Specializes in vocal technique and an ability to take complex tasks and explain them in easy-to-digest ways.
A versatile musician and teacher, Nashville-born musician James is dedicated to music through education, performance and personal growth. James has a diverse background in the musical arts. He has served as violinist and principal violist in many orchestras and ensembles. As a vocalist, James has sung in opera, oratorio, master-classes and recitals as a countertenor soloist. He has served as director of the Clarksville Youth Orchestra at Austin Peay State University and currently serves as the Director of Music Ministries and choirs for a local Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. He maint
ains a private studio in Nashville, TN and is on the faculty of the Allegro School of Music.
James has studied with many experts in vocal science and pedagogy and has had the wonderful opportunity to study with Linda Ferrara, D. Lance Respess, Richard Miller, world-class early music expert Nancy Zylstra and twentieth-century vocal music expert Sharon Mabry. He has had masterclasses with the Metropolitan Opera's Bodo Igesz, Metropolitan Opera Singers Daniel Taylor, Jennifer Lane (with whom he still studies), French-diction coach Elvia Pucinelli, vocal pedagogue Richard Miller, and Thomas King, director of the AIMS Gratz program. As a violinist and violist, James has studied with music-education specialist Sara Johnson, Francis Elliot, Nashville Recording-Artist Randall Olson, and concert violinist Stefan Petrescu.
As an educator, he has served on the faculties of the Cumberland Arts Institute, W.O. Smith School of Music, Murfreesboro City School System, School of the Arts at Austin Peay State University, Allegro School of Music and the East Nashville School of Music. He has taught hundreds of students in various formats ranging from one-on-one studio settings to entire youth symphony orchestras and choirs. He has been active as an adjudicator, participant, and member of various competitions and education-related conventions. He also maintains membership with various educational organizations such as the American String Teacher's Association, Music Educator's National Conference, and Early Music America.
In addition to working with and coaching Grammy award-winning and nominated artists, Mr. W's students have auditioned, been selected and have performed in the Tennessee Mid-State and All-State Choir (principal positions) and Orchestra Festivals (violin and cello, in addition to being members of the Curb Youth Orchestra and Philharmonia at the Blair School of Music.
His students have also performed in several professional and amateur performances across the Southeast. They have also gone on to major in music earning tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships from prestigious conservatories and colleges across the country. Many of his students have become professional musicians across many genres, educators themselves, or satisfied amateur hobbyists.
*** Lesson Details *** As a teacher many have described my style as nurturing-but-firm. When I see a student's potential, I make sure that student can attain it. I expect a willingness to learn, a desire to succeed, and a want for excellence. In return, I offer the tools to get the student there!
I know that not every student benefits best from only one method. As such, I employ a variety of teaching tools and methods to best suit each student. Strings students can expect to see a little bit of traditional training, a little bit of Suzuki and little bit of contemporary training. Voice students can see some Sieber vocalizes, some Vaccai, classical, jazz, and musical theater training built on an old-world teaching technique. It's all about giving the student the tools to do whatever he/she wants with his/her music of choice!
On your first lesson, I'll go over the materials needed, what you need to work on, and the very basics so you can immediately get to enjoying your new craft. In a few months, you'll be confident making new music or making better music. Within a year, you should be well prepared for one of my studio recitals!
*** Studio Equipment *** I have a commercial music teaching studio used solely for the purposes of teaching. In the studio there is a piano, my music library, photo copier, computer, audio equipment, stereo, music stands, standing mirror, and various teaching tools. There is a waiting area for parents, siblings and other visitors.
*** Specialties *** Voice: All Genres -- child-adult, all levels (beginning through advanced). Violin: All Styles -- all levels (beginning through advanced). Viola: All Styles -- all levels (beginning through advanced). Cello: All Styles -- beginning through intermediate.
Dwight T. May 1, 2016
Opera Voice ·
In home Verified Student
The best instructor I ever had he is very very good at what he does
Madison January 10, 2016
In studio Verified Student
James was great. He realized very quickly my daughter was nervous and took the time to help her calm down before continuing with the lesson.
Alex December 15, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Great instructor. James' teaching technique is very motivational and fun!
