Thank you for taking the time to view my profile- I look forward to helping you achieve your musical goals. I'm excited to announce that I'm now available to teach via Online if you're outside of my teaching radius or are seeking a more convenient alternative.
I'm a professional guitarist with a background in jazz, heavy metal, blues, classical, and bossa nova. In 2006 I graduated from the Berklee College of Music and am lead guitarist for the Atlanta band Axis of Empires.
Whether you are a beginning guitarist or a seasoned professional, I can expand and enhance your playing in any direction you choose. I look forward to getting to know you as a student and learning about what course of study will bring out not only your understanding of music but a musical style that is unique to you.
Having a long time love of all music I hav
e always enjoyed discussing music and educating others on its many aspects. As such I began teaching during summers home from Berklee and found that it was something I had a great deal of talent for. Now, with seven years of teaching experience behind me, I look forward to bringing my skills and insights to students of all ages and bring not only ability on the guitar but a greater love of music to a fresh crop of open minds!!
In addition to guitar, I am also qualified to teach voice, public speaking, dramatic acting, and all aspects of music theory, the latter of which I incorporate into all of my music lessons.
A FEW THINGS TO BE AWARE OF:
1. I am able to take lessons in your home or over Skype. I am no longer accepting lessons in my home.
2. Please only pick one teacher. I don't know why people do this but on more than one occasion I've had students come to me and say "I'm doing lessons with you and this other guy. I figure I can learn different things from both of you." You only need one teacher- if that's not me, I understand.
3. I will NOT remove you as a client on Takelessons so that I can take money under the table from you directly. Sometimes clients will say "the lessons on Takelessons are expensive- is there any way I can just pay you directly?" No, you may not. The amount you are paying is MY specified fee from which Takelessons takes a commission so paying me directly would not save you money. Furthermore, I have a binding agreement with Takelessons not to do this. If you press me on this matter I will discontinue your lessons altogether.
4. Similarly, if you are coming to my profile on Takelessons do not contact me on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media attempting to circumvent Takelessons. Please book through Takelessons and I will be happy to address any questions you may have.
*** Lesson Details *** Although I follow a specific lesson plan, its important to customize that to each student's skill level and specific needs. Thus, I will spend the first lesson evaluating where the student is in terms of overall musical awareness, existing skill on the instrument, and long term interest.
By the end of the first month, my beginning students will be able to perform basic chromatic and major scales, name the notes on the instrument, and have command of a few basic chords. With these core concepts and regular, committed practice, they will be able to learn and perform songs in a wide variety of styles after 3 to 6 months have passed.
My more advanced students will have a lesson plan customized to their specific goals and desires. In 3 to 6 months with such a student I will have them well on the path to accomplishing their long term goals, whether those be playing, composition, harmonic awareness, understanding of theory, or all of the above.
*** Studio Equipment *** dedicated music room; cables/amps; electric & acoustic guitars; keyboard
*** Travel Equipment *** Electric or acoustic guitar as needed.
*** Specialties *** Having graduated from the Berklee College of Music, I follow their approach in educating the student. In this regard I teach music theory along with the physical act of playing the guitar, which serves to not only enrich the experience for the student but demonstrate how what they are learning is applied to music on the whole.
I am fluent in many genres and specialize in rock, jazz, the blues, and various fusion genres. Because music functions off of the same principles regardless of genre, I can take whatever style the student might best appreciate and structure my lesson plan around it.
Jordan is very knowledgeable and a good teacher. You can find good guitar players that will show you how to play guitar, but Jordan is much more than that and can instruct even veteran players on how to improve their play.
July 30, 2013
Great Instruction for all levels
I am in my mid-thirties and have never had any formal musical instruction until I started taking lessons with Jordan a few months ago. I was a little nervous about starting the lessons, but Jordan made me very comfortable right away. You definitely can tell he knows music inside and out. He is also very helpful about incorporating just enough music theory into each lesson, so I can expand my knowledge of theory, but not so much that I get overwhelmed. I would definitely recommend Jordan to anyone looking for a great vocal or guitar instructor.
I have worked with people of all ages and backgrounds and I encourage versatility among all my students. I am an advocate for helping each individual find their own unique voice, and while building fundamentals, slowly challenging each student to think outside the box and reach goals they didn't think were possible!
