I'm a classically trained singer taking a hard left at the corner of classical technique and real-world application. I studied classical voice for undergrad, but I started work in pop and jazz voice during my Masters degree. As a result, I've turned out to be a very versatile instructor, well-versed in multiple genres and able to teach healthy technique to all.
*** Lesson Details *** I tend to be pretty laid-back. You give me your time and commitment and I guarantee that I will push for you as hard as I can in order to help you achieve your goals. I have a few recommended books for student
s to purchase, but no set curriculum. I expect that our lessons will be an exploration of our shared musical tastes with an emphasis upon building a healthy performance technique. For younger kids, I tend to use a lot of folk songs and Disney.
*** Studio Equipment *** Living room location, piano for assistance, computer.
*** Travel Equipment *** I will bring theory worksheets if I teach music theory. If I teach cello, student would be required to provide their own instrument or to rent one from myself. If there is a piano in the house, I am functional to provide limited accompaniment.
*** Specialties *** I specialize in foreign language pieces. Particularly French pieces. I specialize in diction coaching for voice.
Regarding theory, I tend to work with students who have had some music background, but need to solidify their theoretical understanding of music. I can teach anything from note-reading to more advanced part-writing and analysis.
Alex G. April 13, 2013
Best lesson teacher I've had
Let me start out by saying something about myself. I have played saxophone for 5 years and bass for 3 But I never had any vocal training whatsoever until about 6 months ago when I started with Mr. Tanksly. I have taken lessons before but I have never felt as welcome or comfortable in a lesson as I have with him. He is very patient and encouraging which really helped me to become comfortable with my voice. Also he always has helpful analogies and ways to help me understand what he wanted me to do with my voice. Every time I walk into my lesson he is always bright and happy and ready to get started. With his help I have made huge improvements in my vocal technique. Overall Mr. Tanksly is an amazing lesson teacher and an amazing person that I would suggest to anyone.
Bobby V. March 10, 2013
Really makes you think
I have been taking singing lessons for about 6 months now, but I have learned more than I ever thought I would. Mr. Tanksley is such an amazing teacher in so many ways. You can communicate with him what you want to work on, and he always seems to have a good strategy or analogy to help you in what you are having problems with. He is very laid back, and as long as you come to the lesson prepared, he will not disappoint.
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), Illinois State Music Teacher's Association (ISMTA),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.
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!
Carla B. June 2, 2015
In home Verified Student
Penny is awesome. She's not only talented as a singer but talented as an instructor. Highly recommend!!
Justine E. March 19, 2015
In home Verified Student
Penny seems knowledgable and professional. She was very energetic and related well to my 13 year old daughter.
Bel canto instruction and technique with a clear outline of warm up techniques using Kristin Linklater techniques. I am a classically trained singer, familiar with the repertoire, as well as diction in Italian, French, German and Latin. The goal is utter freedom and beauty of the voice, enabling you to express the scope of contemporary and classical composers.
I am a professional singer, songwriter and actor working in the Chicago area for many years. I have a B.F.A. in Theater/Voice from The University of Kansas and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago. I've been teaching private vocal instruction since 2003: I host the Singer's Salon in Chicago, a unique and supportive venue for singer's to become more comfortable performing before an audience. I also instruct workshops for vocal technique and performance. For the past 10 years I was the lead singer for The Red Apples, an acoustic roots band that performs an eclectic mix
of rock, swing, blues, country and jazz. I also have a cabaret/art song project consisting or original material with composer Jaroslaw Golembiowski. As a singer and actress I have performed with many major theaters in the Chicago area, including Court Theater, Victory Gardens, National Jewish Theater, Bailiwick Theater, and Prop Theater.
*** Lesson Details *** As a classically trained singer I will instruct you in all aspects of singing technique, from breath control and support to improving your tone, range, flexibility and resonance. My familiarity with a variety of musical styles from pop/rock, R&B, and country, to musical theater, lounge and jazz makes me an ideal teacher for those interested in contemporary styles.
