Karen Lyu

Singing, Voice, R&B Voice, Jazz Voice, Musical Theatre, Pop Voice, Singing for Actors, Public Speaking, Improvisation, Songwriting
Featured Teacher on Lessonface Since April 2020

Lesson Fees

Base Fee: $35.00 / 30 Minutes

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Karen Lyu is a sought after holistic voice expert and an award-winning jazz vocalist/songwriter/actor. She has been fortunate to travel and perform in the US, South Korea, Europe, Southeast Asia, Central America, and Brazil. She is internationally respected for her eHow.com viral voice coaching videos on YouTube.com. She has taught absolute beginners to professional singers, speakers and actors ages 8-80 since 1997. Her fun, compassionate, concise and results-focused voice trainings have been offered in the US and in South Korea at venues such as West Bank School of Music, Korea Improv Theater, Tennessee Language Center, Earth Mother Mind Jam, Doosan Corporation and online. As an entertainer, she is a unique and animated jazz singer/songwriter who loves to create unforgettable performances with playful exploration and authentic power. 


Have you ever been frustrated by your voice? Do you cringe when you hear your voice--like when you hear a recording of yourself? Do people make fun of your voice?

​That used to be Karen Lyu years ago! Now, Karen is the  #1 Jazz Artist in South Korea on Reverbnation.com!

Karen's passion for singing, and struggle with her own voice, have led her to over a dozen voice instructors--including Roberta Davis (Berklee School of Music) and Dr. Oren Brown (Juilliard), researching various methods--including Seth Riggs' Speech Level Singing and Dr. Morton Cooper's ("The Voice Doctor") and voiceover training with Don Cosgrove (The Talent Center), various holistic health workers, and over 20 years of voice coaching. Most recently, she earned John Henny's New Science of Singing voice instructor certification and Jim Kwik's Superbrain course completion certification.

Because of her research and experience, Karen has been recognized as a voice expert by eHow.com, EzineArticles.com, VocalDisorders.org (formerly VoiceMatters.net), TRCB.com, TheModernVocalistWorld.com, StarTribune.com, Korean Quarterly, and Asian American Press. Additionally, she has been a 10-year international member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, a member of Toastmasters, and was once a judge for the Hmong Idol USA national singing competition.

Karen loves to share what she's learned, and has inspired over 700 students to improve their voices! Karen has helped absolute beginners to untrained pro singers, speakers, and actors, students age 8 to 80 since 1997. She started singing professionally in 1993, and has explored all kinds of voice solutions since 1989. 

Born in Seoul, Korea, Karen grew up with her hard-working immigrant family (Mom was a registered nurse and Dad was an acupuncturist) in California, Texas, and Minnesota. She then got her Jazz Studies degree in Vocal Performance at Cornell College in Iowa, and also lived in Nashville, Tennessee. She now enjoys being an expat back in Seoul, South Korea, and has been fortunate to travel and perform in the US, South Korea, Europe, Southeast Asia, Central America, and Brazil. 

An award-winning artist, Karen has been fortunate to be a member of Karen Lyu Jazz Experience, Karen Lyu & Fresh Jazz, Yoo and Karen Duo, Ben and Karen Duo, Pacha Mamas, Karen Lyu & Global Jazz, Morris Wilson Band, Via Brasil, Bomba, Karen Lyu Quartet, Robert Robinson's Minneapolis Community College Gospel Choir, Jazz Transit, Eddie Piccard Trio, and also has sung as a solo vocalist since 1993. Her current musical group is Karen Lyu Jazz Experience! Karen's singing has been featured on National Public Radio, documentary film, TV, radio, cable, and on all kinds of stages. She has 3 of her own recordings with stellar musicians - Karen Lyu Jazz Experience, Karen Lyu & Fresh Jazz, Karen Lyu & Global Jazz Live  - and also has recorded with a number of other artists, groups and compilations over the years. And, Karen is the first Korean-American jazz singer ever to record in the US. 

As an actor, she has experience acting in diverse roles for film, musical theater, plays, DVDs, and online video (www.backstage.com/u/karenlyu)​. Her experience includes voiceover projects for Hyundai, Arirang TV, KFAI-FM radio, and more. As a writer/director/producer/actor, Karen, and her talented, international Jasmine Productions cast and crew, created a crowd-pleasing, inspiring and hilarious original short film ~ www.strangerangels.net

As for honors, in 2010, she received a NashvilleMuse.com songwriting award and a MusiCares/Grammy Foundation emergency grant. In 2007, Karen won another 2 awards. A Minnesota State Arts Board cultural collaboration grant was given to Karen and to Maryam Yusefzadeh to create and produce an original musical called "Memories and Media Myths of Iran and North Korea". And as a vocalist, Karen won 3rd prize at the annual Nye's Polonaise Polish Idol singing competition finals in Minneapolis, MN. Also, in 2006, she received a nomination for Best Arts Article at the National Ethnic Media Awards, as an arts/features writer for Asian American Press newspaper in St. Paul, MN.

In Minnesota, Karen became widely known for her 5 years at West Bank School of Music as the head voice instructor, and for also becoming a board member, then board chair, then Executive Director at the age of 33 in 2004. At that time, there were 30 faculty members and over 500 music students a year. She was honored to serve as the Executive Director for 2 years and to help save the beloved, legendary community music school from closing. (Update: WBSM sadly closed in March, 2018.) 

In addition, Karen has offered group learning experiences for various topics, such as "How to Sing Jazz", "If You Can Speak, You Can Sing", "News Anchor English", "How to Prevent Losing Your Voice", and "Empower Your Voice for Women" at West Bank School of Music, Korea Improv Theater, Tennessee Language Center, Dreamland Arts, Walker Community Church, One World Festival, Pronoia Fest, Doosan Corporation, Toray Corporation, Yoons School of English, her former independent studio and by teleconference. 

Fun, personalized, holistic voice lessons for all ages. Absolute beginners to advanced.


 In singing lessons, we will do fun warm-ups and voice exercises + work on 1-3 songs that we choose together using YouTube and/or sheet music. We can work on vocal health, vocal technique vocal range, vocal tone, vocal projection, breathing, emotional expression, genres/styles, stage presence, songwriting, music theory, vocal biology, etc.


For speaking/acting lessons, we will do warm-ups, exercises, and games. We can work on vocal health, vocal projection, vocal tone, tongue twisters, accents, presentation skills, interview roleplaying, voiceover skills, poetry, comedy improv, monologues, scene work, etc.

Cornell College - BSS Jazz Studies, Vocal Performance + Certified John Henny New Science of Singing Vocal Coach + 10 year Voice and Speech Trainers Association member + Blue Square Toastmasters - Level 1 Speaker Achievement, Best Speaker, Best Evaluator, Best Table Topics Speaker + TESOL 100-hour training with Honors + Hennepin Technical College - Website Design Diploma

I have created my own kinesthetic, holistic methods, inspired in part by over a dozen respected voice coaches, including Roberta Davis (Berklee School of Music) and John Henny (New Science of Singing Voice Teacher Training). 

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