Heavy duty repertoire work is part of opera lessons. Usually I find that opera students enter the studio with a great deal of vocal proficiency, having taken lessons previously, but if vocal issues are present, we will back track to clear those up while working on easier pieces first. I love working with students of all ages and experience levels, and I can't wait to meet you!
ABOUT PENNY R.
I graduated from college in Virginia with a Bachelor of Music Education degree as a voice major, and minored in piano and violin. My teaching certificate was for vocal, instrumental and general music, grades K - 12, and I graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Graduate school brought me to Indiana, where I earned a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance. Migrating up to the Chicago area from there, I taught at a private music school (voice and small ensembles, as well as many faculty performances) before staying at home to raise our children, and teaching voice lessons privately in
my Studio. After 30 years of teaching, I'm still at it, and I still love it!
I am a Permanent Professional member of Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA), a National Certified Teacher of Music with the Illinois State Music Teacher's Association (ISMTA), a member of the West Suburban Chapter of ISMTA, as well as a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing. Most of my students are high school aged, but I have taught from ages seven through 70. My students regularly achieve MTNA's Music Achievement Award, are selected for District Choir and All-State Choir, as well as receive leading roles in high school and community musicals.
I believe that singing does something to words which nothing else can--it puts feelings to music. Everyone has feelings, and everyone can be musical. Those who pursue their vocal education can be rewarded with confidence in their ability to sing. The goal of my Studio is to promote the study of music, and to create a musical environment at each lesson so that every person's individual potential can become realized - all while having fun!
My Studio provides a nurturing environment for all singers, from beginning to advanced, children to adults. I will help you develop and maintain your vocal health, expand your vocal range, and develop your musicianship. You will learn to integrate a coordinated process of breath, pitch and tone, while exploring your vocal potential in a wide range of contemporary and classic musical styles. Teaching proper vocal technique is my primary goal with every student: fixing what is being used incorrectly, and enhancing what is already done well. I will work with you on any style of repertoire you desire: classical, opera, Broadway, jazz, folk, etc. I love it when a student wants a variety of song! And if your music theory skills are weak, we'll take care of that, too!
Children eighth grade and younger should sign up for half hour lessons; students high school and older should sign up for 45 minute lessons.
I am so excited to share the joy of making music with my new TakeLessons students! We get right into breathing, first thing. Once that is right, we can turn our attention to what's going on with the throat and mouth. All the while, we are learning songs by which we can practice whatever we're working on in the exercises. Everybody's different, with different tensions, both proper and antagonistic. We isolate the muscular tensions that are interfering with your perfect sound, and go from there!
*** Lesson Details *** Come prepared to make a lot of noises with which you don't normally sing! We will explore every sound you are capable of - there's something to learn from most of them! Obviously, we'll concentrate on the ones we really want to sing with, while using a myriad of vocal exercises.
My studio brochure will explain many of the nuts and bolts of our lessons, and any expectations regarding practicing, keyboard ability and access, and how we work home practice when you don't know how to play piano. Generally, we spend about half the lesson time on warm ups/exercises, and half the time on songs. Sometimes we memorize them; sometimes we polish them; sometimes we just learn them quickly and move on to new things. Each lesson is a little different, depending on what I'm hearing from you that day.
I'm always happy to help you with school/church solos, audition material, choral parts, etc. Otherwise, we will choose repertoire together, taking into account your goals and interests, along with what makes good teaching material. Come join the fun and make some music!
*** Studio Equipment *** My basement rec room serves as my teaching studio, so there are stairs with which to contend. Parents may stay either in the studio, or up in my living room to wait. The fully equipped studio contains a piano, audio-visual equipment for recording and play back, music stands, stools, a comfortable couch, and even a sink for quick water drinks! (Singing can make you thirsty!)
*** Specialties *** In my 30+ years of teaching private lessons, I've amassed quite a toolbox of eclectic musical resources. That said, I still find muscle manipulative exercises while vocalizing to be the quickest route for most students to have success in building their long term voice. So I utilize those techniques frequently. With proper, healthy vocal production, a student can sing in any genre they choose. I am very concerned about producing a healthy voice with a free tone, particularly for children, so that all students can go forward into whatever style they choose with good vocal production.
