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Athena has enjoyed tremendous success as a singer/songwriter, actress, musician and teacher. She is originally from Toronto, but is now based out of New York City.
Athena has released 5 CDs, toured North America (both as a singer/songwriter and as an actress), and taught voice, piano, guitar, songwriting and acting for the past 13 years. She has shared the stage Sarah McLachlan and Jim Carrey, and taught songwriting to girls with Lisa Loeb (the teaching project with Lisa Loeb was made into a documentary and premiered at Tribeca Cinemas). Her music videos LOVE IS LOVE and LOGICAL SONG charged #1 on MTV's LOGO TV.
As a teacher, Athena has worked at numerous schools, organizations, and colleges across North America, including Oregon State University, Montcalm College, Manhattan New Music Project, TADA!, and The Ontario Science Center. She teaches privately (voice, piano, guitar, acting & songwriting), and facilitates workshops to kids and adults on topics ranging from "Vocal Technique", to "Booking Your Own Tour", to "Creating Original Musical Theater",She also conducts staff development workshops on "Communication and Socialization through the Arts for Autistic Populations" in New York City schools. Athena teaches all ages (age 4-99) and ability levels (gifted - special needs).
As a singer/songwriter, Athena has released 5 original CDs and numerous dance singles. Her latest full length album, "Little Girl Dreams", was produced by Emmy/Grammy Winning Producer Cynthia Daniels (Melissa Etheridge, Dave Mathews Band, "Producers" on Broadway). Athena's music is storytelling pop with a theatrical twist. She combines a dramatic 4 octave range voice with gorgeous piano and guitar arrangements. She performs regularly in the New York circuit, at notable clubs including the Knitting Factory, The Cutting Room, and Jacob Javitz Center. She has been featured in radio, TV, newspapers and magazines around the world.
As an actress, Athena has appeared in numerous commercials, Film, TV and Off-Broadway productions including Hush (Players Club in NYC and Hudson Theater in LA), Fran in The Day They Shot John Lennon (Redmill Theater), "Tina" in Love Sucks (NYMF Festival) and principle roles on the History Channel and CNN. She won Best Comedy at Canada's YTV Youth Achievement Awards (Judge Eugene Levy). She currently performs as a Lady Gaga Impersonator at corporate events across the country.
Athena's training began with classical piano at age 4, voice at age 8, acting at age 9, and guitar at 16. She began working as a professional actress in Film & TV at age 12, and recorded her first album at 20. She majored in Theater at Claude Watson School for the Arts in Toronto, and earned a BFA in Music from Concordia University in Montreal. She regularly attends master classes in New York, with internationally renowned teachers such as Neil Semer, Kimberly Vaughn, Garry Dial, Francine Kay, and Maggie Maes.
As a performer, Athena is bold, imaginative, and chilling. As a teacher, Athena is patient, creative, and inspiring.
*** Lesson Details ***
Athena enjoys teaching all ages and abilities, from 4 year old beginners, to seasoned professionals, to adult hobbyists. She is a patient, fun, thorough, flexible, and imaginative teacher. She teaches most musical genres, from classical, to musical theater, to jazz, to pop. She can prepare you or your child for upcoming auditions (musical or theatrical) and provide valuable insight into the entertainment industry. Athena also does art therapy with all varieties of special needs, from Autistic to Alzheimer's. Whether you are an absolute beginner, a hobbyist, or a professional in need of a savvy coach, Athena will create a lesson plan suited to your individual learning style, interests and needs.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Acoustic & Electric Guitar
Microphone & speaker
*** Specialties ***
Piano, Voice, Guitar, Songwriting, Acting
Bel Canto, Classical, Musical Theater (Legit & Belt), Pop, Rock, Jazz, Music Theory, Composition & Songwriting, Monologue Preparation, Acting Audition Preparation, Pop Singing, Rock Singing, R&B Signing, Songwriting, Guitar Accompaniment, Piano Accompaniment, Performance Confidence, Business of Music, Business of Acting.
Hi! My name is Barbee and I have over seven years of experience teaching singing, piano, speaking voice, and music theory. I have taught both children and adults, male and female, with all levels of experience and many different musical goals, from beginners to working professionals. I have performed in Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, and the US, in operas, musicals, oratorios, concerts, and recitals. I hold a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Florida.
I strive to create a lesson environment that is open and honest, where my students are never afraid to ask questions or try something new. I am always happy to explain concepts in a different way and I encourage improvisation and creativity in addition to healthy technique and strong musicianship.
In-home lesson equipment requirements:
Voice: Piano (preferred) or 76+ key keyboard with bench; music stand(s); full-length mirror (preferred).
Piano: Piano (preferred) or full, 88-key, weighted keyboard with bench; desk or table nearby for written assignments and assessments.
Music theory: Piano (preferred) or 76+ key keyboard with bench; music stand(s) (preferred); desk or table nearby for written assignments and assessments.
Note:Students are expected to purchase all music, curriculum, and other materials as appropriate. In many cases I can obtain the necessary materials prior to the first lesson and the student/parent can reimburse me at the lesson.
