Elizabeth Holmes is an established and respected voice and piano teacher, and also an active, versatile performer in musical theatre, operetta, and opera in the Philadelphia region.
***Teaching Philosophy*** I am a fun, enthusiastic teacher who cares deeply about her students and their growth as musicians and people. I believe teaching works best when students are relaxed, having fun, and are actively engaged in the learning process. It is also important that you practice what we work on during lessons at home if you wish to see real progress. I will work hard along with you and ask for yo
ur input during lessons; we are partners in the learning process.
I also believe each student is unique, and take differences in learning style, interests, goals, and personality into account when I teach. Whichever you choose to study (voice, piano, or both), I tailor lessons to suit each student's needs. I would like to enable you to meet your musical goals, whatever they may be.
***Lesson Details and Recommendations***
Singing voice: I teach classical vocal technique with an emphasis on the body-mind connection. Through the course of my training, I have studied the Alexander Technique, which is a method that has been used by actors, musicians, and athletes to find optimal body-mind coordination to achieve better results. The voice is the only instrument that is literally your body, so we will be using these tools to improve posture, breathing, and resonance. By learning a healthy vocal technique, you can expect improved tone quality, an expanded vocal and dynamic range, greater resonance, increased agility, improved diction, and more. Healthy vocal technique can be applied to any genre, and I teach students who are studying a wide variety of music, but classical and musical theater repertoire is my area of expertise.
Speaking voice: I have had great success helping students who come to me for help with their speaking voices. As the speaking voice and singing voice use the same set of muscles, the same set of functional principles apply. I work with students to improve their posture, breathing, and breath support when speaking, as well as clear diction, better pacing, and conveying emotion and meaning. These tools also lead to increased confidence when speaking.
Piano: I am also an established piano teacher and have had much success teaching beginning and intermediate students from ages 4 to 91 in various styles of music. I believe it is important for students to learn how to read and interpret written music as well as understand the structure behind it, so in addition to learning musical basics, I incorporate music theory into lessons. I encourage my piano students to learn how to read lead sheets and create chord accompaniments as well, which opens the door for comfortably playing in all sorts of styles sooner than would be possible by classical approaches alone. I also work on improvisation and songwriting with my piano students, if desired.
***Lesson Recommendations*** I offer lessons in 30, 45, and 60 minute increments. These are the *minimum* lesson lengths recommended. Longer lessons are more beneficial, except in the case of children with smaller attention spans. A 60 minute lesson is the best choice for serious students (teenagers or adults).
*Please note: I do not reserve regular lesson times in my schedule for students who cannot commit to weekly lessons. With students who wish to take less frequent lessons, I recommend the flex plan, with lessons to be scheduled as we go at our mutual convenience.
***Educational Background*** Elizabeth holds an M.M. in vocal performance from West Virginia University, where she was featured in numerous WVU Opera Theatre productions and was the soprano soloist with WVU Choirs in Faure's Requiem and Handel's Lord Nelson Mass. While at WVU, Elizabeth resumed taking lessons at the piano, which she had previously studied for many years, and exceeded the piano proficiency level required by the university. She also holds a B.A. in music and international studies from Emory University. Elizabeth has studied and performed internationally, both at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, where she was the recipient of the Lemmonds Scholarship, and at the Bel Canto program in conjunction with L'Arena di Verona opera company in Verona, Italy.
As a graduate assistant at WVU, Elizabeth taught voice lessons to music education and performance majors as well as a course on vocal pedagogy. After graduating, she served as adjunct faculty, in which capacity she taught vocal repertoire and opera theater. She has maintained a private studio since 2005, in which she instructs students in voice and piano. She has also held past teaching positions with the Meridee Winters School of Music and Woodland Country Day School.
***Active, Professional Singer/ Actress*** Elizabeth was most recently seen as Joanie in The Full Monty at Candlelight Theatre in Delaware. Other recent performances include June in Musical of Musicals: The Musical and Peaches/ Baby Jane in Jerry Springer: The Opera with Bootless Stageworks in Wilmington, DE, solo performances with the New Voices Cabaret at the Society Hill Playhouse in Center City, and Woman 2 in My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra with Mainstage Center for the Arts in Blackwood, NJ. She has performed numerous leading roles with Philadelphia area Gilbert and Sullivan companies, most notably appearing as Angelina in Trial by Jury with The Savoy Company, winning Best American Production at the 2011 International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. Her G &S performance credits include the roles of Patience (Patience), Yum-Yum (The Mikado), Rose Maybud (Ruddigore), Phyllis (Iolanthe), and Fiammetta (Gondoliers). Additionally, she has pioneered roles in new operas, including Gwendolyn in The Crowded House at the 2010 Philly Fringe Festival and Zelda in Black Horses with OperaDelaware at the 2009 Wilmington Fringe Festival.
