Looking for a voice teacher

I think I may be looking for a voice teacher in the South Bay. Any recommendations?

A month ago, I was sitting with several friends, and there was singing going on, and I was feeling braver than usual and so I managed to sing out loud despite less-than-ideal-for-my-being-comfortable conditions, and it went okay but I felt self-conscious about it as usual. And for some reason I started thinking about this stuff the other day, and it occurred to me that singing is one of my favorite things in the world to do, but I'm so awkward/self-conscious about it that I almost never do it around other people, except for singing rounds, and other contexts where someone else is singing the same thing so I can sing along with them.

And I'd like to have a better understanding of my voice and of how it relates to some aspects of music. For example, I'm a bass (more or less), so I often end up dropping down into low notes for the high parts, but I'm just kind of guessing when I do that; I don't have any real sense of what I'm doing or whether it actually harmonizes.

And so on. But this past weekend, it finally occurred to me that I could actually do something about this, not just fret about it.

Last time I took a voice class, an extracurricular thing in college, it was really valuable, but mostly in that it let me know that I can more or less carry a tune under the right circumstances. (I had previously refrained from singing in front of people for about four years, ever since the time that I sang something to a friend and they told me “Now I know why they don't let boys sing.”) I went into that class wanting to be told The Magic Key About How To Sing, and I came out of it with the standard moral You Already Have The Key, You Must Seek Inside Yourself, and that's been more or less enough.

But now I want to learn more about my voice, about how to get it to do what I want, about what it's doing when I do certain things. I don't intend or expect to ever be a performer, but I want to be able to sing to and with friends and be reasonably in tune and sound reasonably nice.

So I'm tentatively looking for a teacher who can talk with me the way I need to be talked with to learn physical stuff, using actual words rather than vague “and then you just—” incomplete sentences. And I'm looking for someone who can teach me to be a decent social singer rather than someone who'll want to teach me to be a performer. And because I'm deeply insecure about this stuff, I'm looking for someone who'll be gentle.

I have no idea whether there are teachers of the sort I'm looking for. But I figured it couldn't hurt to start by posting to ask if any of you know of such a person around here.

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