Kimberly July 12, 2016
Penny is a fabulous teacher. With an emphasis on the technical aspects of proper voice form, she provides an excellent base to strengthen one's singing skills and appreciate those of others.
Penny is professional and very encouraging.
Stephanie E. September 1, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Very knowledgeable, extremely patient and works well with teens. Recommend!
Jen July 24, 2015
Penny is an amazing instructor! She is 100% focused during every minute of your lesson! My 12 year old daughter has taken lessons with her for almost a year. She really focuses on technique which I feel is so important! I see progress in my daughter during every lesson!
Experienced vocal teacher of 10 years available for eager students of all experience levels and ages! I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of music theory, sight reading, technique, and stylistic skills. I specialize in classical, opera,and musical theatre, typically use Schirmer Opera Anthology books, and also have the following tools available to use during lessons: piano, extensive musical library, iPad with YouTube and numerous other musical apps, quarterly group lessons, bi-annual recitals.
Classically trained pianist and singer. When it comes to piano, I have over 20 years of training under my belt. Majority of my experience deals with classical and accompaniment but have also studied jazz and contemporary. In the way of singing, I am a classically trained singer who majored in Opera Performance in college. I have plenty of performance experience from being on the stage in operas and musical to performing with choirs and solo recitals. In voice lessons a student can choose to specialize in opera or if they were to take standard voice lessons, they could expect a wide variety
of music focusing on multiple languages and genres including musical theater.
With every musician, Music Theory is crucial. All students will learn the basics of reading music and those who choose, can go beyond to learn the structure of music and why music is the way it is with Music Theory lessons.
I am qualified to teach all levels of piano, opera, and voice.I take a real hands on, active approach to teaching, going beyond just the lesson books.
I am also able to offer tutoring services. I have been tutoring since high school. In high school as part of the National Honors Society, we were asked to tutor once a week and it continued into college when I decided to double major in Psychology taking an interest in adolescence psychology. My strong suits and reading and math but I am more than happy to help in any subject.
I do have dogs in the house so please be advised if you have allergies.
*** Lesson Details *** Our sessions will be laid back and easy going. I expect the students to do their work and practice and as long as they are showing progress, we can continue with a fun and relaxed atmosphere. I am patient with my students, and do my best to develop teaching methods unique to each student to give the best experience and set them up for the highest level of success. I don't push students to perfection but rather assist them in reaching their personal best. As long as they are having fun and learning, I know I am doing my job. Music is to be enjoyed and that is my goal with each student.
For voice and piano, students will learn a wide variety of music. I also believe strongly in the power of sight reading. Students will also learn music theory in their lessons. Piano students will follow a lesson book curriculum along with learning scales and sight reading. Voice students will sing from all major languages (English, French, Italian, and German) and practice sight reading skills.
Students should bring a notebook to lessons where notes will be taken on what we accomplished in our lessons and what needs to be worked on for the next lesson. This will usually include a theory sheet, technique work, and songs.
Twice a year I hold a recital where students get to show off to other students and family what they have accomplished in their lessons. With piano students, you will prepare and memorize usually one song. For voice students, you will prepare and memorize two songs, at least one will be in a foreign language.
*** Studio Equipment *** Lower level for studio, piano, seating for parents, on site computer for easy reference and music samples.
*** Specialties *** I have an Opera performance degree. I am a classically trained singer and pianist.
Emese September 11, 2016
I find my lessons to go by very quickly, she is a great instructor and makes learning very enjoyable. I find her enthusiasm for piano to make me want to learn more and more each lesson!
Anita G. July 7, 2016
In home Verified Student
Location is close by. She is very friendly and I feel that I have learned a lot just with the three lessons
Ariel M. April 10, 2016
In studio Verified Student
From late teen to adult. Lapsed opera singers welcome,too. Language coaching, repertoire/aria help and more.
