Business

Patel Voice Studio owner: From Yale to Coralville

Patel Vocal Studio’s Jessica Patel (left) teaches piano to Sarahann Kolder of Iowa City at Patel Vocal Studio in Coralville on Friday, October 5, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Patel Vocal Studio’s Jessica Patel (left) teaches piano to Sarahann Kolder of Iowa City at Patel Vocal Studio in Coralville on Friday, October 5, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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CORALVILLE — A new business owner is helping others discover their voice.

Jessica Patel opened Patel Voice Studio in Coralville in September, where she provides voice and piano lessons and performance coaching.

“I’m doing way more than teaching voice to students,” Patel said. “My motto is ‘Discover your voice.’ We’re not just working on the singing voice, but also on the inner voice and their passions and dreams.”

Patel discovered her own voice at an early age.

“I grew up in a family where we would all gather around the piano at the holidays,” she said. “My mother was the music director at church, and I sang solos and duets with my sister.”

When she was 13, Patel won discounted voice lessons through an audition. Her instructor became her mentor.

“I was used to being told how good my voice was,” Patel said. “She was the first person who told me what I needed to fix. It was a humbling experience to be told I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.”

That early instruction set Patel on a path to become a professional classical singer.

The Johnston native spent her senior year in high school recording music in London. She then graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Music in voice performance and earned a spot in Yale University’s highly competitive music program, receiving a master’s degree in voice performance in 2017.

But instead of following her classmates to places such as Berlin or New York to join an opera company, Patel returned to Iowa.

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“Iowa has a lot to offer, and we need people to bring their talent back. That cemented it for me.”

As a graduate student at Yale, Patel had started teaching voice lessons to other students and realized voice instruction was her calling.

“I felt like I was feeding me,” she said. “I was giving myself as much as I was giving my students.”

Upon her return to Iowa, she discovered how many private voice instructors in the area have waiting lists for new students.

“There’s a demand here that isn’t being reached,” she said.

At her studio, Patel offers a free introductory lesson to meet new students and understand their musical goals.

For singers age 13 and up at all experience levels who want to improve their technique, she offers voice lessons. For those wanting to prepare for a specific performance or audition, she can provide voice and performance coaching.

She also has piano lessons for those age six and up and, as a former Miss Iowa, also offers pageant coaching.

In addition to being a new business owner, Patel remains a freelance classical singer and active performer.

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l Know a business in operation for less than a year that would make an interesting “Ground Floor”?

At a Glance

l Owner: Jessica Patel

l Business: Patel Voice Studio

l Address: 2441 James St., Suite 5B, Coralville

l Phone: (319) 481-8290

l Email: info@patelvoicestudio.com

l Website: www.patelvoicestudio.com

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