I have taught voice and piano for over 22 years. I prepare my students for all levels of music performance from beginner to music professional. My students have sung at Motown, at the Grand Ole Opry, in professional musical theater, in touring rock bands, on national television, etc.
Gfire has been teaching and performing music full-time for over 17 years. Based in Austin, Texas, the "Live Music Capital of the World," she offers voice, piano, songwriting, yoga, folk guitar, and DJ'ing lessons to students from 5-105 and she specializes in sculpting her lessons to the strengths and desires of each individual student. Her students range from beginning to advanced levels, and they sing and play a multitude of musical styles, including classical, pop, rock, r 'n' b, country, folk, singer-songwriter, musical theater, blues and more.
Gfire loves to share her talents with her students. She prides herself on instilling a "sense of mastery" to each of her singing and piano students, no matter on which level they are. The students come away with a real sense of knowing their songs and their instruments inside out an
d with a real sense of confidence in their musicianship. Plus they have a lot of fun as they make musical progress!
Gfire is also an award-winning singer-songwriter and "Yoga for the Voice" innovator. She has released 4 CDs of all-original music and is currently working on her 5th CD, to be released in 2015.
As a teacher, Gfire works with students of all levels and all areas of interest. In October 2007, Gfire became the only vocal teacher in the Western Hemisphere to gain full certification in the Science of Singing, developed by Ernest G. White of London, England. Her unique voice training program, entitled "Yoga for the Voice," combines this knowledge of the Science of Singing with ancient yoga breathing techniques. This technique allows each voice student to develop a "vocal tune-up" for the voice AND to discover what the natural singing range is and how to use the voice as effectively as possible. With the internet SKYPE technology, Gfire teaches voice students all over the world, from Switzerland to the U.K. to New Zealand to New York.
Her vocal students have sung in touring rock bands, on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, in successful auditions, in karaoke clubs, in coffee houses and folk clubs, at weddings and for their own enjoyment amongst family and friends. Whatever level of singing training you wish to acquire, she will show you the way to achieve it!
Gfire was also the main voice instructor and one of 3 main piano teachers at the Austin branch of Mars Music (now defunct) for 3 1/2 years. In addition to her vocal study and innovation, she has studied piano with top classical and jazz pianists, studied songwriting with Pat Pattison of Berklee College in Boston, gotten her full yoga teaching certification in 2004 and DJ'd at clubs and parties worldwide. For eight years straight - 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 - she has won the prestigious ASCAPlus Award for professional songwriting.
As a singer-songwriter, Gfire continues to write, record and perform with some of the best musicians and engineers in the world, including engineer Stuart Sullivan (Willie Nelson, Sublime, Meat Puppets, etc.), Hammond organ player Ian McLagen (Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart), cellist John Hagen (Lyle Lovett), fiddle/mandolin player Warren Hood (The Waybacks), bassist George Reiff (Ray Wylie Hubbard) and banjo picker Danny Barnes (Bad Livers, Dave Matthews).
Gfire's original songs have been played on over 200 radio and television stations worldwide. She has toured in over half of the fifty states, plus the U.K. and Canada.
*** Lesson Details *** NEW - Gfire is now available to teach WORLDWIDE via SKYPE or FaceTime - so you can have a music lesson in the privacy of your own home!!
Voice lessons - I have created a unique and wonderful vocal method, "Yoga for the Voice," which combines ancient yoga breathing exercises with special vocal exercises to give you a "complete vocal tune-up." These techniques are simple, effective and easily-learned by any student of the voice, from about age 5-105. I love to help you learn to apply these wonderful techniques to learning the songs you wish to learn - whether they are pop, r 'n' b, folk, singer-songwriter, rock, country, opera, musical theater, jazz, etc. "Yoga for the Voice" is just as effective for professional speakers, such as teachers, lawyers, clergymen or actors - we just use a range of notes that is smaller than a singer's range, and we focus on using your speaking voice as effectively and efficiently as possible.
In 3-6 months, you will be able to:
1. master the "breath of fire" and "one-minute breath" - the BEST yoga breaths for singers! 2. master the "sinus humming exercises" - identifying where EACH note in your range originates in your own head 3. master the "full-body exercises" - traditional singing exercises on "mah, mee, moh, moo, meh" - so that you can move easily between your chest voice, middle voice, and head voice 4. master 2-10 songs or more, depending on your level and the level of difficulty of each song - being able to sing each song in TUNE, with feeling, and having a blast doing it!! 5. if you wish, you can perform your song(s) at one of my voice and piano recitals - on a REAL Austin stage!!
