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I love to watch singers reach their full potential by helping them find their true singing voice and perform with confidence and freedom! I began performing at age three and have sung and played different styles and genres for different audiences ever since. My foundational training is in classical voice, earning my Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Mississippi in 1991. I was then awarded an Apprenticeship with the Knoxville Opera and a Graduate Teaching Assistantship at the University of Tennessee, where I earned my Masters of Music in Vocal Performance in 1993. Over the years I have studied different voice teaching techniques so that I can sing and help singers perform any style with a healthy, free sound. I have performed Opera, Musical Theater, Art Song, Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Contemporary Christian, Rock, Pop, Country and R&B and can help you do the same!
I began my love of music in highschool, being in the marching band for 4 years playing several different instruments (percussion, trumpet, trombone, tuba). Singing became my choice of career in college, and while in college, I was able to perform major roles in operas such as Porgy and Bess in which I played the role of Serena at the age of 19, making me the youngest person to have ever performed that huge role. I was able to compose several pieces, two of which were premiered in four different continents. I graduated from Morgan State University in May 2015 with a passport full of stamps and not a dime of my own money spent on it performing around the world. In my time in college, I was heavily impacted by several teachers who sparked my interest in teaching. Seeing the passion they had when instructing their students made me want to impact others in the same way. I started doing some studying on vocal techniques, the anatomy of the head and throat, and the latest in vocal pedagogy research. I started teaching my own private voice lessons two years ago using what I researched and my own personal experiences. The results from my students were AMAZING. I had a student who came to me and was suffering from a voice injury and through suggested voice therapy and my voice lessons, she was able to Sing to her full potential without harshness, rasp, or vocal discomfort at all. I am a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity Inc. and our open motto is "Vita Brevis Ars Longa" The Latin to English translation is, "Life is short, Art is long." This is a motto for every musician to live by. Teaching, to me, is a continuance of a long lived art that will never die as long as it is taught. I wish to share my passion, so my students can share theirs.
I'm a Fort Worth native with many years of performing and teaching experience. Throughout my musical development, I received extensive training in voice, piano, trombone, guitar, electric bass and percussion. I graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance and was recognized as the Most Outstanding Music Major of the Year for performance as a vocalist and jazz bassist, an honor usually awarded separately to a vocal student and an instrumental student. I spent a few years in graduate school studying Vocal Jazz at the University of North Texas where I toured with the renowned UNT Jazz Singers in Atlanta and Los Angeles and performed with such acclaimed artists as Janis Siegel of the Manhattan Transfer and Peter Eldridge of the New York Voices. I was a featured soloist on many occasions including their 2015 album, "Can't Help It." I now perform widely throughout Texas and beyond as a jazz singer and bandleader at live music venues and private events and am frequently contracted as a commercial studio vocalist at the Axcess Group Studios in Dallas.
I have been playing guitar for 13 years. I studied classical method with the much sought after Michael Dailey and I work part time at his studio in Fort Worth. I began writing music in 2011 and have over 30 original compositions. I have been a vocalist since I was a child and have some background in teaching beginner piano.
My musical experiences started at church in the 80's when I discovered that I could sing really high notes imitating Christian artists like Sandy Patty and the late puertorican soprano Yolanda Vadiz. Those experiences motivated me to consider studying music seriously not just like another hobby. I started studying voice techniques at the age of 20 at the Sacred Music Institute in the Methodist Church in Hato Rey, PR. There I took classes with tenor Jose Torres and baritone Rafael Cotto who prepared me for the audition at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. Immediately accepted at the audition, I went on to begin my musical journey singing professionaly in choirs and as a soloist in different concert halls. Fine Arts of Puerto Rico, Carnegie Hall at NY, Episcopal Churches, Methodist Churches and also University Halls like the Interamerican University of PR and the Conservatory of Music of PR. I took master classes with tenor Alfredo Krauss, bass Justino Diaz and other famous opera singers. Later during my studies, I decided to change my main studies to Voice Education to fulfill the void of helping other singing aspirers to perfectionate their abilities mainly in music ministries at church.
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If you want a healthy voice, you need a healthy body. That means you need to watch what you eat and drink, spend time working out, and rest properly. Eat healthy meals and snacks when you load up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit sugar and processed foods. Drink plenty of water rather than caffeine and sugar. When working out, choose activities that strengthen your lungs and heart, and try to do some type of exercise every day. Proper rest includes a good night's sleep. It also involves resting your voice. With your healthy body, enjoy a healthy voice.
Taking voice lessons is one way your child can prepare for a reality singing show competition or a career as a vocal performer. Prematurely starting voice lesson could cause vocal damage or strain, though. We recommend children wait until they are 11 or 12 years old. At that time, a child is undergoing puberty, and his or her vocal cords are mature enough to handle the rigorous training involved in voice lessons. Waiting is difficult for kids, but the benefits include vocal protection. Your child is more likely to succeed at auditions and performances when he or she waits until puberty for formal vocal training.
Mastering the art of singing can be a long and strenuous process, but taking lessons in your home offers a very convenient way to learn! In-home lessons require a piano or keyboard so your teacher can lead you to success. Adult voice lessons will be tailored to your own individual needs and musical preferences.
Our students study many different genres of music in their voice lessons, including Pop, Country, Classical, Gospel, Musical Theater, Jazz, and more! For every genre, we have an instructors in our network who can specialize in that area, and help you achieve your musical goals. Our adult voice students actively pursue and are successful in auditions for major talent competitions such as the X-Factor, The Voice, and American Idol!
Developing your vocal skills and controlling your breathing are key components of voice lessons. With in-home or in-studio lessons, learn these disciplines and perfect your passion for singing. Professional instructors in Musika's network help you learn how to project your voice, control the volume, and improve your lung capacity. Regular practice can also expand your vocal range and singing strength. We can work with any genre or musical style. Choose songs that fit your voice, and then learn how to read the music and express emotion as you sing. Other topics you may learn during voice lessons include how to express yourself and show emotion while singing, how to control your breath and care for your vocal cords, how to project your voice and improve vocal volume, how to read music, how to interpret a variety of musical genres and styles, and how to prepare for auditions and performances.
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
Review by Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
Review by Marlo
Danette is a delightful instructor. She always brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm to piano lessons with my daughter. She is not only skilled at piano, but she has a wonderful voice quality that she uses to help convey certain techniques and to highlight various points where she intends to draw the students attention.
Review by Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
Review by Kristen Draughn
Mr. Lou M. is a God-send! With the various needs that our organization requires from our education partners in order to provide enrichment services to our students, Mr. Lou M. has always gone above and beyond in meeting all of those needs. Our students are learning, our caregivers are happy and satisfied, and we couldn't be more pleased with his performance.
Review by Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
Review by Nancy
Darrell is A-Maz-Ing! He demands results from his students and therefore results come quickly. The time he spends teaching is intense and packed with great instruction. He is a tough teacher but offers lots of valuable instruction that is applicable for music as well as life in general. I highly recommend Darrell if you are ready for results!
Review by Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
Review by Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."