Blythe Quelin

Blythe Q.

Plainsboro, NJ

Lesson Details

Opera Voice

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I teach my students about the anatomy of breathing and tone production, focusing on breath energy and a released sound. I am careful to assign repertoire that is at my students' level, challenging them musically but not going beyond what is appropriate for their vocal development. This avoids tension and injury and inspires confidence as students study music that they are able to sing well.

I teach classical and opera singing styles. I do not teach Broadway or pop singing. I accept voice students ages twelve and older. I encourage younger students interested in voice lessons to consider joining a choir and/or taking lessons on another instrument instead. In my professional opinion, the voice is not sufficiently developed in younger singers and there is a greater risk of injury in private voice lessons. In a choir, children are directed to sing in a healthy way for their age and learn valuable musicianship and aural skills.

Voice lessons will include information on achieving and maintaining good vocal health. In some cases, I may recommend that the student contact a vocal health expert or a physician. It is the responsibility of the student/parent to arrange an appointment at my suggestion.
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Blythe teaches

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About

Blythe passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Blythe delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 3+ and special needs

Teaching since:
August 2008

My goal in teaching is to foster a love of music and a passion for the arts. I focus on developing my students as musicians in general and on a relaxed technique that will allow for the best possible artistic expression.

***Answers to Common Questions***

I teach in my studio in Plainsboro, NJ. I do not offer in-home lessons because I am not able to fit all my students into my schedule if I have to account for driving time. I am currently available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3 pm to 4:30pm and on Fridays from 3 pm to 4:15 pm.

My name is very unusual, so some students have difficulty pronouncing it. You pronounce the "y" as in "sky" and the "the" as in "breathe". My name has only one syllable. Don't worry if you're still having trouble with it--I'll help you out at our first lesson.

***About Me***

I grew up in southeast Michigan and have been in love with music for as long as I can remember. I started violin lessons when I was three years old and at five I became the youngest student ever accepted into the studio of James Waring, now-retired violinist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Under Mr. Waring, I developed a solid virtuoso technique and worked on chamber music as well as solo and concerto repertoire for the violin. While I was an undergraduate student at Westminster Choir College, I continued my violin study with Dr. Mia Wu.

After six years of violin study, I added piano lessons. I studied with Catherine Rollin, an internationally-known teacher and composer. Ms. Rollin's practical approach to technique and musicianship has been extremely influential in my own teaching, and I use her exercises and compositions with my students. I studied a wide range of repertoire with Ms. Rollin but my very favorite pieces were those by Bach, Chopin, and Debussy.

I sang in choirs throughout my childhood and began taking voice lessons in high school. I eventually decided to study voice performance at Westminster Choir College, where I completed my Bachelor of Music degree in 2004 and my Master of Music degree in vocal pedagogy and performance in 2008. While a student at Westminster, I performed the soprano roles of Ifigenia in Handel's Oreste, Amy in Mark Adamo's Little Women, and Janthe in Heinrich Marschner's Der Vampyr. I have coached with Daniel Beckwith, J. J. Penna, and Dalton Baldwin, and was privileged to sing in the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir under Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt. With the Westminster Choir, I recorded the album Heaven to Earth and performed in Lakmé and I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, South Carolina. I also performed Handel's Messiah with Sir Neville Marriner and Nicholas McGegan, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Sir Michael Tilson Thomas and Lorin Maazel, Berlioz's Requiem with Charles Dutoit, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Lorin Maazel.

I have taught in the Princeton area since 2008, maintaining a studio of about thirty voice, piano, and violin students. In addition, I sing as cantor and soprano section leader at Queenship of Mary Catholic Church. I live with my husband, Jerome, and our adorable dog, Pixel, in Plainsboro, NJ. I love to knit and crochet when I'm not teaching or performing.

*** Studio Policies ***

Tuition

There are 38 lessons each year, scheduled from September through June. The schedule will be distributed at the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year and may be found on the TakeLessons website.

30-minute lessons     $34.00
45-minute lessons     $45.00
60-minute lessons     $56.00

Tuition encompasses lesson time and overhead costs including lesson preparation, office hours, event preparation, and studio recital performance opportunities. Lesson lengths are recommended by the teacher based on student age, level, and availability. Tuition is collected through TakeLessons.