Piano lessons - I teach a wide range of piano styles at levels from beginner to early advanced, beginning around age 5. Whether you want to learn classical, rock, blues, country, boogie-woogie, or other styles of piano and keyboard playing, I will sculpt your lesson plan so that you have a great foundation in technique AND you learn the styles and songs you wish to play.
In 3-6 months, you will be able to:
1. master the Leschetizky, hand massage, and isometric warm-up exercises - the BEST piano warm-ups! 2. depending on your level, master Hanon exercises 1-12, major and minor scales, major and minor arpeggios 3. for beginners, you will be able to play with BOTH hands on the treble and bass clefs - at the same time!! 4. master the I-IV-V progression in 3-12 keys, depending on your level - so that you can play blues, rock, country, boogie-woogie, and ragtime songs!! 5. master 4-20 songs or more, depending on your level and the level of difficulty of each song (classical songs tend to take more time to master) - being able to play each song with great technique, with feeling, and having a blast doing it!! 6. if you wish, you can perform your song(s) at one of my voice and piano recitals - on a REAL Austin stage!!
Songwriting lessons - I will teach you how to create a great song, in the style you wish to write in. Country songs, pop songs, rock tunes, r'n' b, folk, etc. - all of these genres have "unwritten rules" about how to put together an effective song. We will utilize special songwriting exercises and tools to help you learn to be a wonderful songwriter.
DJ lessons - I teach beat matching, turntable fine-tuning and repertoire selection to help you become the DJ you aspire to be. I own crates and crates of vinyl records and CDs, and I have DJ'd all over the world to enthusiastic crowds, so I can teach you to attain a real joy and skill in the art of turntablism.
Yoga lessons - I am a fully KRI-certified yoga teacher and I can help you develop a valuable yoga routine to help you achieve your health and relaxation goals. We will choose from literally hundreds of exercises and breathing techniques specifically geared to your needs and wants.
*** Studio Equipment *** Pro Tools mBox PRO Full Recording Studio Yamaha U1 Upright Piano Shure SM 58 Microphone Shure SM 57 Microphone Korg microKorg Synthesizer Yamaha M06 Synthesizer Yamaha StagePas 300 PA System Neumann TLM 103 Microphone Neumann KMS 105 Microphone Nord Lead Synthesizer Taylor Acoustic Guitar West African Djembe MacBook Pro Computer Universal Audio LA-610 Pre-amp 2 Technics 1200 Professional DJ Turntables American DJ Pro-Scratch 1 Professional CDJ Rane MP22 DJ Mixer Mogami Professional Audio Cables
*** Travel Equipment *** Yamaha M06 Synthesizer Yamaha StagePas 300 PA System Neumann KMS 105 Microphone Macintosh Laptop Computer
I have developed "Yoga for the Voice" - a combination of my 18 years of studying and receiving certification in the "Science of Singing" (as taught by Ernest George White of London, England) and my 10 years experience and certification in yoga, specifically ancient yoga breathing techniques. I will work with voice students as young as 4 and as old as they want to go! Voice lessons span all styles and all levels - pop, rock, r 'n' b, country, folk, singer-songwriter, opera, classical, musical theater, etc. from beginner to advanced. Generally beginning around age 7.
Piano - levels beginner to early advanced, most styles, including classical, rock, pop, folk, country, singer-songwriter, blues and boogie-woogie. Generally beginning around age 5.
Songwriting - all popular styles, including rock, pop, folk, country, blues, singer-songwriter, r 'n' b, etc.
DJ'ing - all basic DJ methods, including beat matching, turntable basics and repertoire selection.
Yoga - yoga breathing AND physical exercises, depending on the needs and wants of the student.
Folk guitar - finger picking and accompaniment skills for folk singers.
In piano, I specialize in teaching students who want to play a wide variety of music - classical, pop, rock, country, blues, etc. I begin with piano students who are 5 years of age and older, as long as they have the requisite attention span.
In songwriting, I specialize in teaching students methods of developing popular songs - pop, r 'n' b, country, rock, folk, etc.
In DJ'ing, I specialize in basic beatmatching and repertoire selection.
And in yoga, I specialize in tailoring the yogic needs of the student - whether she/he wishes to work on stretching, breathing, abdominal strengthening, etc.
Students will learn to how to keep composure and stage presence as they play the piano, including to keep the music flowing if the student were to make a mistake in the music. Students will also learn to play with interpretation and feeling into the music as to keep the music entertaining and captivating for audience members.