I love teaching! How incredible it is to aid people in the joy of music, build their confidence, and help them sing with ease and comfort! I am a classical vocal performance graduate from Belmont University. I have sung all over the world, as a soloist with a missions organization The New America Singers. We sang in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea, Russia and Germany, with our largest audience being over 6,000 people. I have performed several solo concerts in Germany, directed Children's Musicals, and have been teaching private voice at my home studio, the YMCA in
Brentwood, as well as Rock Springs Middle school. Teaching voice is something that I am passionate about. I had some vocal health issues when I was younger, but thankfully I had an incredible teacher who not only helped me fix them but also taught me how to help others. I do not teach children under the age of 12 because their voices are not developed enough, and so it can cause them more harm as they get older. Many of my vocal issues that I had to work though was because I started to young, and I do not want your kids to have to go through that. I have been teaching the past few years, and have enjoyed every minute of it. I am excited to be able to help students who wish to improve their vocal abilities. Whether it is for the pursuit of a singing career, correction of vocal issues, if you have always wanted to sing on key, or you just want to sound better, I can help you accomplish your goals.
*** Lesson Details *** Healthy singing is key. - Proper breath support is the first key to singing well. -We do an assortment of vocal exercises picked for the individual voice. These exercises help correct various vocal issues, strengthen quality of tone, widen your vocal range, and help warm up the voice as to not hurt anything when singing a song. -I also have a Zoom H4 voice recorder to make high quality recordings of your voice, so you can learn from hearing yourself as well as having the exercises recorded for listening at home. -I also teach sight singing to those who would like to learn. -I will help you learn new songs, teach musical techniques, as well as stage presence.
The lessons are for you, if you want to work on something specific that is what we will do. I always have a plan for want to work on but I am flexible. The more work you do at home, the more work we can accomplish in our lesson. Most of all you need to have fun singing!
*** Studio Equipment *** -Piano -Music Stand -CD Player -Zoom H4 voice recorder -Sound Level Meter
I have SD cards available to purchase, as well as SD card readers. If you would like to buy it somewhere else the SD card must be a 2GB card, as my recorder does not take anything higher.
*** Specialties *** I originally pursued opera, so I enjoy classical voice technique. It has taught me how to use one's own body to amplify the voice. I enjoy working with people with vocal issues, such as vibrato problems, tension etc. I also love the theatrical side that Broadway brings, as well as opera. There are so many elements that makes a singer good.
Lizzie K. February 7, 2014
Singing Verified Student
My son has really enjoyed his lessons with Victoria. She is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and makes the lessons fun. I can already hear his making progress in just four lessons, and he looks forward to each class. We'll be signing up for more lessons!
Jack S. March 15, 2013
I feel like Ms. Victoria is a great teacher. In just seven months she has transformed me into a completely different singer. My range is now greater than ever and my roles in musicals have increased significantly. Her skills have given me newfound courage and I would highly recommended her to anyone interested in vocal lessons.
Training for opera is the Olympic level of voice. It involves high skill and athletic training. An opera student should be prepared to practice daily and stay physically fit. Students of opera will learn art songs and arias and study the history of opera.
"Sarah's voice is rich, warm, expressive, and maintains a natural and authentic beauty." - Classical Singer Magazine.
Sarah has been teaching voice for the last 7 years in her studio.
Sarah sings professionally in musicals, operas, and records on music row.
Sarah writes and records her own music, singer/songwriter and christian music.
Sarah loves to perform opera and contemporary music in concert halls as well as public venues like art galleries and street festivals.
Olivia August 10, 2015
Sarah was a fantastic teacher!
I am 22 years old and have never had a singing lesson before, although I previously played the saxophone and piano and therefore had some musical background. During our 5 lessons I had more fun than I could have imagined while learning important skills regarding warming up, breath support, and stylistic choices while singing. She helped me get over my nerves and not feel so silly singing in front of others - something I've always felt self-conscious about. I would absolutely recommend Sarah to any adult wishing to learn how to sing!
Olivia K. August 24, 2014
What a talented performer and instructor! Combination of beauty and brains :)
I admire her approach and her education!
Alan P. March 11, 2014
Singing Verified Student
Daughter loved first lesson
I just had my 9 year old daughter take her first voice lesson from Sarah and it was GREAT!! My daughter loved her and learned so much the first lesson. Sarah was awesome with her approach and kind attitude yet got her lesson across so professionally. I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Sarah!!!!