Attendance

Just as strong attendance is expected in school, strong attendance is expected at music lessons. As a courtesy of the studio, one make-up lesson is offered per student per academic year.  Make-up lessons will be scheduled in late June. The studio shall not assume responsibility for the student's absences outside of this allotted absence.

In the event of a student cancellation, the teacher is to be contacted via email, text message, or phone call for notification as soon as the student is aware of the cancellation.

In anticipation of absence, students/parents may choose from the following options to facilitate continued progress:
• The student/parent may send the teacher a video recording (i.e. via DropBox). The teacher can provide an electronic critique, utilizing the lesson time to watch, listen, and write a critique and assignment for the week.
• The student/parent may elect to use the *Student Swap Directory.

If the student stays home from school or work on their lesson day due to contagious illness, or was excused early from school due to contagious illness, it is requested they not attend their lesson. The teacher has the authority to excuse a contagiously ill student from their lesson. In these situations, make-ups will be offered upon request outside of the allotted absence.

In the event the teacher needs to cancel due to an unforeseen circumstance, she shall notify students and parents of the cancellation as soon as possible through email and/or phone.

For every cancellation made by the teacher, two make-up date options will be offered to the student. The student is to select one. If the student cancels or does not attend the scheduled make-up lesson, the lesson will be marked as missed. The teacher reserves the right to offer a credit or electronic critique in lieu of the above-mentioned make-up lesson in appropriate circumstances.

*Student Swap Directory

Students/parents may elect to be a part of the Student Swap Directory, designed to offer possible opportunities for students to swap lessons in anticipation of a lesson conflict. Parents/students are responsible for arranging their lesson swaps. If a lesson swap is made, it is the responsibility of the parent/student to inform the teacher.

To be included in the Student Swap Directory, a permission slip, provided by the teacher, will need to be completed and returned to the teacher, allowing the student’s name(s), parent’s name(s), lesson day(s), time(s), and length(s), and email and phone contact information to be shared.  The Student Swap Directory will be distributed at the start of the 2017-18 academic year.

Weather Emergencies

Lessons will generally not be held in the studio on days when West Windsor-Plainsboro Public Schools are closed due to inclement weather. If roads are cleared and passable by the time of the student’s lesson, they may attend their lesson at their own risk. If there is­­­ a one- or two-hour delay, lessons will still be held according to the lesson schedule.
 
When West Windsor-Plainsboro Public Schools are closed due to inclement weather, Google Chat, Skype, or FaceTime lessons will be conducted from the studio. The teacher will contact the students/parents to arrange the lesson. This will prioritize safety and will also allow students to adhere to the lesson schedule for optimized progress. Laptops, iPads, Tablets, iPhones/Smartphones, etc. may be used when the camera and microphone is adjusted and set in view of the student at the piano. Students are to have their music, theory book, assignment book, and a pencil ready to go. Students are to sign on approximately 5 minutes prior to their lesson time, with all settings appropriately adjusted. They are to call at their lesson time.

In lieu of a Google Chat, Skype, or FaceTime lesson, students may opt to send the teacher a video recording (i.e. via DropBox). The teacher can provide an electronic critique, utilizing the lesson time to watch, listen, and write a critique and assignment for the week.

Practicing

Regular practice is essential to musical development. Lessons will include the development of effective practice skills so that students are clear on how to practice. Practice builds muscle strength, coordination, problem-solving skills, focus, self-discipline, a sense of accomplishment, and the enjoyment of being able to make beautiful music through the process. In addition, the student will greatly improve their musical proficiency. The teacher will include written practice instructions in the student’s notebook. These instructions are to be read carefully each week to maximize effective practice time.

Students should practice a minimum of 5 days per week and the amount of daily practice should correlate with the length of their lessons. Students taking 30-minute lessons should practice 30 minutes a day, students taking 45-minute lessons should practice 45 minutes a day, and students taking 60-minute lessons should practice one hour each day. Practice time should be divided into 2-3 focused sessions with specific goals set for each practice session.

Instruments and Maintenance

Piano students must have a well-maintained grand or upright piano which is tuned every six months. It is the responsibility of the student/parent to arrange tunings and repairs for their instrument at the suggestion of the teacher. Once you have registered for lessons, please contact the teacher for information on purchasing or renting a piano, and resources for tuning your piano.