Having an ear for music of all styles and genres, I had an interest in playing music and instruments at a very young age. At just 5 years old, I took my first piano lesson. I studied with that piano teacher for another 10 years, working on technique, theory and classical music, including playing piano recitals as a performer. I practiced piano to become a solo classical musician. Then in middle school, I joined the symphonic band where I was exposed and learned to play instruments in the percussion section, including drums, xylophone and marimba, and other instruments. At the same time, I joined the middle school jazz band. This was my first transition both as a piano player and musician into a new genre of music and playing. Needless to say, I fell in love with the music. In 2005, I auditioned and was the only pianist accepted into the c
lassical piano department in the School of the Arts High School of San Francisco. There I went through rigorous classical training and learned vast amounts of repertoire. At the same time, I still studied and played jazz in the high school Big Band, Latin Jazz band and small jazz combo. It was during this time that I deeply focused on not only Jazz music and improvisation, but also Salsa, Latin Jazz, R&B, Funk, Pop. Basically all other forms and styles of music. I learned what it means to be in a band and how to make an ensemble sound good and to make an audience like and cheer for the music. I was lucky to have bands and musicians to play with all around San Francisco, including jazz festivals.
After graduating as the only student to study in the Piano department for 4 years in my graduating class, I was accepted with scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. I started my first semester in 2009, and declared a Piano Performance and Jazz Composition Dual Major in 2010. At Berklee, I studied under amazing piano teachers to focus on my jazz playing and technique and repertoire. Some of the classes I took included music theory, ear training, composition and arranging, scoring and analysis, even guitar and bass labs. As well, I was the main piano player for the Berklee Salsa Ensemble for 3 straight years. I was also involved with bands and playing recitals, shows, clubs, outdoors and indoor venues throughout Boston and Massachusetts. I had the honor of being hired by Berklee to travel and play along with other selected students at the Carnaval de Barranquilla honoring Joe Arroyo. This was the most memorable musical experience for me yet, as I played along great musicians for hundreds of people in a theater, including Joe Arroyo sharing the stage with the band.
All of this experience and training is what I bring to my lessons and tutoring sessions. I teach my students how to prepare themselves for any kind of musical situation, from music theory and technique, to piano playing and repertoire, and understanding and playing all kinds of styles and genres of music. Most of all, I teach my students to be unique in their musical endeavors and to bring out their own voice through music. And the most important element of all, the happiness and joy it brings to the students and others.
*** Lesson Details *** In my piano and music lessons, you will be learning music theory, proper piano technique, ear training, sight reading, and repertoire. It will be up to the student to determine what genre and style of music they want to learn and study. It can be anything from classical music, jazz, or even Funk and R&B music and more. My students will also develop an ear, meaning that instead of only focusing on written material and music in sheet music format, they will learn to hear intervals and chords, and also play or sing back melodies.
My teaching style is very easy to get along with. I don't pressure or push students by being too strict. When learning music, being hard and strict gets the student nowhere. I approach the student with listening and understanding. It's my job to see the students advantages and keep them strong, as well as working on bringing up weaknesses and what's needed to make the student excel in both playing technique, and all other musical aspects.
When it comes to proper piano technique, I always teach my students with "Hanon, the Virtuoso Pianist in sixty excercises", and "Scales, Chords & Arpeggios" by James Bastien. After 3-6 months as my student, you will progress in your technique skills, ear training, repertoire and memorization
*** Studio Equipment *** Main keyboard: Nord Stage 2 88 keysRecording equipment: M-Audio ProFire 2626 interface (modified), Black Lion Audio Inst/Mic Preamp, Black Lion Audio Master clock, KRK Rokit 6's, Shure SM57/SM58, Sterling Audio ST57 FET Condenser microphone, MacBook Pro with Logic, Ableton Live, Reason, Digital PerformerBass: Fender '57 reissue P Bass, made in JapanGuitar: Fender Deluxe Players Stratocaster, made in MexicoAmps: Behringer PA/Keyboard amp, Fender DeVille 2X12 60W all tube Guitar amp
*** Travel Equipment *** Sheet music material and copied pages from books. Student should be able to provide their own books.
*** Specialties *** Classically trained in Piano. Most recent styles and genres include Jazz, Fusion, Blues, Rock, Funk, R&B/Soul, Latin, Latin-Jazz, Salsa, Afro-Cuban
Anthony is an excellent teacher for audition preparation.
He is a sincere and wholehearted person. His teaching method is really easy to understand for my little daughter. She has improved a lot thanks to his great lessons. I do appreciate his hard work and patience.
November 1, 2015
We've only had a few leasons so far but Anthony is great with our 5 year old. Very patient and great instruction and gentle disposition.
October 20, 2015
He was very good, friendly professional, great with my daughter,,
I have been performing music most of my life & have acquired many tips & tricks along the way, from show choirs to progressive rock bands & back again.
Hey, my name is Alex. I'm a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, Oud, bouzouki, keyboards, voice, drums, flute, etc.), composer, performer, recording artist, arranger/orchestrator/transcriber, recording engineer/producer & music educator.
