Furlong Opera Voice Lessons

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Blythe Q.

Lawrence Township, NJ

I teach my students about the anatomy of breathing and tone production, focusing on breath energy and a released sound. I use fixed-Do solfège to teach note-reading and develop the ear. I am careful to assign repertoire that is at my students' level, challenging them musically but not going beyond what is appropriate for their vocal development. This avoids tension and injury and inspires confidence as students study music that they are able to sing well.

I teach classical/opera and Broadway singing styles. I do not teach pop singing. I accept voice students ages fourteen and older. I encourage younger students interested in voice lessons to consider joining a choir and/or taking lessons on another instrument instead. In my professional opinion, the voice is not sufficiently developed before age fourteen and there is a greater risk of injury in private voice lessons. In a choir, children are directed to sing in a healthy way for their age and learn valuable musicianship and aural ...

About Blythe

My name is very unusual, so some students have difficulty pronouncing it. You pronounce the "y" as in "sky" and the "the" as in "breathe". My name has only one syllable. Don't worry if you're still having trouble with it--I'll help you out at our first lesson.

I grew up in southeast Michigan and have been in love with music for as long as I can remember. I started violin lessons when I was three years old and at five I became the youngest student ever accepted into the studio of James Waring, now-retired violinist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Under Mr. Waring, I developed a sol
id virtuoso technique and worked on chamber music as well as solo and concerto repertoire for the violin. While I was an undergraduate student at Westminster Choir College, I continued my violin study with Dr. Mia Wu.

After six years of violin study, I added piano lessons. I studied with Catherine Rollin, an internationally-known teacher and composer. Ms. Rollin's practical approach to technique and musicianship has been extremely influential in my own teaching, and I use her exercises and compositions with my students. I studied a wide range of repertoire with Ms. Rollin but my very favorite pieces were those by Bach, Chopin, and Debussy.

I sang in choirs throughout my childhood and began taking voice lessons in high school. I eventually decided to study voice performance at Westminster Choir College, where I completed my Bachelor of Music degree in 2004 and my Master of Music degree in vocal pedagogy and performance in 2008. While a student at Westminster, I performed the soprano roles of Ifigenia in Handel's Oreste, Amy in Mark Adamo's Little Women, and Janthe in Heinrich Marschner's Der Vampyr. I have coached with Daniel Beckwith, J. J. Penna, and Dalton Baldwin, and was privileged to sing in the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir under Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt. With the Westminster Choir, I recorded the album Heaven to Earth and performed in Lakmé and I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, South Carolina. I also performed Handel's Messiah with Sir Neville Marriner and Nicholas McGegan, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Sir Michael Tilson Thomas and Lorin Maazel, Berlioz's Requiem with Charles Dutoit, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Lorin Maazel.

I have taught in the Princeton area since 2008, maintaining a studio of about twenty voice, piano, and violin students. In addition, I sing as cantor and soprano section leader at Queenship of Mary Catholic Church in Plainsboro. I live with my husband, Jerome, in Lawrenceville and I love to knit and crochet when I'm not teaching or performing.

*** Lesson Details ***
I offer lessons in my studio. In my studio, I have an upright acoustic piano, a full-size violin which I use for demonstration, a music stand, and a mirror so voice and violin students can check their technique. I also have a comfortable couch where parents can observe their children's lessons.

Violin students MUST bring their own instruments to the first lesson. Piano students must have their own pianos when lessons begin. I strongly recommend an acoustic piano even for beginning students, but a full-size (88 keys) touch-sensitive electronic keyboard is also acceptable. Voice students are encouraged to practice with a piano or electronic keyboard but may use an online keyboard to check pitches if they do not own a piano. TakeLessons can put you in contact with me if you have questions about purchasing or renting instruments.

My goal in teaching is to foster a love of music and a passion for the arts. I focus on developing my students as musicians in general and on a relaxed technique that will allow for the best possible artistic expression.

I have found that my students who practice regularly find their lessons rewarding and enjoyable and tend to make significant progress. That said, not every student decides to take lessons because he or she wants to become a professional musician.