Singing is one of the most personal forms of musicianship because your instrument is a part of your body!
In our lessons we will learn how to keep that instrument safe while exploring all the different things you didn't even know it could do.
I am a working artist/songwriter with placements on Nickelodeon, NBC, Rockband, international radio airplay and was featured on "This Sing Off" 2014 Holiday Special with Timothy's Gift (video below). I graduated from Belmont University in 2009 with a BA in Commercial Voice-emphasis in music business. I am currently the co-owner of The Recording Republic here in Nashville, TN where my partner and I write/produce music and help develop artists. I have been teaching voice, piano, theory, performance and songwriting on and off for the past 5 years and love every second of it. I Can't wait to mee
t you and see what goals we can reach together!
*** Lesson Details *** The most important things I focus on in my lessons are positivity and building confidence. The confidence learned expressing yourself creatively is something that bleeds over into all aspects of life. It's so wonderful watching a kid (or an adult!) gradually come out of their shells during the process.
During the first lesson, I sit down with the student and talk to them about their dreams and goals. That way, I can build a curriculum that perfectly fits their needs. We can learn anything their heart desires-from classical Beethoven to writing their own music! For basic piano I love to use the "Bastien" and "Alfred" basic collections because they are what I grew up on.
Can't wait to meet you!
*** Studio Equipment *** In my studio I have a weighted keyboard, mic, amp, mirror and video for recording performances.
*** Travel Equipment *** Mic, amp and video recorder are portable. Student must provide piano for in home visits. And plus, you'll need one to practice!
*** Specialties *** I specialize in beginner classical piano and improvisation, beginner-advanced voice, theory, performance and songwriting of all styles.
Doug F. October 24, 2014
Online Verified Student
Brianne is working with my 11 year old daughter on basic vocal training. Brianne is an excellent instructor and vocalist. She has challenged my daughter and yet maintains a very positive attitude. We are thrilled with the lessons and plan to continue with Brianne.
Evan D. November 23, 2013
Piano Verified Student
Highly recommend Brianne!
I started taking piano lessons with Brianne a little over two months ago, and I have seen a huge improvement in my performance and confidence. Brianne is very professional and experienced, and she knows exactly what she's talking about. My favorite thing about the lessons is that she is takes time to get to know her students to find out exactly what their goals are and what they hope to get out of the lessons. I came in with some piano experience and an idea of what I wanted, and she was able to customize my lessons so that they perfectly fit me. Brianne is very encouraging and wants you to succeed. I would definitely recommend taking lessons from her!
kyle L. November 22, 2013
I've learned soo much in such a short time
i've always wanted to learn how to play the piano but I never could find the right teacher. Brianne has really helped me find my place as a budding piano player. She is very thorough and makes learning fun. She creates such a calm atmosphere with no judgment and i really enjoy that. Another thing that separates her from the other teachers i've had is that she doesn't teach based on her agenda she teaches me what i want to know. I can't wait fro my next lesson!
I can teach you classical voice pedagogy that will allow you to sing opera, broadway, jazz, gospel, country, or classical singing.
I have 33 years of teaching experience in the public school systems in TN, SC, NE, & KS. I have taught K-12 General Music and directed Elem., MS., and HS Concert, Chamber & Show Choirs. I have been an Vocal Coach for 33 yrs. , accompanist - 33 yrs., piano instructor – 33 yrs., guitar instructor – 5 yrs., Music Theory- 33 yrs. and AP Music theory – 2 yrs. I have my Masters in Ed. & B.M.E. So I’ve been successful teaching every age group regardless of ability, gender, creed, or color. I’ve won 7 Show Choir Grand Championships & performed with my choirs at Carnegie Hall 2015, 2006, 2002. “
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle. Excellence in education with high standards, a caring instructor, inspiring and challenging curriculum are at the core of my teaching philosophy. “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Students are raving about their Opera Voice instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Liana
"Dr. Collins is a deeply caring, skilled, and knowledgeable voice teacher who, for the past month and a half, has helped me formulate and reach toward my o
Very patient and flexible in my scheduling our lessons. In addition, he is extremely thoughtful in choosing and creating vocal exercises for me to work on.