I graduated from the University of St. Thomas "Cum Laude" in 2011 with a Bachelor's Degree in Guitar Performance, with minors in Music Production & Composition. While attending St. Thomas I served as the Music Theory tutor, as well as the live sound/stage/light/recording technician for student & faculty recitals.
I have been playing professionally & teaching for over a decade. My passion for music is something that I love to share with anyone else who feels inclined to make music. My goal is to share the skills & knowledge I've acquired throughout my experiences with those willing to learn & dedic
ate themselves to the craft of making music.
I am a full-time member of Maiden Dixie (country/rock; guitar/vocals), Sumo Seven (Funk; bass/vocals), & Armadillo Tank (Prog rock; guitar/vocals). Along with my solo band, I perform for numerous pit orchestras, bands, tributes, & artists around the Twin Cities area.
In February 2019, I released my debut solo album, "Sonic Chef's Circus Absurdities".
*** Lesson Details *** I am an experienced gigging musician in most major genres of music: classical, jazz, blues, rock, funk, folk, metal, acoustic fingerstyle/slap, instrumental rock, "shred," pop, world music, electronica, etc. & feel comfortable conveying the techniques, approaches & idioms to a student by breaking them down into digestible components, while making these new ideas relatable to material they are already familiar with.
In the end, I want the student to learn what they're most interested in learning. I'm here to answer any questions they may have & with my experiences, I feel confident that I will be able to either answer these questions or point them in the right direction. Some topics covered:
Scales/modes Ear training Instrument-specific techniques (ie bending, tapping, sweep picking, etc.) Songwriting & Composition Arranging & Orchestrating Sight-reading Improvisation Chordal theory & how to read charts Practice routines & approaches Instrument maintenance Instrument-based gear (guitars, amplifiers, effects, picks, slides, capos, etc.)
The student will learn at the pace they set for themselves & can only get out of it the amount of effort they put forth. I expect my students to practice on a regular basis (however brief each session may be). Consistency is key for progress to be made, & if they hold up their end of the bargain, the payoffs will be quite substantial!
*** Studio Equipment *** Practice amplifier, tuner, music stand(s), guitar picks & cables.
*** Travel Equipment *** I can provide guitar neck paper. I expect the students to have their own instrument & any materials they may need to achieve the goals they've set for themselves (such as a weekly notebook).
*** Specialties *** Progressive rock, classic rock, blues, jazz, funk, disco, classical, acoustic fingerstyle/slap, flamenco guitar; music theory, sight-reading, composition, songwriting, film scoring, music production.
I can prepare the student to perform a concert or do a show. We can record and listen back. Go over many practice techniques that will result in greatly improved performance
Billy N. has played Jazz, Brazilian and Classical music in the NYC area for the last 20 years. He has actively taught both finger-style and pick guitar for the last 20 years. He was on staff at the American Institute of Guitar for 11 years. His book on Brazilian Guitar is published by Alfred Music and currently available. He now offers online lessons via Skype as well as in his private studio. Playing credits include many museums and clubs in the NY area including Museum of Modern Art Museum of the City of NY and an extended stay at the Guggenheim museum in the Summer of 2000. Also he has been in the Brooklyn Museum concert series with his group Afinidades Bronx Libraries Brooklyn College and the Jewish Museum in trio and duo setting with great Percussionist Vanderlei Pereira. He has performed in Brazil as well most recently in the South
of Brazil, receiving TV and radio coverage. He has also done workshops and performed at the Conservatory of the state of Pernambuco. In August 2004 he performed weekly at Rio Scenarium in Rio de Janeiro. His Band Brooklyn Brazil Bop has played at Joe's Pub as well as Central Park Festival. His band the Brazilian Acoustic ensemble performs periodically at 'Barbes' an important performance space in Brooklyn NY. In 2007 he gave a successful jazz workshop and concert in the city of Florianopolis Brazil. Billy has been awarded 3 prestigious composer's residencies 2006 - Yaddo and 2007 - The MacDowell Colony. He was featured on the PBS news hour during his residence at MacDowell. In 2008 he was awarded another MacDowell residency and followed this with a 3 hour appearance presenting his compositions live on WKCR Jazz Radio and another live radio appearance with band in 2010. Billy regularly plays in many venues around NY in Jazz trio settings as well as with Brazilian vocalists and instrumentalists. Most Recently his groups have been performing at the famed Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. He also specializes in solo guitar and can double on percussion (Pandeiro) and Cavaquinho. Billy has completed two CD's of his original music and an EP of his original Choro music. He has a BFA in Jazz Performance from CCNY.
