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Master of Music, University of Southern California, Vocal Arts/Opera '12 Bachelor of Music, University of Southern California, Vocal Arts/Opera '10
I am a singing-actor who enjoys performing and passing on my knowledge of singing to others. I graduated from the University of Southern California twice, earning both my masters and bachelors degrees from the Thornton School of Music in vocal performance. My career so far as given me wonderful opportunties to sing in Europe and in well respected music festivals in the United States, such as the Aspen Music Festival.
I began teaching during the end of my college years, when an assignment for a pedagogy class on voice included taking on a student for several months and working with them. I found the experience to be fulfilling and self revealing as to how I understood my own concept of singing. Since then, I have recently begun teaching a number of students who, thanks to my experiences as a resident artist with an opera company and recent performances with festivals, I feel have more to gain from me. My experience working with many different voice teachers and other professionals have given me a number of concepts I use to help students understand how to use their voice. My students are free to work on whatever music they choose, while I assign pieces to them designed to engage their instrument correctly and foster a healthy and functional 'form' for singing; such that it would benefit whatever genre or style of music they choose.
I always begin by figuring out how I can best teach a student by asking them their interests and goals for singing; whether they want to sing jazz or provide vocals for their rock band, or learn to sing classically, etc. For all students who are atleast in their teens or older, I begin by describing how singing works and talk about the function of the body in singing. I usually use pictures from anatomy books to help point out the key organs and muscle groups that are engaged in healthy singing, so as to give a visual aid of what we are working to condition for singing. I spend several lessons giving vocal exercises and helping the student learn to breath in a way that is conducive to healthy singing. As the student begins to practice this over the first few lessons, I choose repertoire (along with whatever they are interested in) that focuses on areas they are doing well in as well as things that challenge their current abilities.
I love seeing my students begin to understand how their mind and body can work together to sing beautifully. It's a treat when a student can begin to execute the necessary actions for singing with a degree of confidence and reliability that they at one point believed was beyond them. My style is one that fosters a student's abilities and is encouraging in their efforts. I make a point to be very thorough and analytical when it comes to how physiological events and mental focus are key to building a framework for this expressive artform. I believe that creating a system for singing that instills confidence in how a person presents themself vocally, offers a framework by which a person can simultaneously express themselves through the music. By focusing on the current challenges to function and expression for a student, as well as learning how they learn and work, I am better able to tailor my plans to their specific needs.
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