Violin students must have a well-maintained violin. It is the responsibility of the student/parent to arrange repairs as suggested by the teacher. Such repairs include but are not limited to: new strings (which shall be installed by the teacher), bridge replacement (which must be done by a trained luthier, or violin maker), and re-hairing of the bow (also done by a trained luthier). Once you have registered for lessons, please contact the teacher for information on purchasing or renting a violin. Lessons will include instruction on tuning and instrument care.

Voice lessons will include information on achieving and maintaining good vocal health. In some cases, the teacher may recommend that the student contact a vocal health expert or a physician. It is the responsibility of the student/parent to arrange an appointment at the teacher’s suggestion.

Repertoire

When new repertoire or a method book is assigned, it will be the responsibility of the student/parent to purchase it. Music may be purchased at Music and Arts in Mercer Mall on US Highway 1 in Lawrenceville, NJ.

Music may also be ordered online at Amazon and other websites recommended by the teacher.

Termination

Any student/parent wishing to terminate lessons must do so in writing. The termination will go into effect at the start of the following billing cycle. The studio shall not assume financial responsibility for the remainder of the billing cycle during which termination occurs. Borrowed music/materials will need to be returned to the teacher at the conclusion of study.

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Experience

Principal Cantor
Aug 2009 - Present
Church

I am the principal cantor, soprano soloist, psalmist, and leader of song. I also assist in rehearsals for the Children's and Adult Choirs and help with liturgical planning.

Voice, Piano, and Violin Teacher
Jan 2008 - Present
Blythe Q. Music Studio

Teach private voice, piano, and violin lessons to students ages 3 to adult.

Soprano Section Leader
Sep 2012 - Oct 2014
Princeton Pro Musica

I helped lead the soprano section and sang solos occasionally with this group, which performs four times per year in the Princeton area.

Education

Master of Music in Voice Pedagogy and Performance
Aug 2006 - Aug 2008
Westminster Choir College of Rider University
Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance
Aug 2000 - May 2004
Westminster Choir College of Rider University

Languages

American Sign Language
Limited Proficiency
English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
French
Fluent / Native Proficiency
German
Limited Proficiency

Photos & Videos

photo credit: Teresa Simão

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photo credit: Teresa Simão

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This is Pixel. He's a one-year-old Pekingese and will sniff your toes to determine if you are worthy of entry into his domain!

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Photo by Blythe Q.

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This is part of Debussy's "Quatre chansons de jeunesse"
This song explores the "commedia dell'arte" characters.
This is a poem by Paul Verlaine.
This is my teaching studio in Lawrenceville, NJ.

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Parents are invited to observe the lesson.
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8 Reviews

Write a Review
Tyffini Aug 20, 2017
Singing · In studio

Very pleased with the quality of professional instruction provided to my daughter

Bhuvan V. Apr 18, 2017
Piano · In home

Great !!

Samyuktha V. Apr 18, 2017
Piano · In home

Very Knowledgeable. ..

Irene K. Jan 16, 2017
Piano · In studio

She is very nice and kind.
She teaches clearly.

Maya B. Sep 4, 2015
Violin · In studio

Blythe was friendly and easy going around my young daughter and had her playing noted on her first day!

Nihi & Neth Aug 27, 2015
Piano · In studio

Blythe is the best teacher I've had. She has been teaching my brother and I for 2 years now, and still is. She is funny and at the same time serious. She calls our lesson "torture" but it's really not. She teaches us really well and makes having piano class SUPER fun! She helped me LOVE piano!!!!

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Wendy C. Mar 6, 2014
·

Wonderful

Blythe is a wonderful teacher,as well as person. She has made taking piano something my dauhter looks forward to every week. She is quite an asset and a great find!

Dingding G. Apr 24, 2013
Violin ·

Great teacher

It is out of sheer luck that TakeLessons.com introduced me
to Blythe. As an adult student, I started learning the violin
decades too late, and yet with Blythe's patience and her
effective techniques in helping me correct errors, I am
steadily progressing. One day my dream of playing the violin may
actually come true, and I will always be grateful that Blythe has made this possible.

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