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BM, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Vocal Performance 26 years of piano training, performing, and accompanying
2016 - 5th place in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition
I first and foremost love meeting new people and helping them to enjoy music. My background is in opera and musical theatre, but I have been playing piano for twenty-six years and also teach ukulele and flute. I have been studying music for twenty-six years, including Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in classical vocal performance. It was there where I learned to sing in seven languages. I have sung in the USA, Germany, Austria, Italy, Malta, and the Czech Republic. The last time I performed abroad was as the featured soloist on a cruise for the Metropolitan Opera Guild. As a professional actress my most recent role was Princess Fiona in SHREK the Musical, where I got to tap dance with rats on stage!
I have been teaching for five years, beginning in Denver, Colorado. I began teaching Glee themed camps and dance classes through an organization in Denver, and then moved on to choreograph children's musicals (the largest of these had 80 children ages six to eighteen!). At my next studio I choreographed and music directed shows (Cinderella Junior and Aladdin Junior). At my busiest in Denver I had thirty-four private students. I teach several different styles of voice, as well as beginning - advanced piano, beginning - intermediate flute, and beginning ukulele. I can also teach people to sing and play piano at the same time.
My teaching philosophy is to take away negative self-talk like "I can't" or "I'm bad at this" and replace this with "this is uncomfortable right now, and together we'll make it comfortable". So many times people get hung up on what seems like an unsolvable issue, and the resolution can be as simple as fixing a vowel. Also recognizing that things take time to develop and that the journey can be FUN! My biggest priority is making sure that my students are having fun in an uplifting, supportive, and positive atmosphere. I find there's something special about every student, and focusing on that as a place of confidence can skyrocket their success. I also have experience as a Disney princess at children's birthday parties and get along great with kids!
All of my lessons are customized to fit the individual student's wants, needs, and goals (taking stock of the students' parents wishes as well). This will manifest naturally based on the personality and learning method per student (ex. verbal, auditory, kinesthetic) and the requirements of the particular instrument(s).
With beginning instrumentalists I begin with the basics (ex. finger numbers, the musical alphabet, different patterns on the keyboard, the staff, note types and values, etc). With voice I'll start with vocalizing, or if the student is really nervous, we'll pick a song the student loves and use that instead.
I approach teaching on an individual basis, meaning it's important to me to know the goals, hopes, passions, and if applicable, the worries or insecurities the student is feeling. In a first lesson I identify something that is special and unique about each student, and build their technique from this place. I find this helps the difficult areas feel a little less challenging because they already have something they feel proud of when working through the discomfort of something new or intimidating. My goal is that the student will feel safe, supported, and excited, even when dealing with nerves. That's what I'm here for!
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