Michelle Rice, Mezzo-soprano, Private Voice Lessons

Michelle Rice, Mezzo-soprano, Private Voice Lessons

5.0 (5)
3 hires on Lessons.com
16 years in business

About this pro

As a professional opera singer, I have been singing professionally for 20 years and have more than 40 roles to my credit, including performances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.

I have been teaching voice privately since 2007, to studios of up to as many as 35 students of all ages in several major metropolitan areas all across the U.S.

I am primarily a classical musician, and I use that foundation in my teaching of all vocal music. I have a broad base of knowledge and experience to bring to my teaching. I work with students on all aspects of vocal technique, musicality and musical fluency, musical communication, and dramatic presence.

As a teacher, I love helping students discover what their instruments can do. Everyone has capability, and many people have a great deal more potential than they realize. That process of discovery is artistic and personal, scientific and rigorous, and totally engrossing.

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Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
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5 Reviews


  • Joshua Davis

    Great great teacher

  • John Graham

    Michelle is a joy to work with. She teaches with the right combination of constructive observation and encouragement. She's very grounded in technique and has a gifted, discerning ear which importantly linked physiology to sound. Of the many things I loved about working with her, I want to highlight her ambition *on my behalf* -- she was thinking not only of my voice but my resume, my auditions, my operatic connections. She opened my voice and she opened doors for me. Highly recommended.

  • Madeleine Graham

    Michelle is awesome! I went into lessons with her because I am an instrumentalist and I wanted to learn about singing to understand musicality, phrasing, and interpretation of music. Michelle taught me how to interpret the feeling, text painting, and how best to bring out the phrasing of a piece. Once or twice, I was so moved by what we discovered in the music together, I was brought to tears. Thanks to Michelle, I look at music a completely different way - she is a fantastic musician and any student would be lucky to have her guidance.

  • Jillian Faye

    Michelle's excellent, real-world experience is so valuable. She brings these skills to each lesson and imparts not only vocal techniques, but also modern approaches to performing, ideas for getting gigs, and methods for maintaining vocal health. She also makes excellent repertoire suggestions and is incredibly personable.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

In our first lesson, I will assess the current state of vocal production and technique. We will talk about breathing, posture, and the basic physicality of making noise. Students should come prepared to move around and be heard. We will also discuss the student's musical and vocal background, training, goals, and concerns.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Washington and a Master of Music degree in opera performance from the University of Maryland Opera Studio.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

My rates for lessons online are:

$80 / hour
$60 / 45 minutes
$40 / 30 minutes

How did you get started teaching?

A performing colleague asked me if I would be interested in substitute teaching for her private studio. I began teaching as her regular substitute and eventually built up a studio of my own.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have honsestly worked with almost every possible student population.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I recent sang Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death with orchestra. It had long been a goal of mine. It was wonderful.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Have as clear an idea as you can about what you want out of the process and communicate that to the teachers you interview or with whom have trial lessons. Most people who teach voice will be up front with you if they cannot teach towards your specific goals or concerns.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Have a clear idea for all of your reasons for wanting to study voice. Try to be honest with yourself and your prospective teachers about what your motivations are. You can identify things like:  What's a realistic goal I can imagine myself pursuing in singing? What's an *outrageous* goal I can imagine myself pursuing in singing? What do I definitely want to do? What do I definitely NOT want to do? Most importantly, how much time am I willing to spend on developing this skill set outside of lessons?