Find your voice through singing lessons while
increasing vocal health, building your confidence,
creating a network, stimulating your mind, and having fun!

It takes both an experienced singer and educated professional to make a good voice teacher. You are trusting someone with the longevity and vulnerablity of your personal instrument. Dr. T. J. Turner has years of college teaching experience and private voice experience including performing, teaching, and graduate schooling.

Dr. T. J. Turner, tenor, was named one of Memphis’s Top 20 Under 35 in 2023. He received positive reviews of his “crystalline high tenor” that was “delightful to listen to” in his professional debut as The Doctor in The Handmaid’s Tale with GLOW Lyric Theatre (Opera Wire). He also performed in Kristin Chenoweth’s My Love Letter to Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York, NY and with international stars Andrea Bocelli and Renée Fleming.

Dr. Turner earned the Doctorate of Music Arts degree in Voice Performance and Opera Stage Directing from the University of Memphis, TN, where he received the Graduate Document Award. He also holds degrees from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, and Furman University, Greenville, SC. Dr. Turner is currently Instructor of Voice at the Lawson Academy of the Arts at Converse University, Spartanburg, SC, and continues to perform throughout the southeast and teach through his private studio, Upstate Voice Lessons. You can find a full bio on Dr. Turner’s homepage.

You can trust Dr. Turner with your voice.

“I aim to create positive habits in the studio that can be transferred to individual practice and performance in a variety of genres.”

I believe that the development of proper vocal technique is crucial in all mediums of voice performance. After a solid foundation is established, students can make healthy choices on the best approach to different styles of singing. In this way, a classical background can benefit performers in music theatre, contemporary-commercial music, jazz, and popular music — not just opera, choir, and art song. Furthermore, making positive vocal habits accessible for this variety of performers enables them to lengthen the duration of their careers while simultaneously making the process of learning, practicing, and performing more enjoyable. I aim to achieve this by identifying unhelpful vocal habits and replacing them with choices that release tension and increase stamina and focus, both through vocalises and application to standard repertoire. By observing students during warm-ups and repertoire performance, I can identify where their strengths and weaknesses are. I then choose possibilities for repertoire based on these evaluations and the personal goals of the student.

Study Voice, Language, Music History, & More with Dr. T. J. Turner at Converse University

The History of the Alia Ross Lawson Academy of the Arts

The Lawson Academy, founded by Dr. Alia Ross Lawson, has offered the Converse, Spartanburg, and surrounding upstate community, music and dance lessons since 1944.

Rich in history and known for its tradition in educational excellence in music and dance, the Lawson Academy is in a strong position to build on its past while looking forward to meeting the creative needs of our 21st-century world.

We encourage students of all ages to peruse our classes and private study opportunities with doctorate-level instructors. We’re sure you’ll find something to fit your schedule and your budget. Join us on a creative journey that will bring joy to all of our lives.

Private Lessons for All Ages at Converse University
  • Lessons for all ages, from school to adults
  • Durations include 30, 45, or 60 minutes
  • Register by 16-week semester or with flexible scheduling
  • Take lessons in the morning, afternoon, or evening
  • Study classical music, art song, opera and oratorio arias, sacred music, chamber music, pop, rock, music theatre, and more!
  • Work with a professional voice teacher and coach
  • Participate in community theatre auditions and regional competitions
  • Satellite instruction available in Spartanburg County