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Broadway Singing, English, French, History, Language, Music Performance, Music Theory, Opera Voice, Reading, Singing, Violin
I have been an active performer in both the operatic and concert repertory. In the past few years, I have been a soloist at Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Theater, in the Toledo Orchestra’s Christmas concert, and at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. I originated the role of Dari in Lookinglass Theater at Ravinia’s production of SitaRam. Recent opera credits include Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte and Mme Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmélites, as well as Beppe (L'Amico Fritz) in 2005 in Italy. She has also performed scenes from L’Elisir D’Amore (Adina), The Rape of Lucretia (Female Chorus), Der Freischütz (Agathe), Die Fledermaus (Rosalinde), Madama Butterfly (title role), Arabella (title role), Suor Angelica (title role), Don Giovanni (Donna Anna, Donna Elvira), and Medea (Glauce). I received her Bachelor’s of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory and my Masters from Indiana University.
I began training as a violinist, studying with teachers at the Cleveland Institute of Music, DePaul University, and the Oberlin conservatory for seventeen years. From violin, my interests expanded into vocal music, and became a member of the Chicago Children's Choir for ten years. From there, I decided to pursue a career in classical music, focusing on voice. As a teacher of singing, I'm passionate about my students making progress in a fun and healthy way. If a student is interested in getting a thorough technique in the fundamentals of singing, they can then go on to sing any type of music they choose in the healthiest and easiest manner possible. I have taught professionally at the Oberlin Conservatory's Secondary Lessons program, Avon Lake School of Music, and am a current teacher at UNCSA's Community Music School, as well as maintaining my own private studio. I have worked with all levels, from teenagers looking to do well at a talent show and adults wanting to learn to match pitch to budding professional singers.
*** Lesson Details ***
One of the most important fundamentals in any musical study is that of body awareness. A student has no idea if something is correct by merely how it sounds, which is why how it looks and how it feels are essential. I make sure to frequently check in with the student as to how they feel when they perform a specific task, tying everything together to what is happening in their body.
At a first lesson, as student will be asked what their musical experiences are, and what is their favorite kind of music to listen to and sing. Their goals in taking lessons will be assessed, whether they wish to pursue a career or merely want to have fun with music. From there, I will hear them vocalize for a brief period and we can see where they are musically. Some exercises will be introduced, and hopefully by the second lesson they can begin working on repertoire catered to their personal taste and level of ability. After a few months of hard work both at home and in the studio, they should notice a dramatic change in how they feel and how they sound when performing. Their abilities and range will have increased, and they will have a much greater understanding of how the vocal mechanism works.
For violin, I was trained in the Suzuki method and I believe that it is the best way to teach younger students. Starting with the basics of holding the violin to playing one open string at a time is essential and repetition is key for the body to adapt to playing the violin. For adults, I am more willing to skip around between Suzuki and traditional training, but for beginning students, I really find it to be quite the ideal progression of both music and exercises.
I teach voice at all levels, but can only teach violin and music theory at the beginning to early intermediate levels. I also have a cat that lives in my home, so if you or your child are allergic, please tell the TakeLessons team!
*** Studio Equipment ***
The teachers home studio lessons includes an upright piano and the lessons are in the dining room. Seating is available. Recordings of lessons or of mock performances can be made easily and are encouraged.
*** Specialties ***
I subscribe to the American-Italian school of singing, as taught by Richard Miller. I specialize in classical voice, because I believe that it is the healthiest style of singing. I have a deep appreciation for church music and musical theater, and I try to bring classical techniques to these styles of singing for those who are not interested in opera or classical song literature.
I adhere to the John Rassias (Dartmouth College Prof.) motto:
Please and instruct… entertain with a purpose.
Like Rassias, I believe in the power of Drama, of movement, rapid engagement, rhythm and emotion. I have tried to rid myself of any inhibitions, so the students in turn can do so too… so they can gain confidence and inner pride. Using this artistic expression of empathy, any teacher will become closer in his/her relationship to the students; the students can see, feel and hear just how much the teacher believes in them, believes that anyone can learn a language.
I like to offer a full immersion experience, a fast-paced, active class where students find themselves on the edge of their seats excited and ready to participate. Ideally I try to allow little breathing room between exercises, which are themselves varied and creative. I make every effort to render contagious my own excitement about the subject at hand. My goal is to make learning itself a genuine pleasure and an eye-opening cultural experience which imparts a sense of accomplishment to my students.
I have an affinity for drills (à la John Rassias) and this is particularly useful when teaching grammar, and turns the lesson into a type of game. My drills also emphasize accurate pronunciation and intonation, and I convey the meaning of difficult sentences through rather dramatic, humorous gesturing and intonation. Although my classes very much stress the oral, I am nevertheless sensitive to the needs of the more inhibited, less-theatrical oriented students, and work with them at a pace that is comfortable for them.
While I myself am a very energetic teacher, my class is student-centered and focuses on their active participation and interaction. Group activities are part of every lesson, as well as skits, improv. and brief presentation. I try to have my students teach me as well and encourage them to incorporate subjects from their life experiences or other classes into discussions or writing assignments.
I teach beyond the text book and the given syllabus, incorporating as much authentic material as possible −whether it is stack of metro maps I have brought back from Paris, photos of me on the Eiffel Tower, post cards of Corsica, a video of the concert with IAM that I attended, an Yves Montand’s rendering of Jacques Prévert’s poems, a recorded lecture by Hélène Cixous via Youtube, cinematic versions of French novels, a pause-café, an episode of Extra sit-com, etc. In short, my method is eclectic and provides a variety of learning situations for the students.
