My name is Cass Panuska, and I’ve just opened my own performing arts instruction business called Banana Street Voice Studio. I’ve been a professional classical singer for 15 years, and have taught a variety of vocal styles for almost 10 years. My family and I have recently relocated to Central Florida from the San Francisco Bay Area, and I am very excited to begin working with singers in my new community.
My teaching philosophy is unique in that I focus on student empowerment, exploration, and self-discovery, helping each student find his or her individual authenticity through voice training. I have my Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Colorado State University, as well as an active NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Membership, and am well-versed and experienced in teaching sound vocal technique. I also focus on the student as a whole person, encouraging a positive, healthy outlook on becoming the best, most efficient performing artist possible.
Feel free to explore my website for more information about me and my studio!
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The first thing we do in the initial lesson is talk a bit about your experience and assess your vocal goals. From there, I create a customized curriculum that covers foundations of breathing for singing, vocal techniques that help you achieve your overall goals, performance techniques, integrating and combining vocal and performance technique, and practice optimizing confidence in your overall presentation as a singer. My goal as a teacher is to help the student find strength as a performer by gaining access to all of these important aspects of vocal study.
I have my Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Colorado State University, and have performed professionally throughout the United States for over a decade. I taught at New World Music Academy in Pleasanton, California, before moving here to Deland. I’m an active member of NATS, National Association of Teachers of Singing.
My studio operates on a semester system, with one semester going from January through May and the second starting in August and going through the middle of December. If a student is interested in instruction over the summer, I would be open to discussing that option. If a student starts part way through a semester, his or her tuition would be pro-rated to reflect actual lesson times.
There are two options for payment:
1) By the semester - $750 (15 weeks of lessons @ $50/hr)
2) Monthly - $240 (still 15 weeks of lessons @ $60/hr)
I do ask for a semester-long commitment should the student and I agree to work together.
In order to determine whether or not we’re a good fit for one another, I will offer free a trial lesson.
My first teaching experience was in graduate school. At my university, all graduate students taught non-music majors who had enrolled in an introductory voice class. I enjoyed it so much that I continued teaching after graduate school, and am now starting my own studio. I love helping people get the most out of their musical and singing experiences, and I have noticed that teaching voice solidifies student’s confidence in themselves in a very unique way. I always feel humbled to be a part of helping someone find his or her voice.
I have worked with students of all ages and levels. However, I have chosen to specialize in teaching students aged 11 and up in my private studio, and am qualified to teach beginning, intermediate, and advanced students. While my focus as a performer has been mostly opera and classical, I also have experience with music theater, jazz, pop, and contemporary music, and have taught students interested in many different styles of vocal music.
I would say that it’s very important to study voice with someone you can understand, someone who communicates well, and someone who can teach helpful concepts in a positive way. It is essential to find someone who has been well trained, and who is curious enough to continue learning. Teaching is a dialogue, a collaboration, so feeling that your needs as a student and artist are met makes for an optimal learning environment.
What is your singing/performing/musical experience?
What would you like to accomplish through vocal study?
What are three important character traits that you’d like to see in a voice teacher by the end of your first lesson?