- Teaches students:
- Ages 14 to 55 and special needs
- Teaching since:
- January 2010
The Exquisite Voice, Inc.
Christine is a professional vocal coach and piano instructor with an exceptional reputation. She is the owner of The Exquisite Voice, Inc. and resides in The Historic Parkfairfax community of Alexandria.
She has over eight years of teaching experience and has taught hundreds of students and given thousands of lessons, (including the full spectrum of learning needs) during this time (both vocal and piano throughout the DMV area). She is considered an expert in her field for vocal technique and maintains a very active studio.
Christine's unique and highly effective approach to voice has allowed her to continue to help beginning to professional level students advance their technique with incredible results.
Christine is a master of vocal technique and focuses on properly diagnosing and addressing vocal issues as well as integrating the body to fully support the voice.
She addresses vocal issues in a very practical and logical order by first identifying the primary source of the vocal issues and starting to work from there.
This is a simple, but crucial difference that is apparent in her approach. The very nature of secondary issues are that they are simply the extensions of the primary issues and therefore primary issues should really become the focus and starting point of the technical work.
It is from Christine’s experience and observation that she has concluded that secondary issues will always be dysfunctional (regardless of time and effort put into correcting them) as long as the primary issues have not been resolved. Oftentimes secondary issues will significantly self-correct on their own or can be approached reasonably once the primary source has been corrected.
This can only happen if the teacher knows this and is aware on how to approach the correct order in which to work and to address issues.
Making sense of primary versus secondary issues is absolutely fundamental to legitimately correcting problems successfully. Unfortunately it is often that the student is ultimately left to the enormous task of discovering this on their own, if ever and if they are lucky after years of study because the teacher is often focused on surface level issues, which are always easy to hear.
This is because most professionals are not versed in hearing such nuanced differences, nor capable to offer to work in such a refined manner.
The voice requires an execution of many things that must function together properly in order for it to work. Considering this makes it is easy to understand why the voice is viewed as the most complicated instrument to diagnose and teach. Therefore, it is absolutely important to invest in teachers who greatly have a handle on the voice and how to go about making sense of it.
She also specializes in teaching students process and development through highly mindful practices. She believes that in order for the voice to function optimally, the body, mind and emotional state of the singer must all be receptive and responsive in a positive way. This is because they are all inherently interconnected.
Christine teaches in a mindful manner to help students become more observant and aware of their own approach. By doing so we can realistically create the opportunity to arrive to better choices.
Christine’s extensive experience and knowledge in various styles and specialties in vocal intonation, along with her continuous education (over twenty years) and dedication to the authentic Italian traditions of bel canto and verismo opera has allowed for her to develop an approach that can extended into all legitimate styles of singing. Her personal approach to the voice is beyond comparison, nor can it be matched.
She has a phenomenal ear and can make rapid and highly accurate assessments of technical issues in a very brief sitting. Christine is exceptional at explaining vocal pedagogy and directing students on how to make corrections for themselves.
Christine is a dramatic soprano and is very confident and experienced with large instruments (that are more difficult to train for various reasons and require more specialized training). Having an extremely rare and large voice herself has given her invaluable insight toward fully understanding all other voice types and the discipline necessary to achieve efficient technique.
Many teachers can be limited in their view and teach "their technique" as opposed to helping the student develop their own technique and what works best for them. Christine has a great talent for figuring out what a students needs to do in their approach in order to achieve the results and keep the lessons progressive.
Developing proficient technique in a complete and effective way leads toward discovering the full capacity and beauty of our instrument without compromise. We need to find our voice to find ourselves as artist.
Her methods in vocal intonation translate directly and indirectly into all styles of legitimate singing, which she coaches many varying styles and will direct student toward appropriate repertoire. Students will learn the full potential of their instrument under her guidance. It is her belief that technique should always lead toward one sounding natural, no matter the style and that one fully learns their instrument’s capability to access endless artistic choices as a performer.
Christine offers very traditional based vocal lessons with a focus on improving technique through practical exercises and song repertoire designed for each student's unique vocal needs. She will offer necessary guidance and adjustments to ensure the student's continuous development.
Her goal is for her vocal students to discover their authentic voice and to find freedom in their technique and most importantly their expression as artists.