Violin and piano students should practice every day. Voice students should practice six days a week, taking one day to rest their voices both from solo practice and choirs or any other activities that involve significant vocal use.

I encourage parents of younger children to attend lessons and help their children practice. It doesn't matter if you aren't a musician yourself. Just encouraging your child to focus and to remember what he or she worked on at the last lesson will help enormously.

Practice time will vary depending on the student. All students should begin their practice with some stretching to loosen up their muscles, followed by the scales and exercises we worked on during their lessons. Students should try to practice fifteen minutes to one hour each day, depending on age. This time may be broken into two or three shorter sessions depending on the student's stamina. If you have just begun taking lessons, an uninterrupted hour of practice may be quite exhausting. You can still practice for an hour each day, but you may prefer to divide your time into three twenty-minute segments. Voice students especially are encouraged to divide their practice into shorter sessions, even if they have been singing for several years. The more you practice, the faster you will progress, and the sooner you will be able to begin working on more challenging and interesting music.

Even if you already know how to read music, we will probably spend some time talking about music theory. Beginning students especially will have a theory and/or notespeller book with assignments each week. If there is something in your theory assignment that you do not understand, you may skip that part and ask me about it at your next lesson. If you finish your assignment quickly, I encourage you to work ahead. Again, the more theory you learn, the easier it will be to learn new music, and the sooner you will be able to work on more advanced music.

Some students choose to take a break from their lessons during the summer months or the holiday season. While it is good to take a day off once in a while and I encourage students to take a week off after a big recital, you will lose a lot of ground if you spend two or three months without any practicing or lessons. If you are really interested in making a lot of progress during a vacation from school, I am happy to work with you twice a week so you can improve even more quickly. I had two violin lessons a week for a summer when I was younger and two voice lessons a week for a few months during college, and it made a huge difference.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I teach in my home studio. I have an upright acoustic piano, a full-size violin which I use for demonstration, a music stand, and a mirror so voice and violin students can check their technique. I also have a comfortable couch where parents can observe their children's lessons.

*** Specialties ***
I teach violin, piano, and voice lessons.

VOICE
I teach my students about the anatomy of breathing and tone production, focusing on breath energy and a released sound. I use fixed-Do solfege to teach note-reading and develop the ear. I am careful to assign repertoire that is at my students' level, challenging them musically but not going beyond what is appropriate for their vocal development. This avoids tension and injury and inspires confidence as students study music that they are able to sing well.

I teach classical/opera and Broadway singing styles. I do not teach pop singing. I accept voice students ages fourteen and older. I encourage younger students interested in voice lessons to consider joining a choir and/or taking lessons on another instrument instead. In my professional opinion, the voice is not sufficiently developed before age fourteen and there is a greater risk of injury in private voice lessons. In a choir, children are directed to sing in a healthy way for their age and learn valuable musicianship and aural skills.

I do not accept male voice students. I do not feel that my understanding of the male voice is adequate to provide the level of instruction that I expect from myself. There are many female voice teachers who are comfortable teaching male students, and vice versa. TakeLessons can help you find the teacher who is perfect for you!

PIANO
Beginning students work from the Alfred Premier Piano Course, later transitioning to the Pathways to Artistry series by my former teacher, Catherine Rollin. We work on developing a curved hand position with relaxed wrists and strong finger joints. I use technical exercises to teach artistic expression rather than teaching these two elements separately. Beginning students count and sing note-names out-loud to integrate theory and note-reading with their playing. I accept piano students ages five and older. I do not accept piano students younger than five because their hands are often too small to play comfortably.

VIOLIN
My beginning students use the Suzuki Violin Method books and later transition to a series of etude books and repertoire selected depending on the student's level. I teach beginning students a modified version of the Suzuki method but incorporate note-reading and theory skills from the very beginning. I focus on a relaxed and natural hold of the violin and bow to avoid tension and technical problems that can lead to injury. Students who learn to hold their instruments correctly progress more quickly and are better able to express themselves artistically. I work with my students on development of their aural skills, concentrating on pitch accuracy and a sensitive ear. I accept violin students ages three and older pending an evaluation by myself and the student's parent of the student's maturity.
...

