If you've wanted to stretch your vocal chords and lyrical abilities beyond their present limitations -- or if you've just let your pipes rust from disuse, and you'd like to restore them -- help is available.

Music Departments: Most area colleges offer a range of classes. Many voice teachers recommend this as an introduction to singing, since it generally is cheaper than private lessons, and group support often is helpful.

Singer's Studio -- (333-3933). In Georgetown. Beginners through professionals. Classes available 6 days a week; $25 an hour. Regular auditions for singers who want to perform at the in-studio cabaret.

Adriana Hardy -- Call her at the American University Music Department (686-2162). Students required to have some music-reading ability. Lessons are 50 minutes each, cost $15.

David and Jean Beckwitt -- (790-0380). Near Tyson's Corner in Vienna. Teach from "extremely talented teens to hobbyists of all ages." Classes available mostly daytime, but flexible. Call for rates.

Peggy McNulty -- (356-3219). In McLean. For ages 15 and up; beginners through professionals. Day and evening classes; $7.50 for a half-hour, $10 for 45 minutes.

Yellow Pages -- There is a rundown of voice coaches, classes and schools under "Music Instructor-Vocal." Caution and footwork are required to locate one of the above that best suits your needs. Since there is likely to be a different approach for each listing, try to get a referral before you sign on the dotted line.