I have experience teaching all ages and backgrounds for over 11 years. I encourage versatility in all my students and advocate for each individual finding their own voice. While we work to establish fundamentals, I will help challenge you to reach new vocal goals that you didn't think were possible!
She is very talented and a great instructor. She has an excellent ear and is very patient and helpful. I did not think I could ever carry a tune and all the progress I have made is thanks to her.
June 29, 2018
My daughter enjoyed her lessons very much! Lee Ann was very focused on my daughters strengths as a singer and they had a lot of fun developing her talent.
June 29, 2018
Leanne has taken my teenage son from being nearly unable to carry a tune to getting a featured part in a play! He sounded great and got much so praise from his peers! She's a terrific teacher - patient, encouraging, and has a great range of exercises, tools, and tips that really work!!
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!
Learn performance skills that will enhance your singing or acting technique.
Rachel fully background checked by three different companies and is also fingerprinted.
Rachel's private studio is where you not only learn healthy technique, but how to become a self-sufficient artist. Professional training and customized programs in singing and acting technique. All learning styles, all ages, and all levels. Private lessons and group classes.
We prepare our students for the real world with up to date training (singing and acting) and both performance opportunities and showcases in front of industry professionals when students are ready.
Students come from all walks of life. All voice types, all ages, all levels, all mediums (TV-film-theatre), all character - ingenue actors, and ALL genres (Rock, Pop, Alternative, Funk, Soul, Musical Theater, R&B, Jazz, Opera) welcome!
Rachel's students have gone on nati
onal tours, released albums, are in bands, have been accepted into performing arts schools (high schools and colleges), have been cast in regional/Off-Off-Broadway/Off-Broadway Theatre, movies (Noah, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Finally Famous), music videos, and on TV (Royal Pains, Smash, 30 Rock, The Good Wife, Law and Order: SVU, & NBC's The Voice competition).
Owner/Teacher: Rachel M. SAG-AFTRA, VASTA, NATS (certified), NARAS, NAMTA, BMI, MAC, NJMEA, NAfME. NJ Theatre Alliance, & Certified Artist Developer with Conquer Entertainment, 17+ years of teaching to children - teens - adults (Ages 6+ group classes, 8+ private lessons)
RACHEL M.'S BIO:
Rachel is a member of SAG-AFTRA, The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS certified), VASTA (Voice And Speech Trainers Association), NARAS (The Grammy Awards), NAMTA, NJMEA (New Jersey Music Educators Association), NAfME (National Association of Music Education), NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association,) MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs), The NJ Theatre Alliance, NSA (Nashville Songwriting Association International), and BMI (Broadcast Music Inc). She has been teaching Bel Canto singing technique for the modern singer and Stella Adler-Stanislavsky-Chekhov-Meisner acting technique for all mediums for 16+ years to children, teens, and adults.
Rachel has trained at The Hages Music Studio under a master teacher for 22+ years in the Bel Canto singing technique for all genres, studied at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC as well as recorded and released her first album called "Just Meant To Be". Other credits include commercials, films, TV shows (One Tree Hill, AMC, Food Network), music videos (including Rachel's singles "Don't Even Try", "You Will Love On"), & numerous stage credits (Off-Broadway/NYC Theatre). Rachel most recently was seen in the reading of a new play "Vanishing Son" by Peter Gil-Sheridan performed in NYC. She is also a songwriter (16+ years), scriptwriter (10+ years), director (14+ years), and an international recording artist (10+ years).
Rachel has been performing for 20+ years, has performed in front of sold out crowds, and has been honored with many standing ovations. Other honors include magazine covers, featured articles, singing to thousands of people, studio recordings/albums, originated the role of "Antigone" in "Oedipus: The Musical", 2002 Helen Hayes Nomination for" Outstanding Vocal Performance in a Musical" ("Miss Adelaide" in "Guys And Dolls"), & 2008 finalist for NYC Singing Idol Competition. Rachel has also been fortunate to have worked & performed with many people in the business including Grammy-Tony-Emmy Award Winners/Nominees.
