There are many musical styles to learn to sing. I teach many styles. With proper technique you can sing in a variety of styles with ease.
I graduated from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA with a BA in Music Education, voice principal. During my years in public schools I taught a variety of age ranges and subjects including kindergarten general music, beginning band, high school chorus, and remedial middle school English and language arts. I have professional Yoga training and enjoy incorporating aspects of that when tutoring adult, middle school, high school, and elementary students. I also uses Yoga, brain respiration and other healing techniques in my lessons as needed.
I was a member of The William
Baker Festival Singers and Summer Singers since 2003 before becoming Media Relation Coordinator in 2006 and Assistant to the Music Director in 2008 and left the group in July of 2009 to pursue other musical ventures.
Every student has a potential for greatness no matter what their strengths and weaknesses are. No matter your age or ability level I will help you set your goals and reach them. All students should want to learn. I expect my students to be prepared and have an open mind. Learning to sing is a process. I focus on building technique and a strong musical foundation and customize my lessons for every student and individual needs. I use breathing techniques and exercises that are challenging and work toward quick and accurate results. I implement a variety of exercises to improve pitch, intonation, placement, strength, and endurance. My main goal in teaching is to encourage each student to get to know their vocal strengths and weaknesses while using all their skills to their advantage producing their best sound consistently.
*** Lesson Details *** Your lesson is customized to meet your individual needs.All students should want to learn. I expect my students to be prepared and have an open mind. Learning to sing is a process. I focus on building technique and a strong musical foundation and customize my lessons for every student and individual needs.I use breathing techniques and exercises that are challenging and work toward quick and accurate results. I implement a variety of exercises to improve pitch, intonation, placement, strength, and endurance. My main goal in teaching is to encourage each student to get to know their vocal strengths and weaknesses while using all their skills to their advantage producing their best sound consistently. It is a slow building process but a student should always be happy with what they do every day but never be satisfied and know that what they do today will be ever better tomorrow. We all grow and learn together and improve every time we try. I expect my students to do the best they can, practice regularly, be on time and have patience. I am excited about music and know it is also important to have fun and enjoy the process. So lets make some goals and get started!
*** Studio Equipment *** Music room with keyboard, stereo system with iPod connection, CD player and computer, futon sofa, large mirror.
*** Specialties *** I teach a wide variety of styles and specialize in audition and performance preparation. I do vocal coaching as well as voice lessons. I teach, Pop, R&B, Country, Musical theater, classical, folk, choral music, praise band and others. I also work with music in different languages such as Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, German and of course English.
Rachel V. November 14, 2015
Audition Prep ·
In home Verified Student
Wonderful instructor! And she is flexible with scheduling.
Haley B. August 20, 2015
In home Verified Student
Haley really enjoyed her first lesson!
Marie J. May 15, 2015
In home Verified Student
Laurelanne made me feel so comfortable on my first singing lesson. No one ever feels comfortable singing for the first time in front of someone else and she did it! I was taught breathing techniques and I really hope to eventually sing at a festival in a year when I become really good. She's definitely the person to go to if you want to learn to sing!!
Music has always been apart of my life! After hearing my great-grandmother and her siblings sing various Spirituals, I knew I wanted to become a singer as well. I began singing in my middle school choir and I have been an active chorale member since. I began taking voice and piano lessons in 2007 at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). While attending GPC, I had many performance opportunities in groups such as: chorale, opera, jazz and musical theater. I was also enrolled in piano lessons as well as a keyboard techniques class. Fall 2009, I transferred to Kennesaw State University (KSU) were I was
active in Chamber Choir, Gospel Choir, and Opera Theater. During my first semester I had the opportunity to experience my first leading role in a full opera (The Medium). In 2010, I also began performing with Peach State Opera Company where I appeared in multiple opera scenes, as well as "Carmen" and "The Magic Flute". I began teaching Piano lessons in Spring 2011 and Voice in Spring 2012. I always knew there were two things I wanted to do career wise. I wanted to help people in some way or become a professional singer. Well, when I was first approached by a friend in 2010 who needed a substitute for piano, I realized I could fulfill both dreams in one! I truly believe children are our future therefore I understand I must be sensitive to their needs. Another thing I mention to the parents of my students, it's never too late to begin studying music. I am very patient with my students, I encourage them to move at there own pace and I do not allow "I Can't's" in our lessons. Also, I come up with lesson plans that work for the student individually because we all have different needs. Another thing is that I always make myself available, I make sure students know I am only a call, text or email away!