Testimonials: From Coda Magazine August 2012: by Seton Hawkins
Through outstanding collaborations like the Brazilian Acoustic Ensemble, guitarist and composer Billy N has emerged as a leading exponent of the music of Brazil. Exploring far beyond the well-trodden bossa nova path. Billy unearths the full range of styles the country offers, including choro, baiào, valsa and samba, and gives American audiences a rich panoramic glimpse into Brazilian art, highlighting its parallels with progressive jazz.
A recipient of composers residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell Colony, he is the curator of a three-day series at the club dedicated to the country's music. Billy will showcase his own group—a sextet with drummer Matt Kane, bassist Leco Reis, saxophonists Michael Attias and Eric Schugren and trumpeter Ben Holmes—in a concert primarily featuring his original works. SH
Reviews of my Book on Alfred Brazil: Guitar Atlas, I love this series and this is the best of the six titles I have. Billy really knows his stuff; the analysis of time at the beginning is superb: something I now use in my teaching. This is definitely for intermediate and higher guitarists, but the pieces are worth the effort to get right, and the accompanying CD shows you what you are aiming for. This is as good as my other Brazilian guitar book (by Nelson Faria) and much more compact and easier to follow. Highly recommended!
This book is essential homework for students of Brazilian guitar. It is one of the best resources out there, along with Nelson Faria's "The Brazilian Guitar Book." The original etudes are not only instructional, but are nice pieces in their own right. An excellent value.
*** Lesson Details *** I've taught all levels over 20 years both in NYC and Brazil. I work with the material that the student wants and also through recordings and charts introduce much music that the student might have been unfamiliar with. My lessons are catered to the individual. There is no obstacle anyone has that is too great to work through. My approach to rhythmic training has helped many. I have simple way of breaking down the guitar fingerboard which can used as a guide to learn harmony. I'll get you into the horizontal aspects of guitar, traveling across the neck, making music across one string as well, mastering the guitar in a small fret range - " vertical position playing".
*** Studio Equipment *** I have guitar for the student, either electric or nylon. Cavaquinho students bring their instrument. First time students must bring their instrument so I can see what they are playing on.
*** Specialties *** Brazilian Fingerstyle - Choro, Samba, Baiao Solo Jazz Guitar - Pick or Fingers Beginning Flamenco Cavaquinho Improvisation for any instrument Harmony and Theory
I have been taking lessons with Billy since January 2015. I am a total beginner and I really think I have made the best choice ever to pick him as my teacher. Billy is an experienced guitar teacher and a professional player that knows great techniques for beginners. He has been teaching me basics of guitar in a smart way, and at each lesson I feel I learn something new and at the same time I can clearly see how much progress I have made since our first lesson. He has also been teaching me how to read music and tabs which proofed to be extremely useful every time I want to learn a new song by myself. Highly recommended!
December 17, 2014
I cannot recommend Billy enough. I studied jazz improvisation with Billy for three years, and later returned to study Brazilian guitar and Piedmont-style finger picking with him. I had been playing for more than twenty years when I started studying with him and he not only helped me improve my playing technically and creatively (on electric and nylon stringed guitars) but also expanded my knowledge of theory and helped me develop new approaches to composing and arranging. I am still working with the material he gave me and take lessons from him whenever my schedule allows.
October 17, 2014
I took Brazilian guitar lessons from Billy for several years. His method focuses on absorbing the many rhythms of Brazil and translating them from percussion instruments to the guitar. Much of his effort is devoted on achieving the elusive Brazilian swing, which non Brazilians need to learn. Billy is excellent in breaking down the rhythms and explaining them. He even has a book out on his method. He covers various Brazilian genres: choro, bossa nova, samba, baiao and more.
Billy also is an accomplished jazz, classical and flamenco guitarist with a thorough understanding of harmony and improvisation. He is very patient and has years of teaching and performance experience. You will be lucky to study with him!
When meeting with a student for the first time we always discuss his or her needs or goals. After that, we get into the foundation of building technique, starting with posture. Next, the student is assigned breathing exercises to practice.
WHAT TO EXPECT When meeting with a student for the first time we always discuss his or her needs or goals. After that, we get into the foundation of building technique, starting with posture. Next, the student is assigned breathing exercises to practice. These exercises are structured to energize the body and manage the breath. Every single student learns about appoggio. This is the term used for the process of suspending exhalation while keeping the torso in the position of inhalation by using the transverse abdominis and obliques. Students also learn that the action of the diaphragm is involuntary, therefore the exercises in which we engage are in place to have command over physical activity that we can control.
A TYPICAL VOICE LESSON After posture and breathing are addressed the students begin to learn how to produce tone,
which encompasses the vocal onset and the closure of the vocal folds. Students realize that proper breath management and producing tone go hand in hand. The ideal that the student and I work towards is a balance between superfluous air flow and and pressed pressure. This concept leads to a clean onset in which the edges of the vocal folds cleanly come together and stay closed during singing.