Reviews

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Nihi & Neth August 27, 2015
Piano · In studio
Blythe is the best teacher I've had. She has been teaching my brother and I for 2 years now, and still is. She is funny and at the same time serious. She calls our lesson "torture" but it's really not. She teaches us really well and makes having piano class SUPER fun! She helped me LOVE piano!!!!
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Wendy C. March 6, 2014
Verified Student
Wonderful

Blythe is a wonderful teacher,as well as person. She has made taking piano something my dauhter looks forward to every week. She is quite an asset and a great find!
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Dingding G. April 24, 2013
Violin
Verified Student
Great teacher

It is out of sheer luck that TakeLessons.com introduced me
to Blythe. As an adult student, I started learning the violin
decades too late, and yet with Blythe's patience and her
effective techniques in helping me correct errors, I am
steadily progressing. One day my dream of playing the violin may
actually come true, and I will always be grateful that Blythe has made this possible.
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Blythe Q.

Blythe Q.

Lawrence Township, NJ 08648
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Galina S.

Huntingdon Valley, PA

I teach voice using the Bel Canto technique. This technique concentrates on breathing, proper placement and open space, making sure students produce a free and relaxed sound.

About Galina

Born in Moldova, lyric soprano Galina S. has emerged as a young artist of remarkable versatility and great vocal beauty.

“Galina possesses a most glorious soprano voice… her contributions to music have always been of the highest caliber, amply demonstrating her vocal and intellectual flexibility and accomplishment… she is a great singer and performer.” (John Shirley-Quirk, International baritone)

Ms. S’s impressive voice and sensitive musicianship has lead to performances in numerous cities in the United States as well as Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Israel, Moldova, and St. Petersburg, R
ussia. Her repertoire encompasses a vast gamut and includes lieder, chamber music, oratorio, and opera, sung in various languages, including German, French, Italian, Russian, Czech, English, and Spanish.

Galina will be next heard as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera with Concert Opera Philadelphia, in March 2013. She will also sing the title role in Suor Angelica with OperaOggi NY in 2012/2013 season. Her most recent roles include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (New York Lyric Opera Theater), Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Mimì and Musetta in La Bohème, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. Some of the other roles are Violetta in La Traviata, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, the title role in Iolanta, Marfa in Tsar’s Bride, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

In oratorio Ms. S. has performed as a soprano soloist in the Lord Nelson Mass and Theresa Mass of Haydn, Handel’s Messiah, J. S. Bach’s Magnificat, and the Neue Liebeslieder, Opus 65 by Brahms. Her recital and chamber repertoire include songs and song cycles by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Dvořak, Manuel de Falla, Poulenc, and Messiaen.

Ms. S. has been the recipient of several awards and scholarships which include Washington International Competition in Washington DC, Center for Contemporary Opera Competition in New York, Giulio Gari Foundation International Vocal Competition in New York, New York Vocal Artists Competition, Peabody Conservatory Graduate Performance Diploma Scholarship and grant, and Mayor’s Scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania where Galina received her undergraduate degrees in music and computer science engineering. Galina has also been chosen to participate in the International Music Competition of the ARD in Munich.

Galina is a graduate of Peabody Conservatory of Music where she received a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance, and University of Pennsylvania, which she finished with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Computer Science Engineering.

Ms. S. is a dedicated and enthusiastic voice teacher, who has been teaching for the past ten years. Many of her students have become soloists in their schools’ musical productions, and several went on to continue their studies at major conservatories. She has taught at Cabrini College, Settlement Music School, and is presently teaching at Leopold Mozart Academy. She also offers lessons out of her private studio at her home.

*** Lesson Details ***
My style of teaching is very straight forward. Students will first learn a proper breathing technique which is essential to good vocal production. The lessons always start with simple vocalizations, followed by repertoire appropriate to each student. The development and progress will greatly depend on students initial level and the time they spend practicing at home.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Steinway Grand Piano, Music Stand, Vocal Literature. Large room with hardwood floors, which provides wonderful acoustics for singing.

*** Travel Equipment ***
The student must have a piano or keyboard. I will bring music books.

*** Specialties ***
I have the most experience teaching classical voice - bel canto style of singing which concentrates on proper breathing technique and production of healthy unstressed sound.
...

