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 and creative writing teacher for Best Brains Learning Center. Throughout my career, I have taught all ages and levels in San Francisco, Seattle, Minnesota, Arizona and throughout Europe. With a BA in theatre arts minoring in music, I've also studied privately with some of the greatest classical and jazz artists of our time including Bobby McFerrin, Mark Murphy, Eve Roberts, Broadway's Adrian West, Davida Kagan, Paul Horn, Minneapolis Chamber Orch. flutist 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 rofessional performers, including my 2 daughters, Daavia and Shena van Spronsen, as well as professional singers/actors in the Netherlands. Other than performing musical theater, jazz, classical, and gospel genres, nothing gives me more pleasure than to help others achieve their PA and/or English language development goals, whether personally and/or professionally.
A student of psychology and theology, with a masters of science degree in mental health ministry, I enjoy helping each student uncover their God given talents without imposing my own style or beliefs on them, but rather to develop each one's unique individual gifts in their chosen direction. Currently working as choir director for Apache Wells Community church in Mesa , Arizona. I look forward to continuing my work here in my new Phoenix area home, using my effective eight-part teaching method, drawn 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 of their inevitable gifts. Since my faith became life saving for me, I know all obstacles to our dreams can be overcome.
In my teaching, I enjoy tayloring many effective enlivening exercises, games, and materials to diverse individual needs, while continuing to learn new individualized ways toward desired results. My respect and love for people of all backgrounds and cultural traditions has blessed me to contribute to the lives of many of multi-cultural students, to blossom in wonderfully unexpected ways.
Abby was always able to see my true potential even when I was unable to and doubted myself.
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.
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.
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 1 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 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, or preparing for an audition. My lessons are taylored to each individual's goals which works best.
- B.A. in theater Arts/music from minor San Francisco State University -. Ms. in mental health ministry from Grand Canyon University- 12/18/2019.
- 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.
- ESL certified, Harmony Road Toddler music teaching certified, College level Dutch as Second Language - Diploma, Phase I completed (Propodeuse) secondary English Teaching Certificate.
My average price per lesson (1hr.+) is $50, ($40 - 3/4 hr.), for beginning students under 12 ($30 - 1/2 hr.) plus transportation costs when traveling up to 25 miles to students.
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 roles, Theater Arts BA from SFSU, summer stock at PCPA, ACT, and vocal study breakthroughs from top professionals 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 jazz and classical music independently. Besides teaching and directing performers, in 2000, I began giving lessons in English, ESL, math, public speaking, and creative writing, in Seattle, the Netherlands, Minnesota, and now in Arizona.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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