Students also learn how to negotiate and coordinate the vocal registers. This means that every student who walks into my studio learns where and what the larynx is. It is my job to be a second set of ears to help the student optimize his or her tone quality by maximizing vocal resonance. This concept may be different across genres, however every student learns how to begin coordinating the vocal process.
HOW I TEACH My aim as a teacher of voice is to be flexible and innovative, and provide students with a clear and honest assessment. I strive to explain to each singer exactly how to complete a task, whether maintaining the position of inhalation or correcting posture. In lessons, I refrain from being demonstrative so that the student can find his or her own unique sound without attempting to copy my sound. I use this method so that the student learns how to be her own teacher. This way, the student will be able to identify and correct her own vocal problems. When I am not present, the student will have confidence in her skills and can make educated corrections in practice, rehearsals, and in performances.
TECHNIQUE Throughout the course of lessons, it is my job to identify the most effective resonating space for the student and give her the skills to maintain that space. It is through the combination of effective breath management using appoggio and flow-phonation that the student becomes most efficient. Finding the most efficient technique for the student involves discovering the proper laryngeal position for the student’s voice type and by practicing continuity through all of the registers.
As all of the aspects of technique are being built in the studio, it is my job to ensure that I am building a musician. This means that I go over how the student needs to learn a piece and how to perform a piece. Often times with young students, they do not have the musical skills to teach themselves the pieces assigned. Sometimes the voice teacher’s job is to “plunk out the notes.” I highly encourage my students to take piano lessons and to use technology resources to aid them in building musicianship so they feel confident reading music. This process takes time, but it is the first step in building a competent performer.
MY GOALS I always cater to the students tastes while still meeting requirements, if any. I believe that this fosters joy and excitement in music. My goal as a voice teacher not only involves building a good singer, but creating a performer. I make sure that I not only find performing opportunities for my students, but also I create them. Every semester I hold a studio recital for my students to perform their repertoire in front of an audience. In the Fall of 2015 I founded a local opera company in order to bring classical music to the community. My students made up the chorus of Handel’s Messiah that we performed that December. In addition, I have invited my students to participate in the church choir I direct every week. I believe that learning how to sing must take place in the studio, but the most important thing that I can do as a teacher is to make sure that the student knows how to transfer the skills learned in the classroom to real-world performing experiences.
APPROACH I believe in a holistic approach to teaching, which involves connection to the text and acting. Though I cover many of these aspects in the studio, it is extremely beneficial for students to go outside of the studio and engage in physical courses such as yoga, Alexander technique, acting and dance. I personally engage in these activities to relate to my students and to be able to explain how we need to engage the body in singing. I also encourage my students to have coachings with other professionals to gain more insight into their repertoire.
Not every student who comes to my studio wants to sing opera. Many students want to sing in choir, in church, or just for fun. Overall, I always come from a place of acceptance and non judgement. Every voice is unique and I strive to help my students not only reach their goals, but surpass them.
ABOUT ME I have been teaching voice and piano since 2010. Not only an avid teacher, I have performed in music festivals all over the world including The American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, Accademia Europa dell’Opera in Lucca, Italy, Angel Vocal Art in Los Angeles, CA, Russian Opera Workshop in Philadelphia, PA, and Highlands Opera Studio in Haliburton, Ontario. I have also performed with companies including Opera San Jose, The Napa Valley Music Association, The San Francisco Youth Chamber Orchestra, Opera on the Spot, and The Solano Chamber Society.
I earned my Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance, Pedagogy, and Literature from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA with Kevin McMillan. During my time in Harrisonburg, I founded Harrisonburg Opera Theatre and was the church choir director at Sunnyside Retirement Community Meredith Chapel. I completed my Post-Graduate Artist Diploma in Voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of acclaimed opera singer, Deborah Voigt. While in San Francisco, I interned in the Education Department of San Francisco Opera and taught Kindergarten and First grade music with the San Francisco Conservatory in the Schools mentor-ship program. I also received a full scholarship to attend the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism.
I earned my Masters of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of California, Irvine at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts where she sang the National Anthem for President Barack Obama at the school’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. At UC Irvine, I received critical acclaim for my portrayal of Euridice in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, and as the Soprano in Pergolesi's Stabat Mater.
I specialize in the Alfred Series for piano and My First Piano Adventure for young students. This approach focuses on ear training and reading music. Custom exercises and choice of material is based on the student's level and field of study. Lessons are scheduled at the student's convenience as per availability. Frequency and length of lessons is based on the students needs.