*** Lesson Details *** I would consider myself a laid back instructor. Being a student myself showed me what I enjoyed from my professors. And I did well in classes where I was able to loosen up. Music should be exciting, of course there are rules but it's important to keep in mind that it's not what you say but how you say it.The curriculum is based on the students needs. For example, a beginner student will start with note values and posture, intermediate students review of the staff and sight reading and so forth. After 3 or 6 months with me, a student will learn note values, proper posture, hand placement, dynamics and basic articulations and various songs.
*** Travel Equipment *** I have multiple books for instruction but I would recommend purchasing a set book so that they are able to practice throughout the week. Also, if I am traveling to the home, I would expect there to be a piano or keyboard available.
*** Specialties *** I specialize in being able to instruct students in transitioning between genres while supporting the voice.
Breathing for singing and speaking; vowel and tone production and resonance; relaxation ; interpretation and dramatic aspects of literature for performance and auditions. Opportunities for participation in MTNA and NATS festivals and auditions and studio recitals.
About Mary Frances
TIME AVAILABILITY: My availability changes from time to time. I am generally teaching after 2:30PM Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I follow the Gwinnett County School schedule. I will post all holidays and other conflicts in the calendar.
SUMMER 2016: I have some openings for the summer that I'm not releasing in the availability calendar. Some of these time slots are tentatively reserved for students that plan to take the summer off and return in the fall. Send time requests through the Ask a Question feature or through Take Lessons staff.
LOCATION: Mary Frances teaches exclusively fro
m her home studio.
TEACHING OVERVIEW: Mary Frances has been teaching voice since 1987. She works with youth and adults, beginner and advanced. She helps voice students develop a natural, healthy, beautiful sound, proper placement and projection of the voice for singing and speaking. Her goal is to help singers gain fulfillment and joy while improving their art. She believes music should be fun and rewarding.
VOICE STUDENTS of hers have won university placement and scholarships and have been accepted into Allstate Chorus for High School in Georgia.
She also teaches PIANO. She has taught piano for about 10 years. She studied piano privately for 10 years and had further study at Indiana University.
Students wishing to have any COMBINATION of piano, music theory, sight reading and/or vocal development can receive a program of study that meets their individual needs.
PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE: Mary Frances has performed with the Southeastern Savoyards Light Opera Company, the Atlanta Opera Chorus and Studio, the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Marietta Theater in the Square, and Neighborhood Playhouse. She has sung title roles in Patience, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. Other roles include Josephine in HMS Pinafore, the Princess in The Student Prince, and Connie in The 1940's Radio Hour.
She has performed many roles with Capitol City Opera Company (CCOC) including Annina in The Saint of Bleecker Street, Bastienne in Mozart's Bastien and Bastienne, Nora in Vaughan Williams' Rider's to the Sea, and Gilda in Milton Granger's Talk Opera. She sang for many years in CCOC's school outreach program. She has sung many concerts for CCOC as well.
Mary Frances was a soloist in Handel's Messiah for Peachtree Presbyterian Church. She has worked as the soloist at The First Church of Christ Scientist in Roswell, Georgia and is ACTIVELY A SOLOIST at The Second Church of Christ Scientist in Sandy Springs, Georgia. She has occasionally directed the choir at Congregation Dor Tamid in Alpharetta, Georgia.
EDUCATION: Mary Frances holds a bachelors degree from Indiana University School of Music in both Voice and Theater. Mary Frances continues her education as a long time student of Elizabeth Colson of Atlanta, Georgia. She has attended Brevard Music Center, The Georgia State Opera Workshop and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. While in Graz, Mary Frances was a finalist in the Meistersinger competition.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LESSON LENGTH: Voice students: 30 minutes for young students up to 5th grade. 45 minutes for young students in Middle School and some 5th graders. 45 or 60 minutes preferred for high school students and adults. Piano students: 30 minutes for most beginners of any age. 45 minutes for young intermediate level and adult students.