Whether you are a parent looking for instruction for your child, or for yourself, Rachel can customize the right program that best suits your needs. Her students come from all walks of life and have different goals, but they all have one thing in common. They love performing and have the desire to be the best at their chosen craft (singing/acting).
Some students want to sing/act for themselves, others want to sing/act for a hobby, and others want to be professional performers. That's where Rachel comes in. No matter what your goals are, she can help. Rachel teaches her students how to become true artists without tearing them down and without taking away the part of them that makes them unique. She teaches healthy technique that is based off of the human anatomy; the science of how the body/mind works and how the body/mind can work as efficiently as possible while singing or acting.
Learning how to sing/act is a process and doesn't happen overnight. Rachel's ultimate goal as a teacher is to not only make her students the best performers and singers they can be, but also give them all of the proper tools they need to have a more productive mind frame and become self-sufficient. Of course this can take years to master. It takes time and dedication.
OTHER LESSON INFORMATION
SINGING: Bel Canto singing technique for the modern singer is taught in private and group classes. No one sounds like old opera singers, even if the student wants to sing opera. Students are allowed to choose most of the material they learn in the lesson. There will be times when Rachel will suggest a song to a student but if the student doesn't enjoy the song, they will work as a team to find a song that does work for the student. Gain a better tone quality, complete control of your voice, bigger range, more flexibility, and confidence. Learn healthy voice technique, how to fully take care of your own voice so you can sing for the rest of your life (even after lessons), and become a self sufficient performer for life.
ACTING: Stella Adler, Stanislavsky, Chekhov, and Meisner Acting Technique for Theatre/Camera is taught in private and group classes. All students are exposed to each technique and Rachel sees which technique each student responds to the most. Once the student and Rachel are able to identify the technique, Rachel continues to use the terminology of that technique for the remainder of the time the student is in lessons. Students eventually are able to play roles truthfully and realistically, even if the roles are opposite of the student's own personality.
BY THE TIME STUDENTS GRADUATE FROM LESSONS:
1. Gain a lifelong, solid, consistent, and healthy technique that they can always count on in practice and performance.
2. Gain specific technical and personal notes in a notebook and/or computer file that is organized and always accessible for review.
3. Gain artistry, performance skills, and a strong voice that will look/sound authentic; Singers will sound appropriate to whatever style of music they are singing. (No fake sound or look.) Actors will just be in the moment and truthful whether they are on stage or in front of the camera.
4. Gain the confidence to always put on a great performance.
5. Gain focus and a more productive mind frame.
6. Become self-sufficient by knowing how to assess a problem and then fix it without creating a new issue.
*** Studio Equipment *** PRIVATE HOME STUDIO: Keyboard, speakers (smartphone, iPod, iPad), CD player, tape recorder/player, digital recorder, music stand, mirror, laptop, sheet music selections, HD video camera, tripod, video editing software, audio editing software, USB microphone, and high speed WiFi internet. Full PA, two mixers (one mixer with 8 inputs and the other with 4), 8 Lavaliere microphones ("body mics"), multiple hand held microphones, laptop stand, and music stands.
**ASK ABOUT ON LOCATION TRAINING (ON SET, THEATER, PERFORMANCE EVENT, OR RECORDING STUDIO)!
**ONLINE LESSONS ALSO AVAILABLE!
*** Specialties *** We specialize in Bel Canto voice technique for the modern singer. Each student can sing all genres without sounding too classical, "fake", and without losing their voice while singing for long periods of time.
Other Specialties: Teaching acting technique for theatre-TV-Film (Stella Adler, Stanislavsky, Chekhov, & Meisner), performance skills, songwriting, and creating self-sufficient singers-actors-performers (Artist Development).
CANCELLATION: 48 hour lesson cancellation policy and emergencies (determined by Rachel) are handled on a case by case basis. All students (or their parents/guardian if under 18) who have scheduled vacations and other activities (meetings, parties, school shows, concerts, rehearsals...etc) that interfere with the student’s regularly scheduled lesson time, need to contact Rachel as soon as the vacation/other activity is scheduled but no later than two weeks in advanced before their missed regularly scheduled lesson to prevent from forfeiting the lesson.
