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Melissa began singing in a church choir at the age of four and has been "hooked" ever since. After years of performing in various choirs and taking lessons herself, she went on to earn her Bachelor's degree in vocal performance at Illinois Wesleyan University and her Master's at Illinois State University. Meanwhile, Melissa was also studying piano from childhood through college. Now in her 21st year of playing, Melissa loves to teach beginner and intermediate pianists in addition to young singers. She is a newcomer to the DC area, and has previously lived, sung, and taught in Illinois, Indiana, and Vienna, Austria. Melissa has performed on both the undergraduate and graduate level (and beyond). Her experience includes operas, operettas, recitals, musicals, and choirs. She has performed in venues ranging from the Indianapolis Opera to the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Over the years she has performed in the United States, Canada, England, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. She also studied piano for many years, and has experience as an accompanist and vocal coach. Other than her pedagogy training and the typical university diction and literature curriculum, she also took 14 years of French, and lived in a German-speaking country for the better part of a year studying the language. Her knowledge of diction and language issues is extensive. This, combined with her comprehensive training in music theory, history, and repertoire, gives her a vast reserve of knowledge and resources for her teaching.
I am a very enthusiastic and educated instructor who loves teaching students about music. In 2004, I graduated from Berklee College of Music with a dual-Bachelor's Degree and have been teaching privately since 1998. I have been performing since age 8 and have had the pleasure of playing and teaching internationally.
I have been playing guitar and singing for 20 years. I have formal guitar training from John Jennings (of Mary Chapin Carpenter) and Tom Giata (One Life to Live, All My Children, etc.). I also have had formal vocal training from Matt Kramer (Saigon Kick). I am certified to teack Piano, Guitar and Voice beginner and intermediate levels.
Hello! My name is Donovan, and I am an instructor who specializes in ear training and technique. Originally being a self-taught musician, I began with piano and harmonica, then eventually branched out to guitar, bass, banjo, among several others. I have ran sound equipment from an early age as well, learning how to set rigs for full bands and how to mix and master tracks for recording purposes. I have met and played with many famous and unfamous musicians, and find that the highest amount of talent is undiscovered and uncultivated. That's where I can come in to help you hone your craft!
It truly is a joy and privilege to share my love of music to my students. In 2011, I graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. For GMU Opera, I was given the opportunity to participate in the performances of 'A Christmas Carol', 'Amahl and the Night Visitors', and 'La boheme', as well as Carolina in the studio scenes of Cimarosa's 'Il matrimonio segreto.' I've also performed at the Kennedy Center for chorus, solo, and ensemble performances as well as perform for church events and conferences in the DC Metro area. Music is my passion and performing (whether in a studio, church, or on stage) is where I feel at home most!
Since We Started
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Adult voice lessons do more than teach you how to sing better. They also prepare you for performances, auditions, and competitions. Voice instructors in Musika's network have successfully taught and prepared students to audition for The Voice, American Idol, X-Factor, and other reality singing shows. Add your name to the list of success stories when you take voice lessons. Choose whichever genre you want, then allow instructors to help you choose the songs that are best for your voice. Voice lessons also teach you how to control your voice, perfect your breathing, and care for your vocal cords. Expand your singing ability and prepare for events when you take adult voice lessons.
There are a number of things to consider for vocalists who wish to keep their voices healthy and in top shape. First, there is no substitute for good vocal technique. Shouting, forcing, pushing, and straining the voice represent bad technique and will likely lead to fatigue or injury. Developing a great singing voice requires strengthening and coordinating the small intrinsic muscles of the larynx, and largely de-activating the muscles that cause constriction and tension. This can be done through specific exercises targeted at developing the necessary coordination and muscular strength. Warm ups and plenty of water should be taken before singing.
Voice lessons focus on development of vocal skills and breathing techniques. They also help you increase you voice's projection and range. Vocal method books and lesson materials can be purchased from a local music store. You can study a variety of vocal styles ranging from classical and opera to jazz and pop. With help from the trained instructors in Musika's network, learn how to read music and how to interpret lyrics and melodies with emotion during your auditions and performances. Other topics generally included in lessons are how to enjoy music and express yourself with singing, proper breath control, vocal cord protection, vocal projection techniques, how to improve vocal volume, how to read musical notations, interpretation of various singing styles including classical, jazz, country, pop, and opera, how to interpret songs, lyrics, and phrases with the proper emotion, and performance techniques and tips, including how to manage stage fright.
Voice students are suggested to start lessons at age 12 or older. This is due to the vocal development of the student's voice as they move from childhood to adulthood. Beginning to study voice earlier can sometimes lead to decreased vocal production later. We encourage students who are younger than age 12 to study another instrument like piano, which will allow instructors to incorporate vocal elements while they learn musical fundamentals without the risk of vocal strain.
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.
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 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 Mythili Lahiri
My son is truly enjoying his lessons with Chris. He looks forward to them and is motivated to practice. Chris is conscientious and shows up on time and whenever he is supposed to. He communicates clearly if rescheduling is ever required and is accommodating when we need to change the day. I would recommend Chris to anyone.
Review by Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
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 Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!
Review by Claudiaaustin
Our kids love Mr. Lynwood. Mr. Lynwood is very patient and skillful teaching our kids both music theory and guitar/piano. He keeps them engaged and motivated during their lessons and we are seeing -or rather hearing- fast improvement in the kids' dexterity playing their respective instruments. We would recommend this good natured instructor to anybody.
Review by Lucinda
Melissa is very encouraging, positive, supportive and patient. She knows how to explain the technical details of flute and music notation to kids in a way that makes sense to them. She has been reliable so far turning up on time and calling if there is a need to reschedule. I would definitely recommend her to others.
Review by Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
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