About my specialties:
While my specialty as a performer is opera and other classical music, I am also experienced in teaching Broadway/musical theater, pop, R&B, folk, and other styles and genres. I encourage my students to explore new styles and apply good technique to any style they may choose to sing or play.
I specialize in helping prepare singers for auditions for college, performing arts schools, choirs, musicals, and competitions. As an active performer myself I have auditioned many, MANY times for different organizations. I have also been on "the other side of the table" and I know what qualities audition panels are looking for. Several of my current and former students have been accepted to college music programs, performing arts magnet schools, audition-only choirs, and theater programs to continue their studies.
After a long and successful career as an opera and concert soloist and vocal pedagogue, Ms. Girard returned to NY and has opened my studio to serious students of all ages. Having lived and worked all over Europe, she is fluent in German, Italian and French as well in the musical style needed for art song, oratorio and opera. She also teaches the belt technique needed for musical theater, pop, and jazz. She has taught privately in the USA, Germany and Italy for many years, as well as on the faculty of the University of Koblenz, Germany.
During the summers, she offers voice lessons at her studio in Tuscany, Italy where she is also artistic director of the Camerata Colombaia Music Festival and director of "Casentino Voice" , an intensive vocal program for singers with masterclasses, private lessons, coaching and performance. Please contact her if you're interested in more information about her masterclass.
Some Testimonials from my students:
"At last, someone who's willing and able to understand the individuality of my voice. Ms. Girard is a great teacher for the professional singer, though I regret I didn't study with someone like her when I was a student. She does not require that you start from the beginning again with 'her' technique. She is creative and intuitive and has the skill to help you immediately improve upon that which you already have. I am very excited that I have found her!"
"Valerie can teach you how to sing without pressure while still producing a strong sound".
"A good teacher, must be able to help you significantly in the first lesson. Valerie is one of those".
"Since I've been studying with Valerie, my voice has gotten richer and more even. Singing feels a lot easier now"
"I've studied with so many teachers, Valerie is the first one to focus on my problems, solve them and make me feel good about my strengths at the same time".
As a voice teacher, I draw on my experience as a professional opera singer and actor, my teaching background in various areas (music, theatre, yoga, fitness, literature, etc.), and my training in classical singing, musical theater, acting, and various methods of body work. I strive to create an environment of mutual respect that is fun and safe, where students can take risks, learn to challenge themselves productively, and find increased joy and freedom in expression. Self-awareness/body-awareness, relaxation, and nurturing of individuality are emphasized above all.
My teaching philosophies and techniques draw primarily from my study of movement and mindfulness through disciplines such as yoga, and especially the Feldenkrais Method, "a remarkable approach to human movement, learning and change... based on sound principles of physics, neurology and physiology, and the conditions under which the nervous system learns best." (The Feldenkrais Institute, NY, NY, 2013).
- Bachelor of Music, Highest Honors, SUNY Binghamton
- Professional singing in the US and Europe
- Professional acting throughout the US, theater and film (member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA)
- Feldenkrais Practitioner Training Program certification in process
- Extensive yoga teacher training
- Eclectic studies in voice and body work (Linklater, various dance styles, Kinetic Awareness, Tai Chi, Beijing Opera techniques)
- Kids/family music teacher certified by Music Together (an amazing, international, research-based program)
- Guest teacher at the Bronx High School for Law and Finance (fundamentals of singing and stage performance)
- Former fitness instructor
Let's take your singing to the next level!
Dr. Regina Z. has held teaching positions at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Shorter College in Rome, GA, Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT and the Community Music School in Buffalo, NY as well as maintaining thriving private studios in Buffalo and Yonkers, NY and New York City. With over 25 years voice teaching experience, she gives her students a nurturing and growth-oriented environment at a most advanced level. With experience at all levels - from beginning to most advanced - she teaches a solid foundation of pedagogy that stresses a healthy, total-body approach to singing which is combined with a strong understanding of a variety of repertoire for all levels of singers including opera, lieder/art song, oratorio and musical theatre. With her extensive experience as an accompanist, she provides an integrated musical approach, sharing with her students the importance of understanding all the layers of the music - vocal line, text, accompaniment and the interpretation of the piece through those layers. It is with this approach that Dr. Z.'s students learn how to communicate the truth of the music and the character they portray.
“The title role of Hrabina was performed by Malgorzata .., displaying the full scale of her unusual voice.” Kurier Plus, 24.04.2010. New York
"Malgorzata ... who sang Rosina, handled the demands of Rossini's tricky lines with aplomb." New York Daily News, 03.10.08.
“The big treat of the evening was Polish soprano Malgorzata ... performing Janis' original composition "The Warmth of Christmas" with the Maestro himself accompanying her! Thunderous applause followed the very last note of the Christmas classic.”
Hi there! I have been teaching private lessons since 2011.
I helped students to bring out the voices they never thought they had, to build their vocal technique with attention to fine tuning and freedom of their apparatus, expanding their vocal scale and gaining confidence while going out to perform. I teach in my studio, online and I can travel to your home.
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."