I have been teaching for 14 years: kids, teens-even beginner vocalists in their seventies! Rockers, an "Idol" finalist, church musicians, lapsed opera singers, preschoolers. ...these are just a few of singers I have worked with, in person, in the classroom, and ONLINE (I just love teaching singers all over the country and the world!) .
What you get in voice lessons with me: laughter as you learn! I have learned solid classical vocal technique from the very best . I have trained with respected opera singers who have performed with companies such as Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as leader
s in vocal pedagogy. I believe everyone deserves the same useful tools- no matter what it is you like to sing!
I am patient and customize each and every lesson. Need more time on ear training? No problem . How about beginning music theory? I can help with that,too. Are you feeling more confident, and want to focus more on song polishing and getting into the heart of your songs? Let's do it! Confidence an issue? I am a pro with very shy people. I'll get you out of your shell, relaxed, and having fun right away so we can free that voice of yours! I have worked with many singers who have been diagnosed with anxiety: you're in good hands and you can trust me with your voice.
I am also a drama teacher who has worked with groups as well as individuals. I love working with beginning acting students! I'll assist with monologue prep, improvisation, voice for the stage, body awareness, and more. I love being on stage and want you to see how fun it is to jump in and let go,too!
If you're interested in beginner ear training or music theory, I'd love to help you with that as well. I present it in a no-nonsense and fun manner! I'll provide you with simple worksheets to increase your confidence in learning the language of music, as well as run you through increasingly challenging patterns and sight reading for the ear training. Don't be afraid: I make it easy and customize it all.
I have been singing for over 20 years. Performances with the Lira Ensemble and Opera on Tap Chicago, and in master classes with international opera stars Alan Held and Lorna Haywood. Coaching with Collaborative Works Chicago and Rossini Opera Festival. Additional studies in Rock Vocals, Voice Care, Improvisational Comedy, Holistic Voice, Acting, Foreign languages, Dalcroze, Speaking Voice for Singers, , Commercial Vocal Styles/Belting with Lisa Popeil, teacher mentoring workshop with Maestro David Jones. Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Additional workshops in Vocal Pedagogy with David Sabella-Mills, Jeannie LoVetri. Dr. Karen Prokop.
Certified CoreSinging Instructor- one of only a few in the U.S. trained by Meribeth Dayme, PhD, respected clinician and authority in vocal pedagogy and author of "The Singing Book".
My students do a variety of great things! One was a top 12 "American Idol" finalist. Current students perform in musicals, top rated choirs, and professional rock , jazz,and blues bands. Many have won awards for their singing at competitions such as NATS. Students of mine have also been accepted to prestigious performing arts high schools and undergraduate music programs.
I think if you can speak, you can sing. Everyone can and should sing! Don't let anything hold you back. I am a people person that is very passionate about music and singing, and want to be the teacher you'll trust with your voice. Come laugh and learn with me!
*** Lesson Details *** I teach in person (Northwest Suburbs of Chicago) and online via Skype or FaceTime.
*** Studio Equipment *** Sing and See Software. Additional materials I use: Funky n' Fun Vocal Exercises, Estelle Liebling Vocal Methods, Bona and Dannhauser for sight-reading.
*** Specialties *** Beginner vocalists! Very shy singers. Children, teens. Lapsed singers,older beginners, and seniors. Experience in working with those with learning disabilities , special needs, and victims of abuse. Have also worked with transgendered .
Brooke R. January 16, 2017
In home Verified Student
Molly has been a wonderful teacher/coach for our 13 year old daughter. She is inspirational and has helped our daughter navigate and prepare for an audition for a selective high school in Chicago. Thank you, Molly!
Kyrie January 7, 2017
In home Verified Student
Fun!!! Our daughter loves her enthusiasm!
Melissa A. January 5, 2017
Broadway Singing ·
In home Verified Student
My daughter was very reluctant to start voice lessons. Molly was able to quickly put her at ease. After only two lessons, I can already tell a difference in the quality of my daughter's singing voice.
Let me help you develop your REAL VOICE and hone your skills as a performer.