TEACHING STYLE AND CURRICULUM: ALL: My teaching style is relaxed yet progressive. I use positive reinforcement to encourage progress with adults and children. Students are allowed to progress at their own pace which varies with age, coordination, processing speed and previous exposure to musical education.
PIANO: I prefer the Alfred's Basic Piano Library series for my piano students. I find that my students learn more music theory and music reading with this series. If the student has started lessons in a different series, I can work with that as well. I have a large music library that provides a wide selection of music in addition to the Alfred books. I expect most beginning students to learn basic music reading and theory in 3 to 6 months. They should also to be able to play simple tunes in that time. I am an active professional singer, so I have a large library of vocal material at my disposal.
VOICE: I begin my voice lessons with breathing techniques and vocal placement using widely accepted exercises coming from a large body of sources such as: Vaccai, professional level vocal teachers, coaches and directors that I have worked with and learned from over the last 30 years, and the writings of highly acclaimed authors in the vocal field. I also have a wide selection of art song books, oratorio, musical theatre, and opera. My background is classical and musical theatre, but I believe all styles of singing need the basic skills of breathing and vocal placement. I strive to keep voices healthy as well as find each student's most beautiful sound. Most students will see progress in breath control, range, projection and diction in 3 to 6 months.
Repertoire is chosen on an individual basis depending both physical and musical ability. Younger students and beginners will be encouraged to not push their voices with material that is too difficult for their individual abilities because singing requires a certain amount of physical endurance. My goal is to find each student's natural sound without strain for whatever style he or she sings.
Voice students are encouraged to bring a recording device to lessons to use for later practice and study.
STUDIO EQUIPMENT AND LIBRARY: Piano, Computer with Internet Access, Library of Music and Reference Materials (Sample Listing):Alfred's Basic Piano Library Books Twenty-Four Italian Songs and Arias, Medium High and Medium Low Voice; Schirmer Sing at First Sight; Alfred Basics of Singing by Jan Schmidt; Schirmer Many Soprano Collections of Arias, Oratorio, Sacred, and Art Songs from Schirmer Several Broadway Music Collections from Hal Leonard Discover Your Voice by Oren Brown Training the Speaking Voice by Virgil Anderson International Phonetic Alphabet for Singers by Wall Dynamics of the Singing Voice by Meribeth Bunch Classical Singer Magazine Subscription Journal of Singing, The Official Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing,Inc.Subscription
SPECIALTIES: I am classically trained bel canto voice teacher, but I can work with broadway and pop styles. I teach sight singing for students pursuing auditions for All State Chorus and College entrance, etc. I use the Alfred Basic Piano Series for Piano students
Jennifer G. June 13, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Mary K Frances is a truly excellent teacher! My 14 yr. old daughter loved working with her. She possesses an impressive depth of talent, experience and a detailed understanding of the voice and vocal techniques. These qualities and a patient kind manner, enables her to teach any student at any level from beginner to seasoned professional. Anyone interested in improving their voice would be lucky to have her!
Alizia S. March 1, 2016
In studio Verified Student
She was patient with me, completely sweet, and clear with her instructions.
Nikila P. November 3, 2015
In home Verified Student
My daughter has had the pleasure of learning from Mrs. Katz for the last 4 months. My daughter sings a style of music different from Mrs. Katz's usual, but we decided to give this a try because my daughter was having some trouble with her range and producing a good sound in the higher octaves. Mrs. Katz understood our needs immediately and started working each week to improve my daughter's range. She started from the basics, improving my daughter's breathing technique befor moving onto scales and other exercises. She is very kind and soft-spoken, as well as technically versed; she explained to us, anatomically, how sound is produced and resonates. Just recently, my daughter placed very highly in a national music competition, most definitely thanks to Mrs. Katz's lessons. Thank you!
The mission of my studio is to create well-rounded, educated musicians who will always have a lifelong passion for the art no matter their long-term goals. I strive for my students to be:
(1) Lifelong learners who develop successful learning habits. (2) Creative and critical thinkers who will become effective communicators. (3) Responsible and respectful members of society who respect other cultures. (4) Able to set short-term and long-term goals and be able to see them through to their success.
