Zabatta Music Studio
My flexibility combined with offering a lot of experience in a fun, welcoming setting sets me apart. I offer lessons online and at my home studio in Arvada, CO. However, I also travel to students located in the Denver West area as well as Boulder and Evergreen. My students feel confident and empowered while also receiving a solid education in music. Most importantly, they have a great time doing so! For the past 18 years, I've taught voice and piano lessons to students from ages 4 to 74, but I focus more on students who are Middle School through Adult. While my technical foundation is classical in nature, I have lots of experience teaching in other styles, such as Jazz, Rock, Musical Theater, Country, and Gospel. The overall goal is building a strong foundation of technique, and then applying style to the work you've done. This way my students get a great education while also learning and performing music they love. My program also offers students a solid foundation in music theory with options to pursue composition (song writing).
The key items I focus on with any student are as follows:
1. Fun: I want my students to have fun in their lessons and in any of their musical pursuits.
2. Avanti: This word means to move forward. I want my students to be dedicated and always move forward so they can accomplish their goals - not only in music but in life.
3. Empowerment: My personal mission statement is to empower others. I want to help my students become more confident in themselves as they develop and share their musical gifts.
I love to see students grow not only as musicians but also as confident, well adjusted individuals who can give back to their communities. Since I'm also very passionate about music, I love to share that with others.
Photos and videos
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I always like to do an introductory lesson with a new student. It's great opportunity for them to get to know me (or my teachers) and for me to get to know them. During introductory lessons, it's important to learn about the students, what their goals are, what music they love, what they do for fun, and how they like to work. This allows the teacher to adjust how they work with the students to make sure they enjoy their lessons and get the most of the experience. It's also great to set expectations for the students and to make sure this working relationship will be a good fit.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a bachelors degree in Music from Black Hills State University and a Master of Music degree from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to my 18 years experience teaching privately, I've also worked professionally as singer, conductor, road manager, artistic coordinator, and consultant. This varied experience has helped me to be a well rounded performer and teacher. However, it has also helped me build strong working relationships with other professionals and open up more opportunities for my students.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
I work off a package model for all lessons (purchasing packages of lessons). The lessons are priced according to length and whether the lesson takes place at my studio or if I travel to the student's location. The pricing model is also set up to reward those who commit to taking lessons regularly (on a weekly basis). Those who commit to more lessons get an increased discounts in addition to other benefits (bonus songbooks, performance coaching, etc...)
How did you get started teaching?
I ended up directing a local high school choir when I was only about halfway through my first music degree. While directing the chorus, I also ended up teaching private voice and piano lessons to many students in the class. From there I realized I really loved mentoring others and seeing them grow. So after that, I decided to focus more on private lessons in addition to my performance career.
What types of students have you worked with?
I've worked with students from varying backgrounds spanning ages from 4 to 74. Examples of my students include: young kids who are curious about singing and piano, middle schoolers and high schoolers getting ready to join music ensembles or getting ready for audition, and also adults who maybe always wanted to learn to sing or play an instrument but never had the time or resources available.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
Since relocating to Colorado, I've had the experiences of seeing my students nail auditions either to get into a show or into all-state choir. I love seeing their expressions (and also that of their parents) when they see that their hard work has really paid off. I also love that moment in lessons when a student had been working really hard on a piece of music, and then finally something clicks and it works. Each time, the student's face just lights up and the confidence boost happens. Love that.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
First, I think it's important to consider the value of what you're going to get out the experience. Take the time to communicate with the potential teacher. See what they have to offer. If you're intrigued, do an introductory lesson. This way you can see them in action. Most importantly, though, you can see if you'll work well together. Having a knowledgeable teacher is great, but you also need to have rapport with that teacher as well.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
1. What is it you want to get out of this experience?
2. How much are you willing to commit to this?
3. Do you already have other commitments that will cause you to push this aside?
4. What does pursuing music mean for you? Is it an outlet or fun creative pursuit? Do you want to perform? Do you want to write music? Will it become your profession?
Understanding these questions will help shape what you want your lessons to be so you can get out of it what you need.