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MM, Cleveland Institute of Music, Voice Performance BM, Brigham Young University, Vocal Performance Let's Play Music, First Year Certification
Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Rocky Mountain Region Finalist (2009, 2004), Utah District Finalist (2009, 2004, 2003)
Max Berman Award for Voice, Cleveland Institute of Music (2007)
Arden J. Yockey Scholarship for Voice, Tuesday Musical Association, Akron, OH (2006)
BYU Young Artists of Voice Competition, BYU Singer of the Year (2004), Norma Poulton Bullock Award (2003)
Second Place Winner, American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) Meistersinger Competition (2004)
First Place Winner, Utah State Fair (2003)
First Place Winner, Utah Valley Symphony Young Artists Competition (2003)
My love affair with all things music began before I was born. My mother remembers getting strong feedback from playing certain types of music while I was yet in the womb. By the age of 2 I was able to sing a recognizable melody. My grandmother always said I should be a musician, and it was with great pleasure that I proved her right by attaining both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. I still think she likes to look down on me from above when I perform. Because my mother and grandmother were such profound nurturing musicians, I am passionate about passing on the joy of music through good teaching. I strive to provide that musical nurturing to all ages and stages of our human experience.
I began formally teaching during my college years, over ten years ago. I have consistently maintained a home studio since then, teaching every skill level from beginner to advanced. My students have thrived in my positive, enthusiastic teaching style. I have even had students change majors to pursue professional musicianship! I have performed vocally all over the world, but more importantly I have taught students from many different cultures. The best compliment I ever received was from a former student from one of my first ever classes taught at a university. Seven years after he took my basic vocal skills classes, he recognized me in a crowd and came to tell me that my class had truly changed his life; it had been the best class he took in college, and he could still remember the things I had taught!
The body is the first instrument, and thus I always begin children with a whole body approach to music, including dancing, singing, and keyboard skills. Although this is typically done through Let's Play Music from ages 4 to 6, I incorporate much of the Dalcroze, Orff and Kodaly methods even with older beginners. Once a child has built a solid foundation of music fundamentals, I will begin to introduce technical piano skills. I like to use the Faber and Faber Piano Adventures series, with other repertoire as needed. A student who has a solid grasp of the piano may progress to voice training as early as 10, whereas a child who hasn't studied piano or music fundamentals shouldn't begin training the voice until post puberty. Repertoire for the voice is always a custom plan for each student, the desired style, and the maturity level. For adults, I begin with Faber and Faber Adult Piano Adventures, and then continue to whatever style most interests the student. Adult voice training begins with scales and exercises, laying a firm technical foundation, after which we can take on whatever style about which the student is passionate. Music and passion are synonymous for me, so I always use the motto, "If you don't love it, don't play (or sing) it!"
I feel like music is our greatest form of self expression. The voice is the most intimate instrument, because it is a physical part of you and each voice is as unique as the student's fingerprint. Teaching voice, to me, is like helping a student to unwrap a beautiful gift they have been given. It is imperative that the voice student and teacher trust one another, for without a relationship of trust the student will not fully be able to open the gift and see what's inside themselves. Piano is easier, in that it is outside of the body, but I do try to help the student think of it as an extension of self. In all my teaching, I encourage the student to express the music for which they have the greatest passion. Allowing the student to progress at his or her own pace, I help shepherd the musical discoveries by setting realistic goals for each lesson. If the student is young, the parent is a welcome addition to the musical discovery process, and I educate the parent and the student so they can best help each other during practice at home. Whatever the age, I always praise a student's hard work and the courage it takes to open themselves up to success at developing musicianship.
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