My clients sing in a healthy way, based on an extensive anatomical foundation. They all make significant technical progress and are known for their expressive interpretive skills. They improve in terms of personal growth and development and are successful in choirs, on stage, and in other groups, as soloists and in leading roles, as educators and conductors, on tour and in the recording studio, when applying for entrance to university and conservatory training programs, in gaining acceptance to summer programs, in winning competitions, and in obtaining scholarship funding.
I love to help people release tension in their voices and make the most beautiful music that they can in whatever style they want to express themselves.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I ask the student about their goals and what they feel they can do well vs. what they feel is a struggle. I assess all aspects of their voice and look at their instrument as a whole, then we come up with a clear plan of what should be addressed first and tools to do so.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have taught at American University, Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Peabody Preparatory, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland College Park, and most recently at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College as Assistant Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Voice/Opera, as well as privately. I have collaborated with the Seattle Voice Academy and other organizations. With thirty years of experience as an educator, I frequently give master classes, lectures, workshops, and performances at universities and schools across the U.S. and abroad. I have been a Fulbright fellow to Italy and have sung around the world at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in NY, the Kennedy Center in DC, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, and Teatro La Fenice in Venice. I am a certified Franklin Method (R) Movement Educator (functional, embodied anatomy), and I have a doctorate in Voice and significant additional training in a variety of areas (particularly musical theater, as well as mind/body work): see mastrianstudio.com for more info.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
After the initial free Contact Conversation, Dr. Mastrian must receive payment in full before each lesson. An initial hourlong individual session is $150, since a significant amount of time goes into all aspects of new client intake and crafting an in-depth plan that you can take with you afterwards. The session includes a complete technical analysis and suggestions for ways to proceed, including a detailed warmup sequence typed up for you, plus accompanying video or audio files as appropriate for your situation.
After the first session, both parties can consider whether lessons seem like a good fit. If it is determined that working together would be productive, then regular lessons can commence.
The studio runs on a monthly subscription model, where weekly or biweekly lessons are available at a significant discount from occasional dropin sessions. Additionally, there are a few spots available for those whose circumstances require special consideration -- talk with me. Many students opt to take lessons every other week or as their budgets allow.
It is much better to have high-quality lessons less frequently than to not have access at all to the level of training that would be the most productive and beneficial. ...And I always make sure that clients have a clear plan for exercises and concepts to focus on in between sessions.
How did you get started teaching?
I started teaching other students when I was in middle school and continued in high school choir, at musical theater summer camps, and more. In college I taught on days when the professor was not feeling well, and I have continued from there! I have an insatiable love of learning, as well as a desire to share knowledge in a tangible, experiential way in order to help people.
What types of students have you worked with?
Professionals, advanced, intermediate, and serious beginners.
Classical/opera, MT, jazz, pop, metal, folk, country, and more.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
The lightbulb and the wave of relief when a new student clicks with what I am saying and releases tension in their sound!
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Be prepared. Be polite. Spend time at home with the concepts; please do not simply show up at your lesson and expect miracles -- although I can provide much, time and practice are necessary for integration so that the ideas and skills become habit.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
What is working well already; what is a struggle for you.
Why are you are doing this -- what you love about singing or performing.