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BMus (Specialty in Jazz Performance), Capilano University, 1995-96 (3rd year undergrad) Music Diploma (Jazz & Contemporary Voice), Vancouver Community College, 1993-1995 Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music, Banff Center for the Arts, 1996 Banff Vocal Jazz Summit, Banff Center for the Arts, 1996
Vancouver International Jazz Orchestra Workshop, Participant 1997 & 1998
Centrum Jazz Festival Port Townsend, 1997
DuMaurier International Jazz Festival, Performer 1995 & 1996
VCC Scholarship 1994
I am a seasoned performer with over 30 years of experience tutoring and teaching privately. I have a wide and eclectic performance background, including everything from jazz to madrigals to showtunes. I am still actively performing, and involved with the Seattle theater scene. I offer coaching in audition preparation and theater performance readiness. I enjoy working with children and teens as well as adults. I can offer voice students music reading and theory instruction, and beginner piano skills. One of my most rewarding musical experiences is as a singer and section leader for the Dickens Carolers of Seattle, a position I'm proud to say I have held for 14 seasons. Music is full of joy and deep emotion for me, and passing on this love to my students is one of my favourite experiences!
Having grown up in a multi-generational family of music teachers and performers, my musical immersion happened early. The school system where I grew up in Ontario featured vocal music and eartraining using the Kodaly solfege method beginning in elementary school. After a widely varied choir and musical theater education in high school, I was hired by my college as a solfege tutor when I went back to work on a BMus. Since then I have also taught privately for many years, and run a master class and created concerts and shows for the Little Red Studio. I have worked as musical director for elementary school musicals, middle school choirs, coach for a high school jazz rhythm section, and lead theory and improv workshops for high school jazz choirs. Most recently I have taught voice lessons and lead band classes and camps at the Seattle School of Rock. I have been the alto section leader for the Dickens Carolers in Seattle for 11 years. I also currently teach drama classes for children in Bellevue and surrounding area. As a professional performer, I have sung professional jazz, blues, and pop/rock gigs for many years, performed in musical theater and musical accompaniment for other theatrical productions. I perform every Xmas season with the Dickens Carolers in 4 part a capella quartets. I have been privileged to work with some of the world's jazz greats in Jazz Orchestra Workshops in Vancouver BC, the Banff Center for the Arts International Jazz Workshop and Vocal Intensive Workshop, and twice been a featured performer in the DuMaurier Jazz Festival at Vancouver.
I like to focus on healthy vocal production and breath technique. I utilize training in breath control and vocal exercises to expand the student's physical control over their instrument. I can conduct online lessons, but in person lessons are ideal to be able to fully hear, see and sense ambiently how the student's breath is functioning. I like to use the Kodaly solfege system as an eartraining tool to help the student navigate and learn new repertoire, and as a tool for improvisation. I have extensive theory knowledge and am pleased to pass on as much of that as the student feels capable of absorbing. I use backing tracks as accompaniment once the student is working on repertoire, and am happy to help a student seek out just the right song.
Positive reinforcement and constructive feedback are of utmost importance to me when instructing my students. I will always demonstrate rather than simply describe what is needed. I encourage students to practice about 30 minutes each day between lessons (and yes, singing in the car or shower counts!). Exploring and expanding vocal range is a first step, along with proper breathing technique and correct healthy vocal placement.Using theory and eartraining, I help students explore and become comfortable with improvisation. I enjoy helping students choose effective audition songs, then preparing them both vocally and in performance techniques. While there may be hurdles to overcome at some points in any student's development, I always want every student to really love making music!
Heather is experienced, patient, and explains things very well. It is her passion for and dedication to music, however, that make her an extreme pleasure to learn learn and work with.
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