It is of the utmost importance that my stude
nts are well-educated in their chosen instrument; they must know and understand music and music-making. Students who can play are a dime a dozen, but students who understand the music they are playing are often hard to find. I teach students to know music thoroughly, not just to “play.” I desire my students to comprehend elements of the score, to use their bodies effectively to make good sound, and to interpret music creatively and according to historical performance practices across all genres of music. Thus, I give students a purposeful education in technique, quality literature, performance and artistry, music theory, and music history.
Although students differ in ability and development, I maintain high expectations for our students. I expect attention and respect in lessons, faithful and diligent practice, careful adherence to instructions, and an “I’ll-do-my-best” attitude. If students regularly meet these expectations, then they will excel to the level that they are able. It is my joy to help students master their music, to do the best they can, and to strive for and achieve excellence.
Lastly, I want students to enjoy and appreciate their instrument, music, and music-making; and I know as as a teacher, I am very influential in making this happen. Students develop enjoyment of music by understanding music, experiencing success in music, being exposed to good and varied genres of music, and receiving instruction from a teacher who is enthusiastic and encouraging. It is my goal to provide all of these opportunities for students, and as a result their lives will be enriched as they enjoy their instrument.
Aayat N. July 17, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Advaith T. June 11, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Maira has been a blessing. She is very patient and is willing to work with students of every level. She is awesome!
Jacob L. May 8, 2015
Maria has been an absolute blessing for our family. Piano is something both my wife and I wanted for our children to learn, but having 4 boys where their interests are only video games and football, it can be difficult. Also since my wife and I are from from musical, we had absolutely no clue what to expect. We had gone through 3 other teachers where our kids didn't advance at all. Maria was our last try and we are so thankful for the referral.
Maria really connects with the boys and they absolutely love her. To top it off, she's very motivating, organized, and for the first time with any teacher, she had an action plan. We knew where are kids were with progress regularly. We also we informed how to keep them motivated at home and how to get them to practice. My oldest son (14) has gone through 3 levels in 1.5 years and has actually been asking about joining the jazz band at his school. My 3 other sons (6,8,9) have been steadily going through the levels and most importantly are able to apply what they are learning to music Maria doesn't teach them. My 8 year old was actually describing what a chord progression was the other day to his grandfather and used the word cadence. I had to google what that meant on my phone!
Her location is also perfect. As long as they have something to do, Maria doesn't mind them sitting in the living room while she teaches a lesson so it enables me to run to the grocery store or bank which are less than 2 miles from her home while the kids are in lessons.
We are extremely pleased with Maria and I would recommend her to anyone. She is worth every single penny. Our family will be moving to John's Creek this October and we will be making the drive once a week through Atlanta traffic happily.
Experienced voice teacher of 12 years available for eager students of all experience levels and ages! I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of classical voice. I specialize in all genres from jazz, opera and broadway to pop. I use a variety of repertoire books and sight-reading/theory materials supplement lessons as needed. My home studio features two keyboards, a baby grand piano, recording equipment, and more.
Hi, there! My name is Angela Topper and I can't wait to meet you! I'm a flexible and fun-loving person and my teaching style is centered around coaching students in a positive and encouraging way.
I love music. It is my passion, my heart, my soul. I attended Florida State University, receiving a Bachelor's and Master's in Music Education. I have taught private voice, piano, and guitar lessons for over 12 years. I specialize in all vocal styles, from classical, gospel, jazz, music theatre, rock, etc. Lessons are taught from a healthy and fun perspective to see the most growth from my stu
Lessons are fun, exciting, and motivating! Students will enjoy practicing with my methods and learn their first song within 1-2 lessons! I uphold excellence as the standard when teaching and instill this in my students. Let me help you develop the musician inside and feel a passion for music!
Check out: linkedin.com/in/angelactopper
Sia Marie July 20, 2016
Broadway Singing ·
I had the pleasure of observing her work with the PCMS Drama Club of which she was a Teacher Sponsor. Ms Topper was a patient, professional, talented asset to our Club and our production of Annie Jr. Any student would find her instruction clear, informed, & fun!
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