He is an absolute pleasure to work with. Looking forward to many more lessons with this fine singer!"
New York, NY teacher:
Dr. Daniel C.
Review by Queena
"I lovvvvve Tanisha. She has this upbeat and vibrant personality; she's super sweet and nice. When it comes to singing, she has you pick out your own song
that you would like to sing. She doesn't bombard you with songs and training that won't enhance your voice. I've already noticed changes to my voice and I'm only on my 6th lesson. Plus, she's not a teacher that watches the clock, so if she feels you need an extra 10 mins for vocal training, then you will exceed your time limit with no problem. She's there to help you and if I had to recommend a vocal coach, then of course it would be Tanisha Hall :)"
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Barbara
"Elliot was an awesome teacher! From someone taking voice lessons for the first time he made the approach easy, accessible, and fearless. He really emphasi
zes finding the joy in singing. He's affordable, too! You'd be lucky to work with him!!"
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Dana
"Emily is terrific, knowledgeable and accommodating. I look forward to achieving my goal with her expert guidance."
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Dennis
"Dr. Regina is an inspiration! I began studying with her in Georgia at Shorter College and eventually transferred to Minnesota to finish my undergraduate d
egree with her. She is truly passionate about music, and the energy creates an incredible atmosphere for learning! She challenged me as a singer and performer and helped me learn to breathe life into the music--while also transforming my voice. She is a wonderful teacher and I would highly recommend her to anyone. Even a Skype lesson if you can't make it to her in NY. They are quiet helpful! I only wish I lived in the NY area so I could take from her in person. She is wonderful and I hope to continue studying with her for years to come."
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Atalia
"I cannot express in words how much Zeffin has inspired and helped my vocal technique, acting expression, and confidence. Without him I would never have f
elt I was ready to fully follow my dreams (I moved to Germany to pursue an Opera Career with endless guidance from him that to this day still has not stopped). Before Zeffin, I was a little lost vocally but after studying with him for over a year, I am confident in my technique and can tell you exactly what is going on. Every lesson feels like a breakthrough lesson because of his clear way of explaining concepts. You end up working extremely hard because of your own motivation that Zeffin induces from his amazing lessons. I improved so incredibly much since I started working with him. Thank you so much Zeffin for giving me my voice and being one of the most inspiring and encouraging people I have had the privilege of meeting! I would recommend Zeffin to every single singer in a heartbeat."
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Zeffin Quinn H.
Review by Katie
"I studied with Angela for a year when I lived in NYC. She was a fantastic teacher! I took lessons to improve the quality of my voice, especially my higher
range. I only stopped because I moved, but I would have continued. Angela really gave me confidence while improving my overall technique! I would recommend her to ANYONE!"
New York, NY teacher:
Review by kelsea
"Working with Todd was an amazing experience i learned so much and hope to start lessons again soon."
Evansville, IN teacher:
Review by Claire
"The first time I had a lesson with Gregory, when I got in my car and drove home, I cried. Not because it was awful, but because I was so overjoyed that in
that hour, I felt more connected to my voice than I ever had, and I had hope that with his help I could grow into singer that was trapped inside. Five years later, I have certainly found that to be the case. Gregory has this wonderful ability to identify what you're doing "wrong" with your voice, or what is causing discomfort, and then helps you free your voice in a way that is easy to understand, and FUN. When Gregory asks me to do something, the majority of the time his way of explaining it clicks immediately and voila! — there is my voice! When I first went to Gregory, my voice was tied up; I was strangling myself, and the different parts of my voice were not unified. I was absolutely terrified of singing "high." In my work with him, he's overhauled my voice and given me the tools to access my true voice. Pieces that I wouldn't have even attempted to sing, I was then able to explore, and now they flow easily and in many cases are spectacular and brilliant. It is also extremely important to note Gregory's approach to the psychological woes of singing. As someone who suffers some performance anxiety, panic attacks, and occasionally a lack of confidence in my abilities, Gregory has been a wonderful support. He is patient, kind, and he doesn't let me beat myself up. With that support I have been able to respect and care for myself more as a singer and a person. Do you want to blossom? Go with Gregory."
Colorado Springs, CO teacher:
5695-Star Student Reviews in