Henry T. October 6, 2015
In home Verified Student
We love her = great lessons and very kind teacher.
Willow D. September 28, 2015
In home Verified Student
Elizabeth and my daughter hit it off from the start. It seems like a good fit.
Bih-Shya G. September 5, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Elizabeth is amazing!!! I very much enjoyed the lesson, her lesson makes me feel good about myself & I look forward to it all the time!!!
With Kate, you will learn about the voice as an instrument and how to take care of it. From there you will develop every facet of the voice including range, breath, tone, movement across your break, and much more. As you develop your voice from a holistic perspective, it is much easier to work with your particular style and ultimately your authentic sound.
Kate Bissinger graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance. She was a music scholarship award winner and studied with WVU’s Artist-in-Residence Augusto Paglialungo. Most recently she attended all three levels of Somatic Voicework℠ The LoVetri Method at the Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University. She has appeared in more than 20 states and Canada as a soloist, ensemble member, and dancer of an international touring group and as a soloist and ensemble member at various churches in WV, Washington, D.C., FL, and PA
. In 2009 she began coaching and teaching voice privately in the Philadelphia area. Kate also coaches vocalists through the recording process to ensure vocal health and desired style. Kate's students have become successful in landing lead roles and having healthy and productive recording sessions.
pamelab1 May 5, 2012
Kate's excellent! She gives fantastic instruction and she's super nice! She nicely constructs lessons so you do drills and singing in equal measure. Grateful to have found her.
JoyG February 13, 2012
We love Kate! She is kind and patient as well as being an excellent music teacher!!
SusanD August 22, 2011
Alex is loving her piano lessons and absolutely adores you! You enthusiasm for kids and for teaching is infectious and helps her stay interested in learning. Thank you!
Learn to sing your favorite Musical Theatre songs in a safe and secure environment from a working Singing Actor.
I am an actor, singing actor and teaching artist based out of Philadelphia, PA. With over 20 years of experience in the field. I've helped thousands of students improve their vocal and performance capabilities whether as an actor, singing actor, or public speaker.
Current and past clients include The Walnut Street Theatre, Philly ASAP, Philly Senior Stage, The Minuetto Music Festival, and The Continuo Arts Foundation.
Come and study with me in a safe, professional environment here in my home studio, online, or in the comfort of your very own home.
I carry full liability insurance for
your peace of mind.
*** Lesson Details *** Integrated performance training is the key. My particular skill set places me firmly in between the worlds of both music and drama.
There's a great deal of shared knowledge, technique and performance aesthetic in the space where music and drama intersect.
I utilize training techniques from these two interrelated worlds as well as the world of speech communication with all of my students resulting in a more dynamic and solid performance.
I provide a safe, professional environment in which to learn. My current students range in age from 10 to 96 years old. I tailor my instruction to your individual needs and learning style.
*** Studio Equipment *** Piano, Video Camera, Monitor, Sound System, Audio Recording Capability, Microphones, Music Stands, Mirror.
On street parking available in historic block of the Germantown section of Philadelphia.
*** Travel Equipment *** Students provide Piano or Keyboard, CD player and a mirror. I will provide music, staff paper for notes and practice exercises as well as recording equipment for feedback purposes.
*** Specialties *** Pop, Music Theatre, German Lied, American and Italian Art Song, French Melodie.
Lessons consist of learning a solid vocal technique, and learning Broadway repertoire. Also, performing skills will be incorporated, so that the singer feels comfortable acting the song as well. I strongly believe that singers must be actors, and that is what makes us different from instrumentalists. It is also a lot of fun! For children or adults who are willing, I also teach sight singing and spend some of the lessons time learning some basic reading skills.
Sandra began her training at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. She is a two time recipient of the Mario Lanza Award, and holds a B.M. degree in opera from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. She studied acting at both the Wilma and Walnut Theaters in Philadelphia. In New York, she studied Shakespeare at the HB Studios, and received on-camera training at the Weisst- Barron Commercial School. Sandra is a member of Actor's Equity.
