VOICE LESSONS (13 years and older)- weekly reserved lessons and drop-in lessons available I have been extremely fortunate to study with a number of internationally recognized teachers and performers. These teachers have truly influenced my own teaching and approach in the studio. Upon graduating in 2008 with my Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Voice Performance, I have been balancing teaching while singing professionally with many of the top regional opera companies and professional ensembles in the state of Wisconsin. I am now completing my 22nd year of private teaching and I have a lot of insight into teaching young singers. With an emphasis on quality education, students are encouraged to become well-rounded musicians and supporters of the fine arts.
When you come for your voice lessons, I will try to learn as much as possible about you and your voice. I do my very best to evaluate the voice in terms of breath, tone, freedom, flexibility, resonance and more. I listen closely to understand your learning style and the language you use to describe your voice and singing. From there, I adapt to fit your ideal learning needs so that I can best communicate and interact with you on level that makes you feel comfortable. Once I am well acquainted with you and your voice, I develop goals to address your vocal needs which will help you improve your vocal technique. In your voice lessons we will study technique, ear training, solfege, performance techniques, and a variety of vocal repertoire. In addition to vocal training, students gain experience in studying foreign languages, singing various vocal styles, audition preparation, performance techniques, and more.
I believe that singers need to be well-rounded musicians. While many people learn music by ear, learning to read music is an essential aspect of being a singer. Learning to read music, and not just learn by ear, allows students to become more independent in their learning and improvement. That is why all of my voice students learn to sight read using solfege. In terms of technique, I believe the two most important concepts to work through are finding proper breath support and healthy singing that tension free in the throat. Healthy and good singing should feel easy, so I devise techniques to try to relieve tension in the throat, jaw, tongue, larynx, posture, and more. Without a good understanding of breath support and efficiency of breath control, students will not be able use their instrument without tension, freedom, or proper tone quality. TEACHING PHILOSOPHY The crux of my teaching philosophy rests on training the entire person, not just the voice. I strive my best in the studio to make each student feel comfortable, respected, and confident so that learning comes easily and naturally. I find that many students carry a lot of anxiety in their daily lives, and especially with their voices, so every lesson is an effort to establish an environment of respect and trust. This way, the student is able to focus and be mindful of their instrument. Once students are comfortable in lessons, the body and mind can work in tandem to produce a free and healthy vocal tone. I focus on positively reinforcing my students’ abilities so that the studio is a safe space where learning and growth can occur. In essence, I coach my students through various methods to focus their minds, set attainable goals, and create positive inner dialogue. Through these means, I am trying to give my students a skill set where they can apply these concepts in other areas of their lives.
As many of the lessons I teach are on an individual basis, I try my best to adjust to each student’s learning styles and needs. I incorporate my students’ own words and phrases when explaining technique. I keep notes of my students’ observations and sensations when applied to singing. I also try to use visual, aural, and tactile concepts or exercises based on the type of learning they prefer. In addition, I find myself taking a positive but practical approach. I definitely want to be a positive, enthusiastic and supportive teacher. However, I do find it necessary to be honest and clear about technical changes that need to be made. I find it extremely important to give my students open minded, clear, and constructive feedback that they can apply to their own practice. My primary job is to give my students the tools and skills needed so they can independently make progress as a vocalist.
My personal philosophy about the technique of singing is to emphasize versatile and free singing with an emphasis on breathing and singing with a free tone. Since I tend to work with younger voices, I make a concerted effort to find repertoire that is suitable for the technical needs of the student. I never want to push young voices too hard or fast. It’s more important that my students have healthy voices and have the ability to perform repertoire appropriate for their level of singing.