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Bachelor Degree: Western Illinois University (Macomb)
Master Degree: New England Conservatory of Music (Boston)
Working with voice students to help them achieve their own personal musical goals and dreams is what fuels me as a teacher. As both a performer and teacher, I enjoy sharing my love for and knowledge of technique, repertoire, and interpretation. I hold a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music degree from Western Illinois University, both in Vocal Performance. I regularly present vocal recitals in places like St. John (USVI), Baltimore, Boston, and Martha's Vineyard; and I regularly sing chorally with the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church Chamber Choir (NYC) and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (the chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra).
I've taught lessons for a total of 8 years in New York City, Boston, and Midwestern Illinois. I've taught all kinds of students: children, teens, college students, adults, and retirees. Each student has come with their own goals and passions, and I enjoy helping each individual uncover, free, and develop the natural voice within. In addition to setting each student up with a solid vocal technique, I've taught basic music and vocal health to young children (ages 5-7), developed music reading skills in teens and young adults, helped retirees improve technically so they can better contribute to their community choirs, and even instructed a folk singer in improvisation, songwriting, and healthy folk vocal technique. Whatever your personal musical goal, I want to help you achieve it.
All lessons will be fun discoveries of each student's voice and what makes it unique and beautiful. For all students, my main objective is to help find and develop a healthy vocal technique so that the voice remains clear and beautiful for years to come. I like to introduce repertoire by the second or third lesson to new students, and I immediately begin encouraging personal interpretation and connection to each piece of music. The beauty of studying music is that there is always something else to learn, but the most moving and fun part of singing is communicating ideas and poetry. I aim to develop personal ownership of songs/repertoire in all students (no matter their age) alongside the instruction and study of healthy vocal technique. When I teach a voice student, I'm teaching more than only music. I teach anatomy (bone structure, posture, alignment, breathing, jaw movement, etc.), vowel formation, language pronunciation skills, music theory/history, basic music reading, and poetic interpretation. Within the first few months of voice lessons, most students will actually receive instruction in all of this! I view teaching voice as a very special privilege, as I get to work with a person in all of these areas to turn them into the best singer they can possibly be.
My teaching style is friendly, honest, and positive. I teach students how/what to practice and aid them on their musical journey at whatever starting place they may be. At the first lesson I begin teaching them how to develop an awareness for the concepts/tools we are exploring, so that they can continue growing in their practice at home during the week. I will always be honest with how a student is progressing, and I will also always be encouraging and positive. I have one major rules for all my students: No one is allowed to be overly critical of themselves when they are working hard and trying out new ideas. You see, singing takes quite a bit of coordination, and there is always something else to work on. We must celebrate our triumphs and then take stock of what we need to work on next. Instead of asking a student what they think was wrong, I like to ask students to first list 3 things they think went well. To focus on what one has achieved and then move on to the next challenge puts all of us in the best frame of mind to succeed.
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