Vocal Wisdom

            Swallow a Dragon Voice Studio: Holistic vocal instruction for all 

Singing and voice work that is

Powerful ♫ Expressive ♫ Innovative ♫  Sensitive ♫ Freeing

Ali’s teaching philosophy: “Your sound and your body are inseparable”. As singers, we study in order to deepen our relationship with our instrument, learning to connect with our voices as intimately and holistically as we do with our best friends. We seek to identify and express that passionate firesong that burns within.” -Ali Garrison

Student Testimonials

 – “…supportive…satisfying, rewarding, and complete.” –Ariel Fielding, professional singer

– “I’m very fortunate to be studying with Ali; she has given me the techniques and the confidence to be a performer.” – Steve Kyriakopolous, amateur singer

-“I call Ali “The Liberator”! – Hannah Burgé, professional singer, coach, founder of Music Village

“Ali’s only the best vocal coach ever! ” –Marsha Walters, singer/worship leader

“What a gift [Ali] is to our world in so many ways. Only the very best teachers simultaneously instil support, inspiration and skill so that the singing spirit can soar freely. I am feeling new foundations, new explorations, and new horizons, all at once. This is what happens when the voice is given permission, acceptance, encouragement and celebration, Ali-style!” – Cindy Dymond, life-long amateur singer and arts for social change advocate.

“If it wasn’t for me meeting this human being, I would not have been able to transition vocally successfully. I want to thank you, for being the gift of life to my voice after my transition to male. If it wasn’t for your guidance, I can honestly say, that as a human being who holds my voice as the greatest gift the universe has sent me, that if I had not had you to help me through it, that my life would not be the same. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Everyone raise a glass to Ali!!!” ~ Lucas Silveira, The Cliks

3 alumni from my studio Lakesha Bambury, Kaisha Lee, Danielle Chang – Afrofest 2014

Sandra Kirby with Ali after her King City solo concert, Jan 2017

Vocal Improvisation Techniques Workshop Participants at UVG-Guatemala City

With Herve Kiniki (NDYC) after his debut in Treemonisha May 2012


Maya Morgan at her singing salon April 2016

Happy Singer, Happy Vocal Coach. After the Jully Black concert, March 2014


Left to right in the picture, Dae (dub poet) moi, Zenab Hassan (spoken word artist and Belul Kidane (singer/songwriter)



Here it is April already and I’ve just returned from teaching and singing at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala! I am taking this inspiration forward into my summer ahead. As many of you know, I love teaching people who love to sing: current students, alumni, colleagues and new people who I have never met! Now into my fifth Summer Intensive, each year has expanded to include more and more people with independent and unique goals that they are striving for. This year, in addition to my own Toronto studio’s July Intensive,  I have been invited back Downeast to teach two sessions (the first half of August) at SummerKeys, in beautiful Lubec, Maine. These two summer programs are very different atmospheres, but the common thread is the diversity of students – all ages, all levels, all styles of music and all walks of life.  Please find all the information below for this year’s Intensives (including testimonials) and don’t hesitate to tell other colleagues and singing friends about both programs. Feel free to connect with me with questions or special requests. My July program in Toronto is really tailored to your individual needs!  Please confirm your participation by May 31st with me so that I can plan the details of the course. I’m excited and proud to take this into its successful fifth year!!


for JULY 2017

In July 2012, I created a special discounted summer study program for singers of any level and any age who wished to take time in the summer to explore their voice or continue their vocal studies at a much deeper level.  Well, it was a resounding success! The participants and I had a fantastic time and they  condensed so much learning in that month. In fact we all loved it so much that I am committed to making it an annual tradition!

This program I’ve designed is modeled after more traditional cultures’ approach to arts and music education, where the students meet with their teacher daily or more frequently so that through immersion, constant support and a vibrant community, there is deeper learning, and development can flow rapidly.

This July, I will again offer two special packages at a discounted rate. As we did this past year at the end of the summer session I will lead a  performance masterclass at the end of the month (the price includes an accompanist) for all the students. …More info here


“We all had various and diverse reasons for doing this, but at the same time we all had a common goal; our love of singing and willingness to share it with others.  I am so grateful to Ali for presenting this opportunity to us; I learned more about myself… and what an uplifting and positive teacher!”July Intensive student Sandra Kirby, professional singer

“…I realize just how much I have accomplished in such a short amount of time.  I know the remainder of the summer will be enriched by this incredible experience.” – July Intensive student, C. Lang

“This is the first summer in the past twelve that I have not gone away on a singing holiday. Work is keeping me in Toronto for the moment, but still singing. I just completed the July Intensive Studio Program with Ali Garrison. What a great experience! And what a gift she is to our world in so many ways. Only the very best teachers simultaneously instil support, inspiration and skill so that the singing spirit can soar freely. I am feeling new foundations, new explorations, and new horizons, all at once. This is what happens when the voice is given permission, acceptance, encouragement and celebration, Ali-style!” – July Intensive Student, Cindy Dymond

SUMMERKEYS 2018 in Lubec, Maine

An opportunity to study in a beautiful, Downeast vacation spot with Ali for one or two sessions:

July 30th-3rd,  August 6th-10th, August 13th-17th, 2018

www. summerkeys.com/2012-voice-workshop/

Tuition: approx. $645 per week

This workshop is for singers of all levels continuing their studies. Program consists of a daily group class, five 60-minute private lessons weekly, two hours daily practice, a masterclass and an opportunity to perform at the end of the week. This workshop welcomes all ages, all levels and all experiences; the belief is that a healthy approach to singing can be applied to any style of music.

The week-long workshop begins on Sunday evening with an informal get together of those participating in the voice program. Schedules will be distributed and questions answered. The week will end with a Friday late afternoon/early evening performance class and reception.

Here’s the setting for this week long intensive with Ali:

Practice Rooms at Summerkeys

Summerkeys Backyard

Lubec Harbour Looking North at Sunset

Lubec from the Lighthouse



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