Abby's Performing Arts, ESL, Mental Health/ministry

Abby's Performing Arts, ESL, Mental Health/ministry

5.0 (10)
6 hires on
1 employee
47 years in business

About this pro

A seasoned performer and educator in the performing arts, with an emphasis on singing, acting, and flute since 1976, as well as ESL, public speaking, creative writing, and k-12 substitute teaching of all school subjects, my greatest joy is to contribute to another's growth. With a BA degree from SFSU in theater Arts /music, throughout my career, I have taught all ages and levels in San Francisco, Seattle, Minnesota, Arizona and theoughout Europe. With a BA in theatre arts minoring in music, I've also studied privately with some of the greatest classical and jazz artist/educators of our time including Bobby McFerrin, Mark Murphy, Eve Roberts, Broadway's Adrian West, Seattle Opera diva- Davida Kagan, jazz flautist Paul Horn, Seattle and Minneapolis symphony flautist Adele Zeitlin, and the vocal coach of the Manhattan Transfer/former head of NYC Academy of Performing Arts - Roland Wyatt.

Having performed in and directed many jazz ensembles, musicals, legit theater Productions, independent film and recording projects, I have also coached several professional performers, including my 2 daughters, Daavia van Spronsen and Shena van Spronsen (Mejia), as well as recording artists in the Netherlands such as Marle Thomas and Eric Nijhof. Other than performing, nothing gives me more pleasure than to help others achieve their goals, whether personally or professionally.

A student of psychology and theology, with an MS degree in mental health ministry from GCU (2019), I love to help my students uncover their God given talents without imposing my own style or beliefs on them. Currently working and living in Mesa , Arizona, I am continuing my work here, using my highly effective eight-part teaching method, developed from many years of experience. 

 Helping others develop and enjoy their own creative abilities is one of my favorite things to do in life. I get much satisfaction from being a part of anyone's personal and/or professional growth, revealing how much they can accomplish as they fully explore all aspects of their technique and unique gifts. Since my faith became life saving for me, I've learned that all obstacles to our dreams can be overcome with the right motives.

In my teaching, I enjoy tayloring many effective enlivening exercises, games, and materials to diverse individual needs, while learning new individualized ways toward desired results together with my students. My respect and love for people of all backgrounds and cultural traditions has blessed me to meet and know multi-cultural individuals who share similarities, yet blossom in wonderfully unexpected ways.

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Mesa, AZ 85209
Email verified
Phone verified

10 Reviews


  • Grace

    Abby was always able to see my true potential even when I was unable to and doubted myself.

  • Lisa Silmser

    Ms. Abby is very responsive and works to be sure that our daughter is getting exactly what she needs from her lessons. Musically, we have seen her grow in technique and confidence during her time with Ms. Abby.

  • Linda Roloff

    Abby is awesome. She is working with my daughter. My daughter has developed so much more confidence in both her singing and acting ability in only a few sessions. She has one more to go and Abby is going to show.

  • Faith Jara

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

I tell new students that the first " getting acquainted" lesson will either be 1/2 hour longer than the rest, or if preferred, they can answer some background and goal oriented questions by phone before starting. Depending on the age, experience, level, and goals of the student, lessons run from 45 to 90 minutes, with a minimum of once per week. Though professional coaching sessions can also be biweekly, monthly, or when needed to be arranged (TBA), regular weekly lessons are usually needed to experience any tangible progress.

The first 2 to 6 lessons are to explain, demonstrate, and experience the basic techniques and theories needed, varying according to the student's level, goals, and/or abilities to grasp the new or reviewed material. This includes a combination of physical, emotional, and creative/imaginative exercises designed to achieve the particular goal for each lesson. Then lessons could include developing vocal range, tone, power, musicality, stage movement, analyzing a dramatic/comedic song, script, character development, or preparing for an audition. My lessons are tailored to each individual's goals which works best.    

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

-MS. in Mental Health and Wellness with an emphasis on Christian Ministry from GCU- Grand Canyon University- 12/18/2019.

- B.A. in theater Arts/music from San Francisco State University 

- Private study with jazz/classical artists Sidney and Adele Zeitlin (Minneapolis/St. Paul SO flutists),world renowned  jazz singer/director St. Paul Symphony Orch. - Bobby McFerrin, jazz vocalist Mark Murphy, and flutist Paul Horn,  Broadway and SF/Seattle opera stars- Davida Kagan, David Tigner, NYC Academy of Dramatic Arts voice dept. chairman/coach of Manhattan Transfer- Roland Wyatt, and many more.

For multi-cultural or national students -Bridge TEFL- certified, Harmony Road Toddler music teaching certified, College level Dutch as Second Language - Diploma, Phase I completed (Propodeuse) secondary English Teaching Certificate.

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

My average price per lesson (1hr.+) is $45 to $50 depending on location, ($40 - 3/4 hr.), for beginning students under 12 ($30 - 1/2 hr.) plus transportation fee if traveling up to 25 miles to students. 

How did you get started teaching?

Born into a vaudevillian family, after singing all my life, after playing flute from ages 13 to 17 in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras/summer camps under Maestro Vilem Sokol, I began teaching flute privately. By then, I had sung chorus and leads in 5 community theater musicals. After UW major, secondary and chorus roles, I earned my Theater Arts BA degree from SFSU, including 3 musicals summer stock at PCPA, ACT, and private vocal study from top artists in San Francisco. I taught popular and jazz voice/flute at Blue Bear School of Music from 1976 to 1981 and joined "The Distractions" hit musical review while continually performing in pop, jazz and classical ensembles independently. Besides teaching and directing performers, since the year 2000, I began giving lessons in English, ESL, math, public speaking, and creative writing, in Seattle, for 15 years in the Netherlands, Minnesota, and now in Arizona.

What types of students have you worked with?

During my long teaching career, I have proudly coached several professional singers, song writers, and young musical theater performers into winning contests and major roles as well as recording their original music. I also enjoy helping people of all ages and levels to gain confidence in other areas of their lives through honing their personal creative expression.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

During 2018-19, in the Minneapolis, Mn. area, I helped 4 students, ages 12-18, with their auditions and/or building confidence in playing leading roles in musical productions of "Chicago", "High School Musical", "The Little Mermaid", "James and the Giant Peach", and "Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory". It has always been energizing and uplifting to contribute to building confidence which these projects surely gave me ample chance to do. 

In the Netherlands, 2 of 4 public speaking students won regional contests.

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

Make sure that they listen to your goals and needs more than promote their own, have enough teaching and performing experience to contribute substantially to your necessary knowlege and skills, and love to teach at least as much as they love to perform or direct.

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

Besides long term goals, each student should be clear about their short term challenges such as building vocal strength, acting and character development, audition repertoire, and/or general presentation confidence. If the teacher seems certain of their ability to contribute significantly to all these goals and their communication style clicks with the student, theirs should be a fruitful association.

Lessons offered

Acting Classes Choir Teachers Child Acting Lessons Improv Acting Classes Jazz Dancing Classes Shakespearean Acting Classes Scene Study Classes Speaking Voice Training Spoken Word Lessons Stage Performance Training Theater Acting Classes Voice Acting Classes Arrangement And Composition Lessons Audition Prep Lessons Broadway Singing Lessons Christian Gospel Lessons Classical Voice Lessons Composition Lessons Ear Training Lessons Flute Lessons