fit Session. ($200) Please be prepared to invest about 90 minutes at your Initial Fit Session. This is a vital part of making our time together effective! Get scheduled for this HERE.

For those of you who just need polishing, or prefer a more loose schedule, I do offer drop sessions at a first come/first served basis. You reserve your goal-specified session with a $150, prepaid, non-refundable retainer. You can do that here.

Voice Related Business Folk: Membership in The SpeakEasy Cooperative is $169 for the first month, and $69 per month, thereafter. Learn more, here.

Can you tell me about yourself?



Michelle Markwart Deveaux hates writing her bio, but she likes telling her story:

I love the singing, and the teaching, and the turning singers and teachers into beasty-bosses. I built faithculturekiss studio for voice & acting, and The SpeakEasy Cooperative, because it was the best way to pay the bills, and my soul. I write a blog. I gig. I travel the nation using video conferencing and do workshops and MasterClasses that focus on singing stuff. I empower independent voice teachers to be in love with their businesses.

I have too many books. bel canto was my gateway drug… leading to the bigger dangers of psycho-ping, super-belt, scream, voice science, and Jazz. My kids make me flip out in all the ways, good and ill. I’m the past-president of the California Capital Chapter of NATS, and have participated in the NATS Intern Program in Toronto. I’ll be a Master Teacher for that program in 2021.

I’m a business strategist and coach. I learned how to do this by, well, doing it. A lot. Clients make more money, are happier with their Voice related businesses and have that secret of being a BeastyBoss™.

Degrees? SURE! BA in Music from Patten University, MA in Worship, Theology, and the Arts from Fuller Theological Seminary. I cut formal education teeth at the University of Northern Colorado in Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance.

My teachers include Pamela Hicks, Mary Saunders-Barton, Leslie Mannring, and Sheri Sanders. My mentors include all my students and clients.

NATS (National Association for the Teachers of Singing)

President, California Capital Chapter
NATS Intern Program Class of 2017

Theater Bay Area

Member, Theater Bay Area

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