Reviews

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Anthony B. August 8, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Very enjoyable experience learning from her Galina.
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Richard M. January 20, 2014
Singing
Verified Student
Great vocal lesson experience!

Although my association with Galina was brief, the information gleaned was infinite. She really made me feel comfortable, tailored the lessons for maximum result, and quickly identified my bad habits while guiding me on how to avoid them going forward. To be a good teacher, you have to be a master yourself in that field... I can tell you Galina has a beautiful voice in her own right which really helps her lead by example. In closing, I would strongly recommend her services to anyone interested regardless of level of experience.
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Galina S.

Galina S.

Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
(2)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Sandra H.

Philadelphia, PA

Voice lessons consist of learning a solid vocal technique and singing arias from the standard operatic repertoire. Students learn to sing in Italian, German, and French, in addition to English. For beginners, Italian art songs and German Lieder are introduced initially, learning first to sing classical repertoire.

About Sandra

Sandra began her training at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. She is a two time recipient of the Mario Lanza Award, and holds a B.M. degree in opera from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. She studied acting at both the Wilma and Walnut Theaters in Philadelphia. In New York, she studied Shakespeare at the HB Studios, and received on-camera training at the Weisst- Barron Commercial School. Sandra is a member of Actor's Equity.

Sandra was engaged for seven years at Theater des Westens in Berlin, Germany, where she performed extensively in Musicals and Operetta. She a
lso toured throughout Germany with the ensemble "Operetten Express". In the U.S., Sandra has toured nationally with "Man of La Mancha" and "Carousel", and has performed leading roles in many regional theaters. She also performed in the Off-Broadway Musical "Mamaleh". Sandra has performed in over fifty productions of Musicals, Operetta, and Opera. Some of her favorite roles include: Aldonza (Man of La Mancha), Desiree (A Little Night Music), Marguerite (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Antonia (The Tales of Hoffmann), and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi).

As a director, Sandra has staged operas for Center City Opera Theater, the Delaware Valley Opera Company, Boheme Opera New Jersey, and the New York Metro Vocal Arts Ensemble. She is currently singing concerts with the vocal group "Touch of Classics", and can be seen in commercials for Time Warner, Cuisinart, The Skooter Store, and Aspercreme.

*** Lesson Details ***
Our lessons will be relaxed and informal. My goal is to make you the best you can be. We will work on giving you a solid vocal technique so that you can approach any style of music with a good foundation. We will also work on learning to read music, and most importantly work on songs that will bring out the actor in you.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Small studio, keyboard, seating provided (couch), street parking

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in musical theater, classical, and opera. I can also teach German and Italian diction. My acting experience is mainly in musical theater.
...

Reviews

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Logan (daughter) D. June 5, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Sandra is a lovely woman. She is a wonderful teacher, my daughter just loves her. She is well worth the drive. She has a beautiful voice !!
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Eileen G. March 12, 2015
Singing · In home
Verified Student
My son is 16 and has been taking lessons with sandra since November of 2014. Sandra not only focuses on singing techniques to build your support and vocal strength, but also helps with understanding sheet music and acting within a musical piece. She is extremely personable and friendly. She has helped my son expand his vocal range, and she taught him vocal techniques to use to develop his voice. My son does musical theatre, and Sandra has taken a significant amount time during each lesson to help him sing the songs comfortably and understand the acting stand point in each song. She is a great teacher for him.
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Sarah M. September 13, 2014
Theater Acting · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter is 14 years old and we needed some help with an acting role for her school musical. Sandra was wonderful, in a brief time she was able to help her understand that it is important to own the role. I feel as though my daughter came a long way. My daughter did get the role that she auditioned for in her High School play and she is only a freshman. Thanks very much Sandra!
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Sandra H.

Sandra H.

Philadelphia, PA 19128
(7)
starting at
$31 / 30-min
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Maja Lisa F.

Philadelphia, PA

I am an active Opera singer performing in NYC and Philadelphia and the surrounding area and bring this experience to the lessons along with my degree in vocal pedagogy.

