I started taking lessons with Zuke close to 8 years ago and she has been such an amazing mentor and musical mother to me. She cares so much for her students, and her lessons go way beyond just the voice. Zuke helped me out of my shell and helped me embrace who I am and the emotions I feel. I struggled for a little while finding my “authentic sound”, and I honestly don’t think I would have ever found it if it wasn’t for Zuke and her constant encouragement. Not only did she help me find my sound, but she also helped me to become a better songwriter. She gave me the courage to write whatever I was feeling and not be afraid to share it with the world. I’m sure all Zuke’s students past and present, will agree with me when I say how thankful we are for her loving, nurturing, empowering, all around wonderful self.
—Dani Zanoni, Singer/Songwriter, danizanoni.com
I have been taking voice lessons with Zuke for close to a year. I am not a professional, but am someone who has always loved to sing, and would like to get more comfortable with expressing myself through singing.
As a coach, she has exceeded my expectations. Zuke is more than a voice teacher, she is, in every sense of the word, a “coach”. She knows instinctively where to gently push, so that you can go beyond what limitations you have placed on yourself. She has the ability to have you see past the story you have constructed about yourself and your abilities, and pull out from you an authentic expression of your voice.
Zuke knows her craft well, that combined with her incredible warmth and heart makes her an outstanding teacher. As a psychotherapist and mom, I will be bringing my kids to her for future voice lessons, knowing that time spent with Zuke will be a positive, self confidence building experience in their lives!
—Dina Scalero, LCSW
Zuke Smith is one of the finest individuals you will meet in the music business and in life. I've had the pleasure of working with her on an album featuring her students for a great charity. I was able to see the talent she helps craft in the studio environment, first hand- where there is no hiding from the microphone. Her students not only have great working attitudes but their vocal abilities surpass most of the people I've encountered in a professional environment who more than double and triple their years in the music industry. To simply call Zuke a vocal coach and an artist mentor would be a very big mistake as that is only small taste of what she does in reality. She truly cares and brings out the best in the people that she works with and is there day in and day out for the talent to see that they do the best that they possibly can in all of their endeavors. I am proud to call Zuke a colleague but even more so a friend and someone that I can always count on to be the voice of reason and for sage advice. If you have the chance to work with Zuke, I highly recommend you do so! You will not be disappointed.
—Jake Antelis, Producer/Mixer/Engineer www.jantelis.com
There's a good reason I became a music professional and it's because I can't play an instrument or sing. But I bet if anybody could teach me to sing it would be Deb "Zuke" Smith. And her work does not stop with vocal lessons. In the two years I've known Deb she has taken a huge interest in making sure that her students can sing, she's also made sure that they know the business side of what they are getting into. That level of care and concern is sorely lacking in today's business.
—Steve Rennie, www.renmanmb.com, Incubus manager
Being a highly trained legit singer of a "certain" age, with multiple Broadway and NY City Opera roles to my credit, I needed to come into the 21st Century. In order to compete for roles in the "new" Broadway world, It was essential to revise my chops to the current pop/rock mode of Broadway sounds. Zuke has been the perfect coach, to take all that classical training and adapt it to the more, modern, sellable sound, with simple placement adjustments and tonal tweaks that have made a world of difference!! I couldn't recommend her more!!!
—Bruce Winant, Broadway Actor/Singer www.brucewinant.com
I had the privilege of meeting Zuke Smith 5 years ago in Nashville and since then I've been honored by her sincere friendship, help and collaboration. I have seen her teaching and it has been a great lesson for me, both as a person and as a teacher. She welcomed me to stay at her house and fed me, which is very difficult when you deal with an Italian guy:) She really takes care of her “kids,” like she calls them. I taught her students and I could see how much they love her. I met very few people with her deep understanding of vocal technique and music theory. She is the perfect mentor both for a wanna be artist and for an established act.
—Giuseppe Lopizzo, Vocal Coach & Singer/Songwriter www.giuseppelopizzo.com/en
I know that the voice is an instrument, and it was an instrument I didn’t really know much about. I felt like a phony getting up there and not knowing how to play it. I wouldn’t do that with guitar, so why would I do that with my voice?
—Frank Iero interview with Zuke Smith
Mamma Zuke has been a sparkling light in my life since the moment I met her. I am a singer, actor and vocal coach and she has played a huge part in my growth as an artist. We have sung together, taught together, laughed together, cried together and spent a few nights drinking and talking about our journeys through life. Her role in my life is so meaningful but at the same time we get to dress up a lot at her house too! I really feel like I can be my true self around her, whoever that may be on any given day. She's the perfect combo of mother and ass kicker! If you want guidance on how to get the most out of life as an artist and a person call Mamma Z!
—Craig Deuchar, Singer/Actor/Vocal Coach
Zuke's been a huge influence on my musical development and how I work in the music business & who's taught me so much about the industry. I've heard many of you and what you've all been able to do, it's absolutely incredible. Zuke Smith, you've got some great students here, and it seems the respect is, as well, quite reciprocated.
Zuke is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. She combines the pure heart and caring nature that has earned her the nickname of 'mama zuke' from students, with the business savvy nature and knowledge of an industry expert in music business/artist development and vocal coaching. She is an established, experienced and distinguished industry professional who is in a constant search for knowledge to better herself and her artists!"
--Joel Harrison, Vocal Coach and Singer/Songwriter voxninja.com, www.joelharrison.com.au
To the smart person that signed on Deborah Zuke Smith,
What a beautiful, supportive, intelligent and talented soul she is.
She asked me to do a master class with her students. They were of varied ages and her care and attention to each of their needs just amazed me. And with knowing her students and their needs, she still had time to talk me off the ledge. She held my hand and helped me to understand how to help them. With a watchful eye and sensitivity, she stepped in when needed and gently guided me through. She also understands how to be a team player as well as a leader. Not many people have that gift.
Please cherish her... She's an amazing teacher and all around human being.
—Lisa Fischer, Singer lisafischermusic.com