I have spent many years developing my own style of singing and instruction. I draw on my experiences and training not only in music, but theater and movement, (Linklater, Alexander Technique, Grotowski) to create a well rounded approach to singing and performing. As an instructor, I am most interested in helping students find their true voice and artistic style. I teach students to find expression through and with a foundation of technique, rather then in spite of it. I also am very interested in helping students deal with the mental/emotional aspects of performance, an all important area so frequently ignored by music teachers. My style is nurturing, yet disciplined, and sprinkled liberally with good-natured humor."
*** Studio Equipment *** My studio space is fully equipped with a piano, P.A. system with microphones, CD, MP3 player for tracks, and ability to record lessons if the student desires.
*** Travel Equipment *** Please have a piano (in tune!) or keyboard for use in your in home lessons.
*** Specialties *** I am classically trained, but I am very adept at teaching music in a wide variety of styles, including most contemporary styles of music including pop/rock, roots, swing, jazz and blues, country, r&b, and of course musical theater and cabaret. My band performs an eclectic mix of originals and covers in the roots rock genre, and I write music as well. I have many years of experience in the theater as an actress, and I coach acting technique and performance. I coach singer/songwriters, and all types of singers, of all ages. I have a workshop that specializes in helping people learn to perform better in front of an audience, and I host the Singer's Salon in Chicago, which is a supportive opportunity to perform regularly! I also coach bands, to improve their vocals, harmonies, etc.
YVETTE R. June 30, 2015
In home Verified Student
Great experience for my daughter.
Bob June 26, 2015
Vocal Training ·
Wendy has been giving voice lessons to my 12-year-old daughter for 6 months, so I asked her what kind of review she should get. The answer was quick: "Five stars!" Why? "Because she's fun, and she has helped me identify and work on the skills I need, and helped me improve where I'm okay, but could be better."
From my point of view, Wendy has done all those things. My daughter loves to sing, and Wendy is increasing her skills and her confidence. She looks forward to her weekly lessons; never a complaint. Five stars.
Brenda M. February 27, 2015
Speaking Voice ·
In studio Verified Student
I enjoy working with Wendy, very kind and and understands my desire to work towards my goals.
I have had the pleasure to teach students at all age levels classical technique. This means that I teach healthy breathing, how to support, proper placement.
I am absolutely thrilled to be returning back to Chicago full time and able to open my private studio again. In May of this year, I finished my doctoral degree at University of Michigan in Vocal Performance. It was a truly wonderful experience, filled with wonderful performing experiences and furthering my teaching skills by instructing students of all talent and age levels.
I have been teaching for full-time for the past six years and part-time for the last ten years. It is an absolute joy for me and I truly believe that it is a gift to share a student's musical journey with them. I ai
m to find how each student learns best and tailor their lessons to them.
Below you will find a more formal performance bio. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!
Katherine C. is an award-winning mezzo-soprano. In the past three seasons, Katherine has been featured in important role and company debuts across the United States, eliciting kudos for her “soaring, rich voice” (The Miami Herald), her “polished musical and dramatic characterizations” (Kurt Weill Newsletter) and her “fine coloratura technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
In the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons, Katherine C. will debut the roles of the Komponist in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos (University of Michigan) as well as the Mezzo-Soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem (Chicago Community Chorus). As a winner of the coveted concerto competition at University of Michigan, in the fall, she will make her Hill Auditorium debut with the University of Michigan orchestra singing John Corigliano's Mr. Tambourine Man in addition to performing the work with the Oakland Symphony in 2015. In January of 2014, she will return to Opera on the James to make a role debut of Julia Child in Hoiby's Bon Appetit as well as returning with the Toledo Symphony in April for the Mezzo-Soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
During the 2011 and 2012 season, Katherine C. performed with three time Grammy winning eighth blackbird to revisit Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man at the University of Missouri Kansas City as well as debuting with Opera on the James as Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore, with the Freeport Symphony as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with the Marion Symphony as the mezzo-soprano solist in Mozart’s Requiem, and returned to Toledo for Handel’s Messiah, and debuted with the Metropolitan Chorale of Waverly, Iowa for Beethoven’s Mass in C and Choral Fantasia.