About Maja Lisa

Maja Lisa has maintained a private voice studio since 2005. She has also taught at the University of Iowa and Camden Country Community College. She has also taught at Stagecoach school of the Arts, PA Performing Arts, Mainstage Center for the Arts and the Conservatory of Music and Dance. Her students have been cast as leads in musicals, are performers in NYC and have received top awards.

Maja Lisa is an active member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) and on Sony's list of teachers.

Maja Lisa is an active performer and r
ecently played Hansel in Hansel and Gretel in Delaware Valley Opera’s summer festival. Upcoming performances include Meg in Falstaff in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with Center Stage Opera. This year she performed Mercedes in Carmen with ConcertOPERA Philadelphia (while also covering Carmen), and the Nursing Sister in Suor Angelica in NYC with Opera Manhattan. She has appeared with Poor Richards Opera, Delaware Valley Opera Company, Cedar Rapids Opera Company, Center City Opera Theater, ConcertOPERA Philadelphia, and Bismarck Symphony Orchestra. Recent performances include Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Lay Sister and Nursing Sister in Suor Angelica, La Chiesca in Gianni Schicchi Mrs. Jenks in The Tenderland, Praskovia in Merry Widow, Wife of the Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, and Mercy Lewis in The Crucible. She has performed as a Young Artist with the Cedar Rapids Opera and Center City Opera Theatre. She was awarded first place in The Schubert Club Intermediate Category competition. Maja Lisa has been a soloist in the Messiah, the Vivaldi Gloria, and Mozart’s Sparrow Mass and featured at the North Dakota Capital Gala Concert

*** Lesson Details ***
My goal for each of my students is to sing any kind of music in a healthy way. Each lesson will include vocal technique exercises where you will learn how to find your voice, sing in a healthy way, build breath support, and improve range, pitch, and sing with ease and clarity. Lessons will also include singing pieces that help your voice grow, or songs you love to sing!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in the front room, upright piano, space for parents

*** Specialties ***
opera, classical, broadway, show tunes, jazz, pop
...

Reviews

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Lea B. September 5, 2014
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Maja has infinite patience and makes the lessons fun. Her sweet puppy is the first to greet you when you walk into the studio and is obviously well trained since he doesn't howl when he's listening to my playing. :) We set some goals and targets and I know that I'll be playing the tunes that I want by Christmas. What do you think Maja, concert pianist by this time next year. LOL... or maybe just Twinkle, twinkle little star.
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Maja Lisa F.

Maja Lisa F.

Philadelphia, PA 19119
(1)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Rachel S.

Glenside, PA

I have been teaching for about two years, while I was getting my Master's at Rice University. My students find me to be incredibly kind, fun, dynamic, specific and supportive.

When I get a new student, I assess their abilities and give them five goals each week to work on in their own personal practice. Every student is different and has different needs, and I personalize my teaching for each student. I feel that teaching should bring out a student's personality and strength.

About Rachel

One of my many loves is singing and imparting my knowledge onto others. I have a BM in Voice from Mannes the New School for Music and a Masters in Voice Performance from Rice University. I recently worked for four months with Utah Opera and I have returned to my home, Philadelphia to Teach and Freelance. I believe that singing should be a liberating, supportive and universal experience and I hope to help my students grow as people as well as musicians. In my lessons, I teach vocal technique, repertoire, musicianship skills, stage deportment as well as acting for singing and Audition preparatio
n.
...

Reviews

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Megan T. March 28, 2015
Classical Voice · In studio
Rachel is amazing! She is very affirming, yet pushes you to challenge yourself. She believes in your ability and teaches techniques that are suited to your unique vocal talent and ability. She also provides helpful explanations and works with you to find ways of understanding your body that make sense to you. Very intelligent and caring as well. If I still lived in the same city as her, I would be taking lessons with her now!
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Alexandra F. January 4, 2015
Opera Voice · In home
Rachel is not only amazingly talented, she also knows exactly how to free the voice into a beautiful, fluid way. She has so much information to share and you will leave feeling fulfilled and strong. Thank you so much for all your help, Ms. S.! You make singing easy, passionate, and delightful!
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Rachel S.

Rachel S.

Glenside, PA 19038
(2)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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