I do not like having much downtime in my classroom and so for the classes other than AP (that is a whole other essay!), there is a Question of the Day on the Smart board to which the kids must immediately start answering with peers the moment they cross the threshold of the classroom. I then either give them a riddle to solve, or a pronounciation/tongue twister exercise or a song to sing. Then I jump into a quick assessment of how the homework went and gauge their grasp and then continue accordingly. The rest of the class can proceed in any number of ways: pair work, PowerPoint presentation, listening comprehension, game, dialogue writing, story telling…
Student’s work is always returned the following class. My comments and corrections are fairly elaborate but if I feel a student needs more help, I approach him or her and encourage him or her to make an appointment with me. I probably spend as much time outside the classroom with a student as inside. I believe in in high standards with a high amount of support, and I believe that children don’t care what you know until they know that you care. I appreciate the opportunity to help each individual within a classroom develop his or hers full potential and I realize that teaching goes well beyond the classroom. I am looking for an opportunity to help students get through not just their French assignment, but through the very real challenges of learning in any setting of this continually changing world.
I feel it is important for students to have a mentor, to guide them in expanding their minds, whether it be in learning a language or literature, learning to think critically and creatively, independently and collaboratively, or be it learning the importance of difference, respect, curiosity and communication. I am more than delighted if somehow I inspire a student to make Francophone countries and French a part of their lives and career; ultimately however, this is not as important as sharing the best of myself so that students might show the best of themselves. My role as teacher intrinsically sets me up as a role model, and in the presence of my students I do well at becoming someone to whom they can relate and look toward for encouragement and advise. Finally, because I try to bring out the individual strengths of each student, I believe I impart to them not just the tangible (audible) −that sexy accent, for example −but rather a confidence in themselves that will serve them well throughout their entire lives and careers.
I delight in my interactions with my students, with whom I can share my various and rich “French” cultural perspectives. I believe it is essential to acquire first-hand knowledge of francophone cultures, especially as our world has becomes more interconnected via technology. Thus I am always aspiring to be more proficient in extending my knowledge of other francophone climes to my students so that they may better enrich themselves and know that there are a myriad of francophone regions at their fingertips to study and explore. French does not simply belong to the beloved Hexagon. I want my students to discover that Québec, Cameroun, Haiti, and other francophone regions are every bit as enticing as Paris. I hope to foster, if not Francophonic fanatics, then at least students who develop a strong and life-long interest in the learning process and who are eager to continue the exploration of a global spectrum of ideas and values.
Learning another language is learning about another perspective on life. It helps to foster compassion towards others. It gives the learner the ability to step inside the mind and context of that other culture. Without the ability to communicate and understand a culture on its own terms, access to that culture is very limited. Ultimately, a person competent in other languages can bridge the gap between cultures, and in a world where nations are ever more dependent upon on another, understanding other cultures is paramount. Finally, learning another language develops an understanding of one’s culture and language.
Wellesley’s core values are: academic excellence, cooperative and caring relationships, respect for human differences; commitment to community. I like to think I am very attentive to all of these. Outside the classroom, I can often be seen watching a soccer game, attending a school play or concert. I am involved in GSA, French club, Peers and Facilitators class, the French exchange and am very sensitive to some of the unique needs of METCO students in our school
Broadway Singing, Classical Voice, Ear Training, English, ESL, French, Gospel Singing, Italian, Opera Voice, Piano, Pro Tools Software, Singing, Spanish, Vocal Training
Gizelxanath was born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. A naturally talented opera singer, she has extended her repertoire range to an almost all encompassing one which includes musical comedy, french popular songs, latin american boleros, jazz, sacred music, Afro-Peruvian-style pieces, Argentinean tango and Mexican folklore, in addition to the standard operatic repertoire.
Her artistic qualifications include operatic studies and Masterclasses in highly prestigious universities such as: The Mozarteum Hochschule für Musik (Salzburg, Austria), The Ark Institute for the Performing Arts (San Diego, California), The Conservatory of Music (Tijuana, México) and The University of Baja California. She has been the recipient of many noteworthy awards including: The University of Fresno Zarzuela Scholarship, and The Metropolitan Opera Encouragement Auditions Award 2003.
The intrinsic beauty of her voice has been recognized and praised by many of today’s best opera singers, composers and musicians, including: Grace Bumbry, Francisco Araiza, Jaques d’Ambroise, Jerome Korman, Judith Lynn Stillman, Georgetta Psaros, John Bills, Pablo Zinger, Pancho Navarro and Enrique Gonzales Medina.
Among the many professional achievements throughout her musical career, it is worth to highlight her brilliant performance as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Small Opera of San Diego, 2000), Lola, in Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana (2002 - 2003), Serafina, in Enrique Medina’s Serafina and Arcangela (Los Angeles Eutrepe’s Opera Company, 2003), Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel (New York at Lincoln Center National Dance institute 2010).
Her Recording catalog includes three solo albums: Cartas de Amor (1998), Passion Tango (2009), and Piensa en mi (2010), as well as many collaborations with world-renowned artists.
Today she thrives as one of the most versatile Mexican sopranos, performing regularly throughout the United States and internationally.
"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."