Briana Sakamoto

Briana S.

New York, NY

About Briana S.

Background check: Last verified 07/19/2016
Briana passed a background check on 07/19/2016 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
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Briana teaches: Ages 4 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: January 2007
Last sign in: 3 days ago

Overview

Welcome to my teaching page!

I draw on my experience as a professional opera singer and actor, my teaching background in various areas (Feldenkrais, Music Together, general music, theatre, yoga, fitness, literature, etc.), and my training in classical singing, musical theater, acting, and various methods of body work. I strive to create a working environment where students can take risks, learn to challenge themselves, and find increased joy and freedom in expression. Self-awareness/body-awareness, relaxation, and nurturing of individuality are emphasized above all.

My teaching philosophies and techniques draw primarily from my study of movement and mindfulness through disciplines such as yoga, and especially the Feldenkrais Method, "a remarkable approach to human movement, learning and change... based on sound principles of physics, neurology and physiology, and the conditions under which the nervous system learns best." (The Feldenkrais Institute, NY, NY, 2013).

Training/experience:

- Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Teacher
- Feldenkrais Practitioner Training Program certification in process
- Bachelor of Music, Highest Honors, SUNY Binghamton
- Professional singing in the US and Europe
- Professional acting throughout the US, theater and film (member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA)
- Extensive yoga teacher training
- Eclectic studies in voice and body work (Linklater, various dance styles, Kinetic Awareness, Tai Chi, Beijing Opera techniques)
- Kids/family music teacher certified by Music Together (an amazing, international, research-based program)
- Teaching artist (opera, chorus, musical theater, acting/improv, mindfulness) at schools around NYC - Bronx High School for Law and Finanace, PS 129, Yorkville East MS, Baruch MS, Anderson MS, PS 3
- Former fitness instructor

Finding mastery and flow in playing music feels like flying. But we have to start from the ground up. The stronger the foundation, the higher you fly. Let's get started!

Peace,
Briana

Photos and Videos

Experience

Music Consultant

Mar 2016 - Present
Columbia Greenhouse Nursery School

Teaching preschool music classes

Teaching Artist

Sep 2015 - Present
Manhattan Youth Afterschool

Middle school afterschool teacher - chorus, acting/improv, mindfulness

Voice, piano, guitar teacher

Mar 2015 - Present
J&J Music

Voice lessons (all levels)
Piano lessons (beginner-intermediate)
Guitar lessons (beginner)

Students aged 5-19

Family/early childhood Music Teacher

Mar 2014 - Present
Private Studio

Certified Music Together teacher, bringing the joy of music to kids and families, teaching the foundations of tonal and rhythmic competency.

Opera Singer

Sep 2012 - Present
various companies

Solo and chamber performances in Manhattan and around the metropolitan area. Concerts in the US, Italy and Spain.

Actor (SAG-AFTRA, AEA)

Jan 1999 - Present
various companies

Theater, film and commercial work.

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Teacher

Jun 2016 - Jul 2016
Club Nissim

Teaching group Feldenkrais classes to senior citizens. This healing movement modality improves neuromuscular function, relaxation, coordination, concentration, and reduces pain - among other things!

Teaching Artist

Jun 2015 - Jun 2015
Opera on Tap

Taught an intro to opera class to 3rd graders
Performed in professional production of The Magic Flute in the school playground with students as extras/chorus

Opera/Performing Arts Teaching Artist

Jan 2014 - Jun 2014
Bronx High School of Law and Finance

Taught a for-credit course for upperclassmen on opera and beginning singing and acting techniques.

Education

Training in progress - Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner

Aug 2013 - Present
The Feldenkrais Institute, NYC

Guild Authorized Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Teacher

Aug 2013 - Jul 2015
Feldenkrais Institute of NY

Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance, Highest Honors

Aug 2006 - May 2011
Binghamton University

Languages Spoken

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

French

Professional Proficiency

German

Limited Proficiency

Italian

Limited Proficiency

Certifications

Music Together Teacher

Dec 2013
Music Together

Teaching families/children the building blocks of music in a group setting.

Awards

John and Marcella Keeler Award

May 2011
Binghamton University

Stevenson Barrett Memorial Award

May 2010
Binghamton University

Affiliations

Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

Jan 2006
Sag-aftra

An American labor union representing over 160,000 film and television principal and background performers, journalists, and radio personalities worldwide.

Actors' Equity Association

Jan 2005
Actors-Equity

Actors' Equity Association, founded in 1913, is the labor union that represents more than 49,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society.

Write a Review

8 Reviews on Briana S.

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Marielle Aug 12, 2016
Singing · In studio
Briana makes me feel more comfortable with my voice, and brought me leaps closer to relieving associated physical tension. Love how she incorporates Feldenkreis into lessons, and helps me analyze certain aspects of the work from an actor's perspective. Also warm and understanding as a teacher :)
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Lilian Zhang Mar 11, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Great great great! She's warm and intelligent. As I am an actor, her training background gives her a profound understanding on how to help me with the techniques and freeing my natural voice. Her direction was very clear and useful.
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Jade B. Jan 7, 2016
Singing · In home
Verified Student
She was very enegenic and friendly. She also very accommodating as far as the scheduling goes. I look forward to futher class. My daughter really like her as well and very excited.
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Mason L. Nov 16, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Briana has been great so far. Fun, prepared, encouraging and nice!
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Elena B. Nov 8, 2014
Singing
In what is surely a testament to her teaching ability, Briana's passions for music and learning - independently or in combination - are infectious. Briana understands the importance of treating and training the complete singer, addressing both the student's both physical/technical and personal/artistic capacities. She is versatile, open-minded, empathetic, and always delightful. I am honored to be her colleague and happy to recommend her.
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Tomek R. Nov 7, 2014
Singing · In studio
Briana is an excellent and inspiring teacher to work with. In my experience, she brings a sense of excitement to the subject of singing that is contagious and motivated me to put my best foot forward not just in our meetings, but also in my practicing at home. Beyond repertoire and technique, her expertise extends into the physical and emotional aspects of singing. She is incredibly sensitive to where the student is coming from, and is able to meet him/her at that level. The ideas she shared have stuck with me and continue to help me as I develop further.
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Sarah K. Sep 14, 2014
Singing · In studio
Briana is a wonderful singer... she really brings out the best!! She is the kind of singer who lives and breathes music. She is a patient teacher who is able to clearly explain how to improve.
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Charles B. Sep 14, 2014
Singing · In studio
Working with Briana was a fantastic experience. I went in with much more pessimism than I had actual ability to produce notes on command. Briana had the ability to notice what skills I did have (in acting and mimicry), the confidence to convince me too that this could be transformed into the ability to hit a note with confidence, and the musical and instructional skill to show me how to do it. Within a couple of lessons she took me from virtual thinking I could never sing at all, to knowing it would just take some time and practice with the application of what I could already do with my voice to the musical realm.

It was one of the best sets of private lessons I've ever had, because of how tailored it was to my individual position with regard to what I personally could do, where I needed to get, and my own point of reference as far as how to get there.

In all, Briana's extremely knowledgeable about the human voice and how to use it, very attentive to the individual student's needs and abilities, and a huge amount of fun to work with.
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