MAKE-UPS: Make-Up lessons will be scheduled if time allows. No Make-Up lesson or class will be given to ‘no shows’ or “late cancellation”, and no extra time to extend their lesson will be given to students who are late to their lesson or class. If there is ever a time Rachel is running late, extra time will be given to make the lesson a full 60 minutes. If Rachel needs to reschedule, a Make-Up lesson will be scheduled as close to the same week as possible. Make-Up lessons are scheduled at Rachel’s discretion.
ONLINE LESSONS FOR IN-PERSON LESSON CLIENTS: In the event that the student is sick but still would like their lesson, an online lesson will be scheduled instead. Students can NOT come to their in person lesson sick, coughing, sneezing, with a runny nose, cold, flu, allergies, fever, etc. (This is to make sure no germs will be spread).
An online lesson will also be scheduled if there is bad weather, if a student is having car trouble, or any other reason for the student not being able to physically get to Rachel’s private studio during their normally scheduled lesson time. Online lessons are conducted through Classroom, FaceTime, Google, Hangouts, or Skype.
SCHEDULE: Lessons are weekly, on the same time/day of the week unless we have rescheduled or we have discussed in writing another lesson plan. If the student’s lesson falls on a holiday, we will either reschedule or if no other day is available, resume the following week.
LATENESS: If a student is going to be late they need to contact Rachel as soon as possible, to let her know they will be late. Lessons will end on time unless she is able to extend the lesson due to a late student or her schedule allows for it though please understand, Rachel would be extending a courtesy and would not be obligated to do so. If on the rare occasion Rachel is running late, she will always make up the time.
SITTING IN: Parents/Guardians are ONLY permitted to stay for the first lesson and are NOT permitted to sit in for any other lesson/class unless invited. This is to promote good/strong teacher-student relationship quickly and easily. Also, many times students feel more comfortable when their parents/guardians leave. Of course there will be times when the parent will be invited back in at the end of some of the lesson to showcase progress.
COMMUNICATION: Due to Rachel's normally scheduling students one right after another without breaks, being in the recording studio, performing, or being on set, the best way to contact her is through text AND email. Please ALWAYS leave messages when calling Rachel with your name, contact info, AND the reason you are calling. Please be specific. Thank you!
"I try to be as fair as possible to both parties when it comes to cancellations, rescheduling, lateness, and make ups. Have a concern or question? Just talk with me. I'm all about communication!" - Rachel
Racheal did a wonderful job helping my daughter with her stage presence.
January 29, 2018
My 9 yr. old daughter received singing lessons with Rachel. Rachel was SO wonderful, patient, and creative with every session with her. She was constantly coming up with different ways to keep her engaged and was always reassuring her to increase her confidence. She gave great constructive feedback on how my daughter was doing and what she can work on to improve. I give her 5 stars! Thanks so much, Rachel!
October 3, 2017
Overall, very impressed. She is direct and doesn't tell you something you want to hear. Her evaluation process is well rounded and planned. She puts together a great curriculum to know what to expect in the coming lessons. Very easy going person and makes you feel completely comfortable at the initial lessons.
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.
Andy is a guitarist and teacher located in Denver. He received his Bachelor's of Music with an emphasis in Jazz Guitar Performance from the University of Northern Colorado. He has taught for multiple music lesson companies. In addition, he writes music related articles that have been featured in blogs and in magazines such as Classical Guitar Magazine. He has recorded, toured, and performed with many groups in a variety of genres. In lessons, he strives to help his students reach their musical potential in a fun and supportive environment.
Andy is a great guitar teacher. He was prepared for every lesson and really helped get our daughter excited about guitar. We really appreciated his patience and positive attitude!
May 29, 2015
He was very patient with my child which was a first timer! He motivated her to want to play. Very comfortable to be around! I would definitely hire him again!
March 27, 2015
Andy was such a great teacher. My 7 year old son looked forward to his lessons with Andy every week. We were very bummed we had to stop lessons because of moving out of state. Andy has such a great way of teaching and has such patience with kids.
My interest is in developing singers to become a better version of themselves and help them reach their goals. Many of my students are singing professionally in Colorado, New York and internationally.
