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:
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Briana teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: 2000
Last sign in: 6 days ago

Overview

My teaching style is student-centric and organic. I draw from a wide-ranging toolbox of techniques to find the approach that will work for you. What is most enjoyable and interesting for you usually points to the most efficient and effective path for learning, because your nervous system thrives and builds best when you feel open and engaged.

As a teacher, I draw on my professional experience as an actor and singer, my teaching background in myriad subjects (Feldenkrais, Music Together, general music, theatre, yoga, fitness, literature, etc.), and my eclectic training in acting, classical voice, musical theatre, various methods of body work, and healing.

I strive to create a working environment where students feel safe to 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.

Though I have a long background in performing arts and performing arts education, 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)
- 100+ hours of YA approved yoga teacher training
- Eclectic studies in voice and body work (Linklater, Sound Healing, 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 in practices of music and mindfulness have core similarities - when you find your flow, it feels like flying. But we have to start from the ground up. The stronger the foundation, the higher you fly. Let's get started!

Notes on teaching locations:

- HOME STUDIO: For a number of reasons, I prefer to teach at my home studio whenever possible. I have two friendly cats - hope you aren't allergic!

- TRAVEL: I can travel to you if you live fairly nearby on the west side. Due to the transit system setup and my own time constraints, I do not travel to students on the east side, and I do not travel to students outside of the island of Manhattan.

- ONLINE: For some students, online lessons are very effective, but for others, it is imperative to meet in person. So if you would like to try online lessons, please message me first to discuss,

Peace,
Briana

Photos and Videos

Experience

Teaching Artist
Jun 2015 - Present
Opera on Tap

Teaching opera to elementary school kids in Harlem. Kids learn the basics of singing and stagecraft and get to sing chorus in a professional opera production mounted in their own school! An amazing program I'm extremely proud to be part of.

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

I've sung leading and supporting roles with several of NYCs opera companies. Concerts in the US, Italy and Spain.

Actor (SAG-AFTRA, AEA)
Jan 1999 - Present
various companies

Long background in professional acting. Theater, film and commercial work. Recently seen Off-Broadway at Theatre Row, and I am in a couple of indie films now in post production.

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!

Music Consultant
Mar 2016 - May 2016
Columbia Greenhouse Nursery School

Teaching preschool music classes

Teaching Artist
Sep 2015 - May 2016
Manhattan Youth Afterschool

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

Voice, piano, guitar teacher
Mar 2015 - Mar 2016
J&J Music

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

Students aged 5-19

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

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 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.

9 Reviews on Briana S.

Write a Review
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scott Dec 14, 2016
Verified Student · Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Briana was prepared and helped me in our first lesson.
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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 Z. Mar 11, 2016
Verified Student · Singing · In studio
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
Verified Student · Singing · In home
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
Verified Student · Piano · In home
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.
Briana Sakamoto
Briana S.

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