About Michelle Kei
Michelle Kei I., a soprano of Japanese and American heritage, "uses her strong dramatic soprano to slice through the orchestra" in a varied repertoire that encompasses Verismo to Broadway. Possessing a captivating stage presence and praised as "superb," "gifted," and a "constant breakaway from the rest of the vocal pack," she has entertained audiences on stages around the world.
Those are the first two sentences of my professional biography. I thought I'd use them to get the ball rolling.
Ever since I can remember, I've always been a performer. I come from a very musical family. I was al
ways singing! I sang at home, in church, in show-choir and musicals at school - basically anywhere I could find an audience!
When I decided to go to college to study music, I chose the prestigious School of Music at Indiana University. I wanted to sing Broadway, but my father encouraged me to study classical singing first, so I'd have the foundations for a bulletproof technique that could endure a long and demanding career. I'm so glad that he did!
Who would have thought that I would learn to LOVE opera?!? It had everything that Broadway did, and so much more! Plus, I learned to fill a theater with the sound of my voice and soar over the orchestra WITHOUT A MICROPHONE!!!
Would you like to learn how to do that? I can show you how.
Let me help you find your REAL VOICE!!!
What you can expect from me:
- I will provide a supportive and effective work environment.
- I will make recommendations on repertoire based upon your goals
- I will provide you with an individualized regimen of study based upon your strengths and development, not a standardized format of study.
What I expect from you:
- Learn the musical selections we choose. Your lesson time should be used for improving your technique, not learning your music.
- Leave your outside life at the door. It will be waiting for you when you leave.
- Enjoy the process. Experiment. If it doesn't work, try something else. Take constructive criticism as an opportunity for improvement, not as a personal attack.
- Commit yourself fully! Be engaged. The benefit you receive is equal to the work you put into the process.
Therese January 15, 2017
When I signed up for vocal training through TakeLessons, I thought I would take a few lessons to improve my singing voice. I had no idea that voice training with Michelle Kei Ishuu and Robert Taylor would be such a fun and productive adventure. Michelle and Robert, both highly talented classically trained professionals, are a terrific husband and wife team who pack a wallop with each lesson. Michelle is pure joy and coaches from the heart to bring out the best in her students. After only a few lessons, my vocal range has expanded and I sing with more confidence. Robert has a very keen ear and always suggests the perfect technique to improve my tone and vocal quality. Together they provide excellent vocal training. I can't wait to continue with my lessons to see how far I can go. If you want to advance quickly and really enjoy the experience, Michelle and Robert will be the perfect teachers for you.
Jose January 12, 2017
In studio Verified Student
Great first lesson!
Deirdre R. January 2, 2017
Musical Theater ·
In studio Verified Student
We are so glad we decided to get lessons with Michelle Kei and her partner Robert. They both are such talented performers and teachers and have made vocal training a wonderful experience for my teen daughter. Michelle and Robert and warm and extremely supportive people who teach with enthusiasm and a clear focus on the learner's priorities. My daughter needed coaching to prepare for an audition and earned the lead in the show! Michelle and Robert supported my daughter all along the way from the rehearsal period until performance week. I never imagined we would fine such wonderful and dedicated teachers on the internet. We are so glad we used TakeLessons to find them!
Breathing technique, posture, freedom of singing, voice placement, song interpretation, language diction
Hello All! My name is Christopher and I am excited to begin working with you all. I began teaching voice in 2012 as a student in Bowling Green, OH. I enjoying watching students progress and to help the find their own voice! I am fun, energetic, caring and dedicated. I received my Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance in 2013 from Bowling Green State University. I have a Graduate Performers Certificate in performance from Northern Illinois University where O am currently completing my Masters of Music in performance.
Jamie F. October 19, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Christopher was wonderful! I had a great first lesson.
Alex September 2, 2016
Opera Voice ·
Amazing job all around! He used many visuals and examples to help me figure out how to properly use my voice and get it resonating to its fullest potential. Great personality and fantastic teaching skills!
Anaya May 2, 2016
In studio Verified Student
He has done a great job with my daughter, she's always excited to attend lessons and I can't get her to stop singing afterwards! Very pleased with Christopher!