During 2010 and 2011, the singer returned to Syracuse Opera in her role debut as Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel; made her first appearance with Opera New Jersey as Siebel in Gounod’s Faust; performed as soloist with the eighth blackbird in John Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man both in Chicago as well as at the University of Richmond; returned to the Toledo Symphony to perform in Handel’s Messiah and sang the world premiere performance of Vivian Fung’s Yushan Songs with Chicago based Fulcrum Point.
Auspicious operatic and symphonic debuts from recent seasons include roles as Stephano in Roméo et Juliette with Syracuse Opera (for which Calcamuggio was named “Artist of the Year” in 2009); a much touted Sesto in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Un Musico in Manon Lescaut with Florida Grand Opera; the Young Nun in the world premiere of Stephen Hartke’s The Greater Good (available on the Naxos label); Aglaonice in Philip Glass’ critically-acclaimed Orphée with Glimmerglass Opera; and Inez in a concert performance of Verdi’s Il Trovatore under the baton of Maestro Eduardo Müller with the Miami Concert Association. Calcamuggio has also performed as a featured soloist in a recital of Rossini’s songs titled Sins of My Old Age with Opera Omaha and in Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Park Ridge Symphony.
The mezzo-soprano has received top prizes in the Palm Beach Opera, Bel Canto and Shreveport Singer of the Year competitions; and has awards from the Chicago Women’s Musician’s Club and the Anna Sosenko Trust. She is a former participant in young artists’ programs at Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, as well as the Aspen and Brevard Music Festivals.
Katherine C. holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree from University of Michigan, a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music degree from Bowling Green State University.
Katherine has taught at both the high school level (Loyola Academy, Regina Dominican, Elmwood Park and Dexter High) and the college level (University of Michigan and Northwestern University as part of her graduate assistantship). Her students ranged from beginning classically trained students to musical theater students.
*** Lesson Details *** You will constantly be learning from me when you take lessons. I am an incredibly energetic, passionate and caring person which translates to a fun, open learning environment. Students will learn about proper singing technique with me including how to take prepare the body for singing, the proper breath and how to use the body to its utmost capabilities for the best produced sound. I also ask that students learn basic theory so as to help them with their singing.
*** Studio Equipment *** You feel safe, relaxed and ready to learn in our apartment. Decorated with opera houses that we have performed in, surrounded by book cases with music scores and books and opera pictures, you will be inspired to learn while I sit behind our upright piano. Parents are welcome to stay and can wait in our living room or dining room while your son/daughter is learning.
*** Specialties *** Being classically trained and being an active opera singer still, I am best suited and strongest in the classical field. However, all singing is based on proper breath technique and support, so I can teach many different genres for the voice. I also have taught musical theater!
Colleen B. March 12, 2014
Singing Verified Student
Katherine is a positive force to our daughter. She is really professional!
MikeK1 May 7, 2012
Very good teacher who is very excited when you do well. I can not believe that I am willing to sign in front of anyone but she has made me feel very relaxed.Great Job
KellyT1 April 29, 2012
Great teachers. My daughter really loves working with her.
I have a bachelors and masters degree in music performance in voice, and have quite a bit of performance experience, including several leading roles in operas. However, I believe that the fundamentals of good singing are the same in every genre, and will be happy to work with you in whatever style of music interests you the most!
I graduated this spring with my master's degree in vocal performance. I specialize in operatic singing, but the fundamentals of good singing are the same across all genres, so I can work with you in whatever style you're interested in singing. I'll work with you to create a regimen to train your vocal technique to expend your range, vocal quality (how good your voice sounds in all parts of your range), the strength of your voice, your vocal agility, and your musical expressiveness. We will also apply the skills built with this regimen to repertoire that interests you!
Marcella July 16, 2015
This was my first one on one voice lesson. Working with Jennifer was really beneficial. She worked with the children's choir I was in and instantly my director and myself noticed a great difference in my voice. Great advice, excercises, and incredible patience. You will not be let down!
Students are raving about their Opera Voice instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Galeano
"I've been looking for a teacher for quite some time now and finally found her. I have extensive experience singing operatic repertoire so it's tough to fi
nd the right help on this. Monica has greatly helped my singing with her understanding of the voice. She has a fine ear and a great teaching style that builds on what is already right without reinventing the technique all together. She's so energetic and fun to work with. I'd recommend her to anyone looking to improve their singing in any way."