Young voice students are taught general concepts, music theory, and ear training. After the voice is more mature, advanced and serious vocal study can be pursued. Melissa's students receive a well-rounded training in the style of their choice: Classical, Popular, Musical Theatre, and Jazz.
I emphasize solid technique, posture, breathing, and control, in addition to music fundamentals.
Love Dr. M! I've wanted to take voice lessons forever but I have been hesitant due to my lack of experience. Dr. M not only made me feel comfortable but also confident in the voice that I have. She's personal and warm but also very professional. She never gets frustrated with obstacles I face in my lessons; instead she helps ways to overcome them.
I've never left a lesson feeling disappointed with my ability, something I experienced with other voice teachers. I feel confident in my voice and I owe that all to Melissa. For instance, during one lessons I was feeling a little off. Rather than getting frustrated she helped me focus on great ways to approach singing when not feeling your best. Dr. McCann rocks!
If you are looking for a voice teacher new or experienced I would definitely recommend Dr. McCann. Top notch lessons and overall awesome woman!
November 5, 2018
Dr. M. is a phenomenal teacher who does a great job customizing her lessons to the needs of the student. She has helped me make amazing progress with my voice, and just as importantly has helped me gain the confidence to be able to sign.
Her lessons are fun, effective, and very positive. All of which help the student learn more and get more out of the lesson. I highly recommend Dr. M. as a teacher to anyone (at any level) who is interested in becoming a better singer.
I am a student of various great drum teachers from many backgrounds. Experienced players enjoy jamming with me, but I have been told that I am especially gifted at helping beginners feel comfortable finding rhythms and sounds out of any instrument, including the human body. Rhythmic breathing is made simple and encouraged from the start. Tones and drum patterns can be explained verbally or written mathematically. Students remember the patterns forever, as well as gaining comfort in playing with other drummers or instruments. Odd time signatures or complicated songs can be tackled and easily learned. Use any drum or percussion instrument you have! Recordings are encouraged if you like!
Peter grew up in Chicago, raised to love soulful music. A graduate of Northwestern University's Performance Studies program with a focus on Theatre and
Media Arts, Public Speaking, and Ethnology. Designing percussion for stage and dance lead to studies and teaching of North and West African, Middle Eastern drum, Caribbean/South American and Asian drum and percussion rhythms. First hand experience has been gained by living in Morocco and South Korea for nearly a year each, studying and documenting folk music.
Orla Conway is a stunningly experienced Vocal Coach in the Washington D.C. area. She trains students of all experience levels in a vast amount of genres, performance, and artistic styles. Orla uses contemporary and progressive training methods to give new life to traditional, tried-and-true vocal techniques.
"I am absolutely certain that any singer of any age or ability can come to me with their audition, performance, and vocal technique goals, and together we will achieve those goals and more! I love bringing the joy and beauty of singing to others and I can guarantee you'll leave our lessons with results beyond what you had thought possible."
-Student Accomplishments under Orla's training: *Admission into: Berklee College of Music in Boston, Southern Virginia University and their Belle Vocce Women's Choir *Performing live in front of audiences at: open mics,
Hi there! My name is Orla Conway and I can’t wait to sing with you!! -The biggest difference between my teaching style and any other local voice coach is: my Relaxation First method. This wholistic, centering, and therapeutic technique uses guided relaxation to insure that students not only learn about proper vocal technique, but actually master it in a way that is natural to their own voice and learning style. I am dedicated to nurturing the differences in each students voice, and through this customized approach my students learn to understand their bodies and gain total control over their intonation, resonance, and vibrance. This simply means that the student will be able to sing any style of music they want! My Relaxtion First methodology is often viewed by my students as deeply therapeutic as I lead them through exerci
ses which steady the breath, relax the muscles, and center the body. We approach singing as a natural form of therapy that helps the singer understand their body fully, and express themselves effortlessly. Together we will eliminate tension, strain and pain from the singing experience. We will gain comfort, ease and will highlight the beauty in your unique sound (as opposed to attempting to make your voice conform to someone else's style). I am here to make you sound like the most authentic version of yourself, and to find the deep joy and expression that comes from letting your voice be heard!
-The most important thing to me when working with singers of any age or ability is: Helping them learn the correct techniques to keep their voices safe and healthy while singing. A Beginner Lesson Plan begins by covering the three main foundations of healthy happy singing: 1.Posture 2.Breathing 3.Placement (head voice, mask voice, chest voice) After covering these techniques, my students will be able to achieve almost any style and level of singing they desire. It is totally possible to stretch your vocal range, learn a new style, or incorporate movement into your songs if you follow this method! I also make sure to focus a lot on confidence and stage presence throughout all of our lessons to help students prepare for upcoming auditions, showcases, concerts, and talent shows.
