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Meet Virginia Norwood of Norwood Music Studios in Solana Beach and Oak Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Virginia Norwood.

Virginia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have had a passion for singing since I was a little girl. I would often make up my own words to songs if I didn’t know them. I was a shy child, so it wasn’t until my senior year in high school when I forced myself to join the choir, and drama class, that I started my journey as a vocalist. I continued in choir through college, starting out as a business major, then making the switch to music in my 2nd year. I decided it was now or never. I went on to get my AA in Music, from San Diego Mesa College, then transferred to SDSU, where I receive my BA in Music with an emphasis in Vocal Performance. While at Mesa College, I auditioned for my first band. It was a hard rock band. I look back and laugh at those days. I had far more guts and desire than talent, at that time. I was in several bands in the early 80’s, then ended up in a Top-40 Rock band with a talented guitarist, who is now my husband and Guitar Instructor in my studio.

We performed 5 nights a week for several years. We started experimenting with songwriting and loved it. We incorporated our originals into our club sets and got a great response. We continued writing and soon dropped out of the club scene to pursue our dream as recording artists. We made a few recordings with our original band, Jain Doe, and did lots of original showcases in San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles. Things were looking up. We got to open for Kansas and were about to sign with a manager when the band broke up. Joe and I formed another band, “Beyond Blue”. We went back to club work, but the club gigs had diminished greatly in San Diego, it was part-time, with office jobs to pay the bills. We continued writing and soon got signed by Red Raven Records, with whom Beyond Blue recorded their first CD. While working as a performer, I went back to studying voice and discovered the Seth Riggs method: Speech Level Singing (SLS). It changed my life and definitely saved my voice from the abuses of rock singing.

I learned more in just a few months with this technique than in all my years of vocal training in college. I worked as a secretary for several years, continuing with my SLS vocal training, songwriting and recording. As I became proficient in the technique, I yearned to leave the corporate job behind, and start sharing what I learned with others. I took the plunge and opened my home studio in 1994. In 1997, I was invited by a fellow voice teacher, Catherine Colby, to share her studio, “Rising Stars”, in Solana Beach. I fell in love with the area and built a thriving business there. In 2006, I took over Catherine’s lease and Norwood Music Studios, was born!

Has it been a smooth road?
I am a firm believer that there is a reason, or purpose, for everything, good and bad. My years of working as a secretary gave me the necessary office skills to help me run my business. I was fortunate in that my husband continued working a day job, which allowed me to build up my client list. I continued my SLS Training and the rest was trial and error. I love being self-employed. I love the freedom of it, but students come and go and one has to plan ahead. When times are plentiful, you have to put money aside for slow times.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Norwood Music Studios offers private lessons in Voice, Guitar, Piano, and Acting. I teach Voice lessons and my husband, Joe Norwood, teaches Guitar lessons. We also share space with JessEAllen Studio (piano & voice lessons), and The Valletta Workshop (Acting for Film & Television). I work with students as young as 6 years old through any age adult. I am passionate about helping others improve their technique, and pride myself on building a solid business through mostly word-of-mouth referrals. I work with all levels, beginner to professional. Many of my students have recorded their own CD’s, landed lead roles in local productions, performed the National Anthem at professional ball games, and some even progressed from being told “Please don’t sing!”, by friends and family, to have the necessary vocal control to sing in front of others and enjoy it! I feel proud when I see results and happy clients. Another service that I offer through Norwood Music Studios, and what has become my 2nd passion in life, is sharing essential oils with others, and teaching them how to use essential oils as an alternative to many medications, skin and body care, and cleaning products. I offer doTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils; the highest grade oil available and the most trusted name in essential oils. Everyone wants to save money, so I teach my clients how to get the best deal as well.

What role has luck (good luck or bad luck) played in your life and business?
I have never considered myself to be a lucky person. I have always worked hard to achieve most things, and strive to be a good person. I believe when you do good things and have good “Karma”, good things come to you. I do a lot of visualizing and some meditation to help me stay focused and positive.

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Image Credit:

Sara Khula of Khula Creations

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