Dr. Michelle Latour, voice teacher in Las Vegas, with her dog Rondo (studio mascot)

"They say you don’t choose a career in music...

Music chooses you."

Let me tell you how it chose me….

I’m a typical type A, overachiever to begin with: I’ve earned music degrees from prestigious universities, published articles in scholarly voice journals, contributed countless columns for industry-related magazines, been an Associate Professor of Music, and taught voice at an intense summer-opera training program in Italy. 

I’m certified in everything from OperaWorks™ to Somatic Voicework™. I’m an award-winning teacher.

And did I mention that I sing in thirteen different languages?

Earn enough accolades, and your life starts to look very fancy on paper. 

My proclivity for fanciness started young, and includes a fashion obsession (Calvin Klein jeans; Madonna gloves). For a shy, shrimpy kid, you can find a lot of power being in vogue, as well as success, passion, acceptance, and creativity through music. 

It is the things we fall in love with first that form the foundation of a future identity. 

So it was easy to sacrifice normal ideals like family and marriage, and instead, work relentlessly towards a life in music.

But there is a ruthlessness to high art, a stereotypical back-stabbing environment among divas that alludes to the highly competitive and sometimes vicious nature of pursuing a professional career as a classically trained singer, and the ridiculous notion that one must suffer for their art.

Organizational skills and a strong work ethic minimized that chaos for me. Turns out that this approach is the key to my sanity and methodology. It is how I manage the noise, the pandemonium swirling around me, so that I can dedicate myself to what really matters...making the world a more beautiful place through music. 

This kind of rigidity looks like snobbery, and snobbery is definitely a defense mechanism. At its worst, it is a weapon to wound people, a wall to keep them out, or a device to turn them against one another. 

Dr Michelle Latour, voice teacher, Las Vegas, in gorgeous flower print jacket

But at its best, snobbery is a refinement tool. 

And REFINERY looks like this:

  • Embracing your voice, instead of overtly darkening your gorgeously bright timbre, or hiding in the back row of choir in an attempt to blend in. 

  • Unleashing the full magnificence and nuance of your high notes, so you are not afraid of that impending high C at the end of your aria. 

  • Conquering your performance anxiety, whether that means auditioning for a young artists program, or singing karaoke with friends.

  • Joyfully pursuing that voice performance degree in music.

  • Cultivating your passion for obscure Italian art songs. 

  • Discovering not only what to practice, but how to practice.

And an FYI to those of you who feel like you have exhausted your voice, neglected your voice, feared your voice, or even stifled your voice...

I stifled my voice before, too: I earned and then lost my dream job in academia because I refused to play politics and instead, advocated for my students. And what happens when we’re betrayed by our dreams? 

 

We cut all ties. We turn our backs.

 

So I retreated to my retail roots, back to fashion, and joined the ranks of department store management, because I needed a job.

 

But music will always call you back from your hiatus.

 

Eventually, I remembered that I was not put on this earth to fold an unending and mountainous heap of cashmere sweaters.

 

I decided to put my expertise from 25+ years in academia to work in my private studio, and to put my inaccurate academic bias that private teachers were hobbyists to bed. 

 

As a result, I'm having so much fun. And so are my students.

 

Maybe music is your profession. Maybe it isn't. Maybe you'd like to adapt to a new perspective that places music firmly at the forefront of your life...back where it belongs.

Let's celebrate the potential of the human voice and get to work refining YOURS.

“Dr. Latour has a way of making her students feel valued and provides them with a learning environment in which it is safe to take risks. I have not always felt this way in lessons with former voice teachers, and consequently, I feel that hindered my growth. But with Dr. Latour, I felt so at ease that I wasn’t afraid to fail in front of her because I knew I wouldn’t be criticized.”

Kelly Edgar, student of Dr Michelle Latour.jpg

Kelly Edgar, Middle School Choir Director & active Las Vegas performer

The Fancy Facts

  • University of Southern California, Doctorate of Musical Arts & Grad Assistant

  • Boston University, Master of Music

  • CSU Fresno, Bachelor of Arts

  • Summer Vocology Institute, Block One

  • OperaWorks™, Voice Teacher Training Program

  • Somatic Voicework™, Levels I-III Certification

  • Vocal Pedagogy Professional Workshop, Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Education

  • Associate Professor of Music, Bluffton University

  • Visiting Lecturer in Music, Voice, UNLV

  • Adjunct Faculty, SDSU

  • Voice Faculty, International Opera Performing Experience, Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Academia

  • On the Green Trail, song cycle by Lori Laitman, commissioned by Dr. Latour, world premiere

  • Carmina Burana, soprano soloist

  • The Messiah, soprano soloist

  • Concert Music Series, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, England

Performance Highlights

  • Classical Singer Magazine

  • Opera Today

  • The International Alliance for Women in Music Journal

  • The Kaprálová Society Journal

Publications

Awards

  • NATS Foundation, Voice Pedagogy Award

  • NATS Intern Program Participant

  • MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grant

  • CSU Fresno, Distinguished Alumni Award

The Funky Facts

  • You can hear my voice on the soundtrack for Fight Club.

  • You can see me (& Rondo) teaching Christine voice lessons on Sister Wives.

  • I have completed two marathons.

  • I have held 50+ jobs, from waterslide attendant to high school English teacher to Sales Manager at Macy’s.

  • I love crime shows like Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Minds.

  • I confess, total 80’s music afficionado.

  • I pride myself on my burping abilities, thanks to regular burping contests with my grandfather as a kid.

  • I have a weakness for funky jackets & beautifully crafted shoes.

Fun photo of Dr. Michelle Latour in front of female astronaut image, wearing blue and red military-style jacket

The Formal Facts (Professional Affiliations)

  • American Guild of Musical Artists

  • Music Teachers National Association

  • National Association of Teachers of Singing

  • Opera On Tap- Las Vegas

    • Founding Member

    • Former Co-Managing Diva

  • Pan American Vocology Association

  • The SpeakEasy Cooperative

  • Vegas Voice Teachers Cooperative

    • Founding Member

  • The Voice Foundation

Music Teachers National Association LOGO (black)
NATS Logo in black
SECO logo in greyscale
American Guild of Musical Artists LOGO in black only

“Michelle believes in her students and works diligently to help them succeed. I’ve learned so much about my voice and what it’s actually capable of.”

Nicole Harris, private voice teacher & Opera on Tap-Las Vegas, roster singer

Nicole Harris, student of Dr Michelle Latour.jpg

Ready to get started?

Let's do this!

Dr.Michelle Latour, Voice Teacher, Las Vegas, NVjpg