Applying my Relaxation First methodology to these industry secret foundations of strong vocal technique make it easy and natural for you to find your voice and transition out of your stage fright so that you can own that stage like you were born to be there, because you were!! These are not only vocal coaching sessions, but complete performance-ready-workshops. I am here to make all your singing and vocal performance dreams come true!
-I began my vocal training: at the age of 12 learning how to sing classical and musical theater music. I eventually went on to learn jazz and rock vocal techniques before going to Berklee College of Music in Boston where I learned how to sing celtic music and alternative contemporary styles. I have my own band which I write all the music for, and we have performed all around Boston and in New York City. My students have achieved admission into Berklee College of Music in Boston, lead roles in their school plays such as Peter Pan, Into the Woods, and Julius Caesar. They have achieved new levels of confidence and power that have made them the stars of their local open mics, talent shows, and recitals!
Please feel free to message me with any questions. It’s my job to make this process as seamless and comfortable for you as possible :) Let’s get singing!
My 12 year old daughter took multiple lessons from Orla and she was fantastic! Orla taught in a way my daughter easily understood and could relate to- making the learning fun and progress at a fast pace. Orla is an amazing vocalist herself- professional and a wonderful teaching style.
October 17, 2018
Awesome first class. Felt more comfortable with meditation :)
Students can expect a well-trained instructor to guide them to their goals in a fun-filled learning environment.
I am a professional singer from Columbus, Ohio. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Musicology, specializing in Classical Voice Performance.
Voice students can expect to improve week to week in their vocal technique. My versatility, experience, and formal training help me to make the learning experience easy, stress-free and fun.Every voice has a unique timbre; I teach students to release built up tension and apply foundational techniques in order to unlock their own individual sound. I can help any student to sing with freedom, confidence, and expression.
I teach piano students of all different ages mostly beginner piano. I can teach students to read music and pursue classical excellence, to learn how to play contemporary music using chord sheets, or both depending on the goals and preference of the
My personal passion is Jazz music but I firmly believe that great technique is essential to any and every style. I look forward to meeting you and helping you to become a better musician! Currently, I sing for two different Big Bands that gig around Winchester, VA. gigging regularly & produce artists for their own projects. I spent much of the past 7 years performing and touring Colorado, Alaska, and now Virginia.
My daughter had her first lesson this evening. Senobia is fantastic and my daughter really enjoyed her session. We will continue to use her. She gets to know what your goals are and really works to get you there.
Hands down, fantastic!
September 17, 2018
Senobia was knowledgeable and I appreciated her patience with my daughter as this was her first EVER vocal lesson. While my daughter was nervous, Senobia’s professional demeanor allowed my daughter to feel confident. She can’t wait for lesson 2.
August 10, 2018
She is the best voice teacher I've ever had! She brings me out of my comfort zone and teaches me safer techniques for singing that I never would have thought about. She makes me feel safe and allows me to shine with every class.
"Shanita Jackson is fabulous singer with an exceptional range. She is a powerful solo act but also works beautifully with an ensemble. A consummate profess
ional and a pleasure to work with, Shanita understands how to interact with her audience and shines in a diversity of vocal styles, from Jazz to Pop and Reggae."
"Elizabeth is an amazing tutor. She is very friendly and funny and makes you feel comfortable doing all kinds of exercise. She collaborated with me on what
I wanted/needed to work on most. She helped me improve singing a song that I chose through many elaborated techniques. I learned a lot even though I only took two lessons (because I left the country after that)."
"Arrica has been such a wonderful teacher for my 11-year-old daughter. (She was 9 when she started with Arrica.) Our girl has a lot of raw talent but neede
d some good instruction that wasn't too formal. Africa is just the right blend of traditional singing technique and fun rock-n-roll, record your own music on Garage band. We love her!"
"He's a great teacher!"
"Wonderfully engaging, extremely intuitive and nurturing, Danielle has been a game-changer for me and my creative career. She listens well to your needs a
s a student and focuses on the root of the matter. She is truly a genuine soul and there is no doubt she cares tremendously about each and every one of us, as her students. She not only focuses on techniques and style, but also on how to grow and expand your career as an artist. I have found this to be immensely valuable as an creative and would recommend her in a heartbeat to anyone wanting to grow and engage a wider audience."
"Glenn has so much experience as a performer that he offers very practical suggestions!"
"Fawn is the best at what she does. She's a true pro. I leave each lesson feeling like I can master my career. Her innovative and out side the box teaching
style is unbeatable."
"We just wanted to thank you so much for all your help over the last few months in preparing Sara for her recitals. Her talent show at school was last nigh
t and she did fabulously and projected for all to hear and she couldn’t have done it without your teaching!"