My goals are to help young musicians achieve a positive, can-do approach through sound rehearsal, research and performance preparations; to have fun finding their instrument's range and strength; help the young musician to go into auditions and performances with excitement and no nerves! There are also some basic musical tools to master; and the soon they are mastered, the more rewards and recognitions will be received...studying makes ALL the difference!
Oh, I have my Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music (voice & music theory), and Bachelor of Music from University of North Texas (voice & conducting); and 15 hours at New England Conservatory (voice & history). Worked in Sweden, Germany, England and the USA!
I love it when my students stand up, sing out and "take" the role they are auditioning for...it is a testament of their coming into strength with their mind and voice! Wow!
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My Voice Studio & Sharpening Singers’ Tools
Learning music, specifically vocal technique and repertoire, is a multi-layered process. I know that singers learn with different senses, have their own strengths and weaknesses and prepare in their time. And not to forget, they are human and will come face to face with nerves, doubts and other anxieties.
It is important to me to create an inclusive learning environment and to help young singers find their strengths, tune into their capabilities by defining “tools” and sharpen them! And this keeps me working for my young singers’ success.
Now, everything starts at first meeting. The first initial meeting is the most important and is low-key. I do require a face-to-face, seated discussion. The singer and I work through my singer questionnaire and talk about their experiences in music up to the present moment, what they want to do and how they want to reach their goals. This discussion gives me a road map not only as to what and where they want to be but also insight into their emotional, spiritual and academic thinking. This is also the time, we start to build a PR packet together (resume, headshot, references, etc.) that the voice singer will use out in “the real world”.
I have been very impressed with the teachings of Manual Garcia (1775-1832), and have long taught using the Mathilde Marchesi instructional books. I use the Vaccai vocalizes to underscore the freeing/opening of the singers’ voices and to show a progression of their ability in these short exercises.
Breathing is the most important tool for singers – checking out the instrument and addressing any issues. It can be the difference between calm and well being or losing it / sobbing before stepping onto a stage. Breath is the motor which moves the pelvic muscles to connect with the diaphragm and then the lungs. So, there is close attention to the
details of the vocal warm-up; starting with easy, singular notes starting in the middle register and touching into the lower range. Warm-up is before a mirror for the singer to observe the articulators and always watching and listening to even how the singer takes in their air.
It is ever important to sing through the lower register with full breath support; placing the voice as if speaking or singing recitation. Is the singer rested? Capable of phonating easily? What stage is their cold or allergies? My experience has been that learning how to sing through is an important part of “lessons”. And, there is the concern of where a student is focused mentally…all important observations by the instructor. (If there are problems, then the focus of the lesson changes.)
The warm-up is followed by working through German, French, Russian, Italian or English languages /diction. Repertoire is balanced and includes sacred classical, contemporary, secular classical and contemporary selections (musical theatre selections, if a part of the curriculum for the singer; I do not teach belting methods).
Translation, research, performance practice are tools that depend upon the singer’s ability and natural curiosity. I can share the traditional performance expectations but it is up to the singer to take on a large portion of this and I believe in positive reinforcement for a job well done.
Intangible assets are also tools that I believe add to a singer’s arsenal are: the ability to work well with directors, AUDITION preparation (dressing the part with their clothing, hair, etc.), social and public conduct, developing their press kit with headshot, recording CD/mp3 demo of their top five classical and theatre songs...are all a part of my current voice students tools too. I have also been known to give the, “You are a Role Model” speech to my singers engaged in leading roles too.
My teaching reflects a positive, can-do, let-me-try attitude that is sometimes spontaneous yet grounded in traditional vocal methods. So, in closing, let me leave you with my perceived importance to create an inclusive studio and to help young singers find their strengths, tune into their capabilities by defining their “tools” and use them! And this is very important to me - keeps me working for my young singers!
PROFESSIONAL VOCAL BACKGROUND
Experience includes producing chamber music programming and providing special music for any event and in any setting! I work very hard to promote and encourage creative use of resources to showcase our talented children and young adults while finding performing / auditioning experiences.
I teach classical vocal technique and repertoire to all levels and ages of music students. I've taught privately from 1991 to present and am a member in good standing within NATS. I’ve even taught voice and coached other singers when performing in Sweden and Germany! It has been my passion to perform and now to teach soloists and direct chorus. With over 35 years of experience performing as soloist and in oratorios / operas and directing church and professional choirs, it is my joy to present scenes from opera, operetta, musical theatre and masterclasses / solo recitals. More practical experience includes producing and directing 62 chamber music concerts through my own not-for-profit organization in Illinois; and, partnering with commerce to make a positive difference for school programs and charitable organizations.
Experience includes producing chamber music programming and providing special music for events! I work very hard to promote and encourage creative use of resources to showcase talented young musicians. It is my hope to be part of a dynamic faculty or educational organization active in the community!
I am out-going and enjoy assisting others. Problem-solving and successful completion of projects and ideas are my skills transferring across business and artistic lines. And challenges are always welcome. Strengths are working within a group/faculty/community to successfully develop and implement programs; softwares / hardwares and video / audio production and editing, assisting with educational and informational materials; PSAs, paper publications and social media outlets.
STUDIO DEVELOPMENT & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
per each based upon their age, skill level and technical ability while maintaining a strict standard of literacy;
presentation with collaborators; Quarterly review of goals and achievements; Adjust when necessary for success;
Partner with community charitable organizations with fundraising and/or provide new talent for community events.