Sandra was engaged for seven years at Theater des Westens in Berlin, Germany, where she performed extensively in Musicals and Operetta. She a
lso toured throughout Germany with the ensemble "Operetten Express". In the U.S., Sandra has toured nationally with "Man of La Mancha" and "Carousel", and has performed leading roles in many regional theaters. She also performed in the Off-Broadway Musical "Mamaleh". Sandra has performed in over fifty productions of Musicals, Operetta, and Opera. Some of her favorite roles include: Aldonza (Man of La Mancha), Desiree (A Little Night Music), Marguerite (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Antonia (The Tales of Hoffmann), and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi).
Most recently, she has performed the role of Lynn Fontanne in Ten Chimneys at Old Academy Players, and played one of the principal roles in Jacque Brel Is Alive And Well and Living In Paris at The Steel River Playhouse.
As a director, Sandra has staged operas for Center City Opera Theater, the Delaware Valley Opera Company, Boheme Opera New Jersey, and the New York Metro Vocal Arts Ensemble. She is currently singing concerts with the vocal group "Touch of Classics", and can be seen in commercials for Time Warner, Cuisinart, The Skooter Store, and Aspercreme.
*** Lesson Details *** Our lessons will be relaxed and informal. My goal is to make you the best you can be. We will work on giving you a solid vocal technique so that you can approach any style of music with a good foundation. We will also work on learning to read music, and most importantly work on songs that will bring out the actor in you.
*** Studio Equipment *** Small studio, keyboard, seating provided (couch), street parking
*** Specialties *** I specialize in musical theater, classical, and opera. I can also teach German and Italian diction. My acting experience is mainly in musical theater.
Evie C. October 28, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Excellent music teacher and very accommodating
Anna D. December 18, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Sandra is an amazing teacher! My daughter loved the lessons with her and she was nothing but wonderful each and every time. I sincerely enjoyed her patience and how well she worked. Sandra is a very talented individual and that talent can be seen in the lessons she gives. Thank you so much Sandra!
Monica S. September 18, 2015
In home Verified Student
Sandra is so amazing to work with! She is patient and very knowledgeable. I would recommend her for anyone in the area who is looking to take singing lessons!
As a professional opera singer and recitalist, Rachel uses her first-hand experience in the business to guide her students and to teach them healthy vocal technique. Her students find her to be energetic, warm, and one of her biggest goals is to make her students feel more empowered when they leave than when they arrived. Music is a transformative art form and she hopes to enrich her student’s lives.
Learning proper singing technique is essential for the health of singers of all ages and genres. And YES! Everyone can sing! Rachel personalizes each lesson to her students' needs and provides a safe and fun atmosphere that is essential to creative learning. Musicianship, better intonation, breath control, support, tone quality, freedom of sound, and a love of music are all topics covered in voice lessons.
Rachel S. is a Lyric Soprano that hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In July, she portrayed the role of Mother in Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel with the Miami Opera Institute. This fall, she recently worked as a Resident Artist with Utah Opera.
Last spring, she completed her Master’s of Music at Rice University, under the instruction of acclaimed voice teacher, Dr. Stephen King. There, she performed the role of Lady Billows in their 2014 production of Britten’s Albert Herring. Rachel made her operatic debut with Rice University in their fall of 2012 production of Volpone as Celia. With
Rice University, she was also featured in their scenes programs as Mimi from La Bohème, Ilia from Idomeneo, Rosalba from Florencia en el Amazonas, and Mrs. Fiorentino from Street Scene.
Rachel has performed extensively with the Aspen Opera Theater Center. Last summer, she understudied Sybil Vane in Loehmann’s The Picture of Dorian Grey. In 2013, she performed the role of Suor Osmina in their production of Suor Angelica, and covered the roles of Fortuna and Venere in their production of L’coronazione di Poppea. She also portrayed Pamina, La Contessa, Ilia, Anne Truelove and Laurie Moss in their various scenes programs.
Rachel completed her Bachelor’s of Music at Mannes College in 2012. There, she performed in their Opera Scenes Workshop and their Rise of Modernism Festival, singing Canciones populares Españolas by Manuel de Falla.
Liz September 9, 2016
Rachel is most excellent, and quite learned in the surprisingly confusing art of singing. There are large framed pieces of paper confirming her advanced knowledge next to the piano, one of which is in all caps so it's super official. She's patient but knows the benefits of pushing what you think your singing limits are, and shows you see the whole process from a different, more helpful perspective.
Victoria N. September 9, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Rachel is an amazing teacher. I highly recommend her. She is very professional and she has boosted my confidence level with singing. Rachel has made me thankful for choosing Take Lessons.
Carolyn P. September 9, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Rachel has been a wonderful mentor for my 13 year old daughter. She is preparing her for her high school music experience in theater and chorus. We are so grateful to have found her. I would highly recommend her for lessons.