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Beverly
"Joshua is great at his craft. I spent a lot of time since I moved to the East Coast looking for an voice coach who understand what my voice needed. Josh
ua stepped right in and put into words what I have been trying to tell other for a long time. He's truthful and I know I can trust what he say. That was important to me. I want to say you Joshua. I now have something to look forward to."
Washington, DC teacher:
Joshua M. - FLEX LESSONS ONLY!
Review by Yen Yen
"Excellent teaching skill!
I just started lessons with Anna-Lisa. She was able to diagnose my weakness,adjust my posture,give me different execerises to w
ork on, help me to improve my tone,release tension and sing higher notes,woohoo! I'm so glad that I found her,thanks Anna-Lisa, I can't wait for my next lesson with you!"
Phoenix, AZ teacher:
Review by Melissa
"Excellent instructor with an impeccable understanding of vocal technique.
After a ten-year hiatus, I decided to take vocal lessons again. I am amazed at
my improvement after just three lessons. Guadalupe is patient, understanding, and very knowledgeable when it comes to vocal technique and how to execute it properly. She can teach vocalists of various styles and backgrounds with great ease because she truly understands the physiological, articulatory, and functional properties of the voice. Guadalupe also has great ears. She suggested I see a throat doctor because a few minutes into my first lesson, she heard what she thought was slight vocal information. The following week her suspicions were medically confirmed and now I am getting the proper course of treatment to eliminate this condition. I am very lucky to have her on my side as I get my voice ready for conservatory level study."
New York, NY teacher:
Review by david
"I'm an Italian cantor for already a few years, I had other voice lessons before from other teachers and stopped working with them. When i started with Ch
arles, besides being a very nice guy and patient, something I realized right away is that he is a real voice teacher that learnt properly how to teach from lots of real professionals.
After only 3 lessons He helped me discover ways to use my breath and voice that i never new before. Now By practicing with this methods I truly believe I can get better results from my voice.
Phoenix, AZ teacher:
Review by Starleea
I am a lyric soprano and have been studying opera with Marko for close to 9 years. He is an amazing voice teacher! He cares for his students and
their vocal progress. His knowledge of the operatic repertoire is remarkable! Highly recommended!!!!"
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Heather
"Jessica is awesome! She is warm, patient, and kind. We hit it off right away. I can't wait for my next lesson. Heather. ;-)"
Austin, TX teacher:
Review by Brent
"Mark is a gifted voice teacher and I would highly recommend him for singers of all ability levels. I am a baritone who has an undergraduate degree in voca
l performance and has been singing classical music, including opera roles, for 13 years. I am singing a couple solo pieces this summer (one English art song and one African-American spiritual) and was looking for a voice teacher to help me check-in on my technique. I took four lessons with Mark from June to July 2015.
Mark has an incredibly warm style. I immediately felt comfortable singing in front of him and hearing his feedback. He immediately zoned in on my “ah” vowel, which was too covered/dark. Over the next few lessons, we continued to improve the vowel and work to better release the breath. In my experience, modifying one aspect of the technique often reveals other areas than need work as well. Mark patiently helped me identify these areas and he provided some excellent tools and techniques to improve my overall sound. Mark’s instruction was consistently clear—he skillfully combined metaphors to describe how the voice works with explanations of vocal physiology. I definitely feel more prepared to sing these solo pieces next week!
I highly recommend Mark as a teacher for both new and experienced singers. It’s clear that Mark has a strong command of the fundamentals of singing and would be an excellent teacher for someone who wants to build a solid foundation. Furthermore, Mark would be a great teacher for more experienced singers that want to return to vocal training or fine-tune an established technique."
Boston, MA teacher:
Review by Torben from Germany
"Ben was a solist at the Staatstheater in Oldenburg/Germany, when he became my voice teacher. His teaching methods were sometimes unorthodox, but they were
always helpful to improve my singing, and the lessons were always fun. He is an outstanding singer and a great teacher, and I really miss him very much. I would recommend anyone who is interested in singing to consider Ben as a teacher!"