Justin is a teaching artist with Chicago Opera Theater's Opera for All program, where he teaches opera to elementary school students around Chicago. He is also a curricular tutor with the AVID program at Lake View High School, and a section leader/soloist with Community Christian Church and Temple Chai. Previously, Justin was thrilled to spend the past season working with Child's Play Touring Theatre. As their Music Director, Justin traveled the country presenting plays and musicals based on the original writings of children. He helped shepherd their newest show, Global Energy, the Musical! as Musical Supervisor, and starred in its premier production. He also co-wrote their Great Green Adventures of R-Man with Christian Vernon. Justin is a proud graduate of Northwestern University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Theatre and English and received a certificate in Music Theatre. Favorite productions at Northwestern include the world premier workshop of Of Mice and Manhattan by Barry Kornhauser and Frank Loesser (Turtle/Beatle/Rover), the world premier of Eric Reda's opera-oratorio, Reagan's Children (Ronald Prescott Reagan), Sweeney Todd (Beadle), and Spinning Into Butter (Dean Strauss). Recently, Justin performed with Vox 3 Collective in a double bill of Requiems, including the world premier performance of Amos Gillespie's Honor Requiem. He looks forward to a great year of teaching!
*** Lesson Details ***
I am energetic and thrilled for the opportunity to work with new students. I believe everyone should have a strong foundation in technique and the classics, but it is most important to work on what you find fun and interesting! I typically begin my voice students with songs from, as I call it, "the Yellow book"—G. Schirmer's 24 Italian Songs and Arias. It's a classic, has excellent examples of easy, familiar material, and it's inexpensive, all good things in my mind. I also believe students should learn about the fundamentals of music theory and how their instrument functions. The more you know about what goes in to producing the sound you wish to make, the better the performance you will create. My true passion is for musical theatre and the great American songbook.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in living room with full keyboard.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can come with introductory materials, but will eventually require some investment in materials and books.
*** Specialties ***
I have an extensive background in musical theatre, and am incredibly comfortable with the styles and repertoire of theatre music. I also have a strong background in working with younger students and music and style of Theatre for Young Audiences.