Background includes international and national performance credits in both opera and musical theatre. My last major gig was Carlotta in Andrew Lloyd Webber's German production of Phantom of the Opera in Hamburg, Germany for ten years. We sang eight times a week in German! All backstage activities were in English due to the truly International cast. I loved every minute of living and working in Continental Europe.
In May, I'll be singing one of the leading soprano roles with Opera Fort Collins in The Fairy Queen by Purcell. I'm hoping my costume will have a set of white wings like the Gynbourne production.
Why these lessons are different: - Formally trained conductor/composer/producer - Individual or group session options including full band production - A long roster of satisfied clients - Broad base of musical styles (rock, classical, jazz, blues, metal, bluegrass, folk, theater, big band, symphonic, pop, punk, country, march, gospel, avant-garde...) - Over 20 yrs teaching experience and work with recognized professionals including work in some of the top-rated private schools in the United States - Over 30 years performing experience
My process is based on (but does not adhere strictly to
) the Classical approach to Western tonal harmony and asks that the students develop certain fundamentals of technique and theory. In my experience, this structure creates the strongest foundation for pupils to build the rest of their musical lives on, whether professionally or solely for personal enjoyment. All of my students are on the fast track to studying music theory. Whatever level they are at when I start with them, I guide their efforts into bringing the students up to a certain level of comprehension regarding the mathematical aspects of music and how it relates to their instruments. This understanding of theoretical principles of sound allows the students to play any style of music they wish, no matter how their tastes may change throughout their lives.
Curriculum Gradation: Elements of rhythm Elements of pitch Elements of dynamics Elements of articulation Reading/Writing notation Tone development Finding/Expanding your range Dexterity, speed, and accuracy How to project How to advance to the next level Music theory Playing by ear Improvisational techniques Finding your signature style Expression/Lyricism Composition/Arrangement Project Management
Darrell helped me a lot to get a handle on my Ableton rig. I needed to set up midi tracks, locate presets to create cool sounds from plugins. Then I needed to export the audio of a couple of those tracks to import into a separate Pro Tools project. Lot of progress, thanks Darrell! -- Frank S
June 18, 2019
Absolutely loved the lesson and loved Darrell. He made me feel very comfortable and made the lesson fun. I learned a lot and really am looking forward to the next ones. Very excited to be embarking on this new venture in my life.
"Michelle helped me prepare for a voice audition for a musical production, and I got the role I tried out for!"
"Jeremy brings knowledgeable talent to his live performances and makes learning music theory fun. I have been fortunate to perform live music with Jeremy o
n numerous occasions and can state unequivocally that it is a pleasure to work with him."
"Always have a fun lesson. Good teacher and would highly recommend"
"Danny has been working with my daughter for almost 5 years now and we love his approach. My daughter has learned to be a stronger performer, she knows how
to interact with the crowd and also knows how to audition. She has landed a local lead part at her local theater production. My daughter looks forward to the classes."
"I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Bethany over the years and can't recommend her enough for lessons. She is professional, efficient, and a won
derful musician. She has a unique musical insight and intuition that shows in her performances. Bethany has always been incredible at explaining ideas in both a constructive and clear manner. She is a wonderful, patient, kind teacher, and has inspired many, including myself with her playing and discipline in honing her craft."
"Performing has being my main issue
Have more confidance since Rodolfo has made improve my technique
"Keanon is a great instructor and performer and is extremely versed in his field. He also has a great personality and is a pleasure to work with."
"I had the pleasure of working with Jill Good while I was responsible for planning and conducting numerous worship services for occasions which required sp
ecial music. She is a consummate musician; not only does she play superbly, she has extensive knowledge of music theory, as well as possessing a repertoire of works which are appropriate in multiple settings. She is a delight to work with - bringing not only her expertise, but her bright spirit to every endeavor. I commend her without reservation."
"I've rehearsed and performed with Vandi Enzor in a chamber setting per the requirements of her graduate voice degree. I accompanied her on guitar as she s
ang; the specific piece was the Seven Popular Spanish songs by the great Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. Vandi is professional, patient, hard working, receptive, and musical. Her great command of her instrument is evident, and more than that she has genuine joy in what she does. Collaborating with her was a pleasure, and I can't recommend her enough for musical instruction. A true professional."