Mary Feinsinger has a Master’s Degree in Voice from The Juilliard School. She has taught professionally for over 25 years, and specializes in the pedagogy of popular vocal technique and styles. Her eclectic, individualized approach to vocal instruction reflects her wide-ranging experience as performer and music director. She has extensive experience in teaching opera, and applies classical breathing techniques to other singing styles: rock, pop, musical theatre belt and legit and offers intensive work on smoothing vocal registers.
She is an accomplished vocal coach and choral director, and offers intensive diction coaching in Italian, French, German, Spanish, Yiddish, and Hebrew.
She specializes in teaching sight-reading.
In addition, she offers theory, piano instruction, and piano instruction tailored specifically to singers.
For the past five years, she has been affiliated with AND-Vision in Tokyo, for whom she teaches American singing styles to Japanese students.
She is a member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing, the New York Singing Teachers’ Association, and the New York Singing Teachers’ Association (New York City).
Mary offers long-distance instruction via Skype and other media, and is able to work with students who are unable to travel to New York City.
I like intersecting with people’s brains, and knowing that I’ve had a hand in helping someone learn something new. Everyone is different, though: some people like repetitive rigorous exercises, some don’t; some people think neatly and sequentially; others are more global and non-verbal. Not everyone learns the same way I do. My job as teacher is to find out what works for each person. Figuring that out is a wonderful challenge: it’s my idea of fun!
For more information, go to my website:
Mary is far and away the best teacher I have ever had. She is highly intuitive and enormously empathetic. She is an extraordinary musician with a phenomenal gift for teaching. While she is warm and encouraging, Mary is no pushover. She sets high standards and helps her students achieve them.
“She possesses the ability to present matters of considerable complexity with simplicity. Mary is a born teacher. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
Mary possesses the ability to present matters of considerable complexity with a simplicity derived from a profound understanding of their essence. Her approach is to assist the art of discovery by framing the presenting problem in such a way as to suggest its possible solution, putting the responsibility for solving it on the student, where it rightfully belongs. By providing them with just enough information to encourage a lively colleagial exchange, she makes students active participants in the learning process, inspiring them to come up with their own working models, which become ever more refined as they go along. Her emphasis on process rather than product takes unhelpful pressure off a pedagogical situation in which learners must necessarily perform inexpertly, making themselves vulnerable and failing repeatedly in the process. Because of her skill in taking into account the psychological subtext of individuals and using it constructively in their own best interests, they can comfortably give over and put themselves in her hands, inspired to make their own best efforts. Mary is a born teacher. I cannot recommend her highly enough.
For me, part of the joy of teaching is figuring out how I can intersect with each person to maximize enjoyment and progress. Every student is different!
I have a Master's Degree in voice from The Juilliard School, where I was also on the piano accompanying staff.
I conduct the Broadway at 92Y Chorus, and music direct the cabaret classes there.
I'm a composer/lyricist in the Advanced BMI Musical Theatre Workshop.
I bring everything I do to my teaching.
I offer an introductory session for only $100. I encourage prospective students to make appointments with a couple of different teachers. If, after the sample session, it seems like what I do is useful to the student, we discuss pricing based on what sort of lessons are required.
People started asking me if I could teach them how to do what they heard me do. I found I enjoyed teaching a lot!
All types—from my pediatrician's 4-year old, to a friend's 95-year-old grandmother who was one of the first graduates of the Institute of Musical Arts (which became Juilliard). I've been fortunate to have worked with all sorts of different people—professional and avocational—who all wished to include music in their lives in some way.
Musical: conducting the Broadway chorus, playing cabaret shows, playing 4-hand Mozart duets with one of my oldest friends.
Non-musical: I'm enthralled by (my second time around!) watching The Great British Baking Show.
Make appointments with several different potential teachers, to get some idea of styles, vibes: it's important to feel in synch. Consider it an audition for the teacher—not for you! Schedule four sessions with the teacher you've chosen, give the work your best shot. After that, you should be in a good position to see if the lessons are working out—if you (or your listeners!) notice any progress, and if you're enjoying the process, and whether you want to continue.
There's no point to do it all, if you're not getting joy from it!
Any question at all that occurs to the student needs to be brought up. One good general question: where do you want to be with your music a year from now?!
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