What you can expect to learn:
Vocal pedagogy and how the voice functions properly; how to effectively think about your voice to get the body to cooperate (aurally, physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.);
Integrating the body to fully support the voice Rebounding the body, which is at the core of support, but often times very apparently neglected because most trained singers/teachers from even the highest institutions do not understand how it works or do it effectively themselves. It is sadly becoming a lost art. This is the most advanced concept of singing and yet is absolutely necessary to master in order to access genuine support. Christine clearly demonstrates and explains how this concept functions and her refinement of it is by far not common knowledge.
Other concepts include sustaining an open throat, internal space for optimal resonances, legitimate dynamics directed from the body and compressed air, anchoring the body to maintain the larynx low;
Various placement techniques, air that can rebound using breath direction, centering the voice/cut internally by aligning the horizontal (mask) and vertical planes (chest, back of head, top of head and spine) support and placement that function together, developing a mixed middle sound that passes easily into low and high registers and broadens range; articulation that is aligned with vertical planes and naturally hooks up chest and top of head (releases in head) without forcing or placing, tongue, jaw and neck release, body posture that is conducive for support and keeps the body open and functional;
Various artistic and performance techniques, musical interpretation appropriate to context, time period and style, aligning the voice and body/acting to come across accurately in our portrayals and the process behind this, memorization techniques, execution of timing for expressive reasons and ways to think about timing that doesn’t conflict with the natural structure of a song, but allows for flexibility in phrasing, phrasal development and song development.
Christine is also a highly sought out piano instructor for her ability to establish an exceptional foundation in beginning piano students and those who wish to continue their studies and build upon the fundamentals. She specializes in reading skills and excellent technique.
It is her belief that having a solid foundation sets the tone for determining if a student will continue with their studies and therefore this is the most vital part of a student's development and future progress.
She teaches Russian technique, which allows for flexibility, strength and tonal beauty of musical lines. This technique can be applied to all styles of playing piano such as pop, jazz and is not limited to just the classical repertoire.
Her goal is for all of her music students to become increasingly independent as musicians to where they feel confident to teach themselves and others and to ultimately find enjoyment in the process of learning music.
Her approach helps students advance their technique, reading proficiency, including music theory and expand their artistic capabilities.
Education and continuation of voice:
She received her music education in classical vocal performance from George Mason University and has vigiourously continued her studies in opera with Mrs. Fabiana Bravo, who studied with Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Scotto and has had a fabulous career singing at the Met. Christine specializes in Italian for classical rep.
General styles I coach:
Opera (bel canto and verismo) classical, sacred, hymnal, traditional, jazz, r&b, folk, and other variations of these popular styles.
Christine also has an international recording career as an adult contemporary artist.
Voice lessons begin at age 14-55 and piano at age 6-any age. Please no inquires about exceptions on age or travel, I will not respond. I teach from my home only, regardless of distance. I am worth waiting for and traveling to:)
What do I expect from students who are applying:
Those who are very hard working, motivated, passionate, dedicated, responsible, considerate, humble and serious about lessons and greatly improving as musicians should apply only regardless of aspirations as a hobby or professionally.
I strongly believe that music is a discipline and this is how it will be approached during lessons. This is a teacher-student effort. Taking responsibility for your part is a must. That means trying to the best of your abilities to put my advice and guidance into practice away from lessons is necessary to your improvement.
I am looking for potential long-term students who are willing and ready to work hard in a practical and realistic manner, regardless of age, learning needs or proficiency.
Singing is a long-term sustained process to develop that can absolutely not be rushed and I want students who understand this. I have very limited availability and I am only seeking serious students who have a positive, professional attitude and will value me as a teacher. You need not know anything about voice, just have a good work ethic and attitude :)
Thank you and looking forward to working together!
Private vocal coachings based on proper technique, artistry, interpretive skills, diction, acting, mentality, movement and more.
I have some musical experience as a hobby (piano, violin, choral arts), so I can be somewhat critical when I meet musicians. I have to say, though, that Christine is an extremely talented vocalist and instructor - I daresay a vocal genius :) The way she describes and encourages understanding of abstract concepts about air direction and body support is very unique. While it remains technical, it also makes you think differently about your body in terms of physical and emotional space. If, like me, you're a technical-minded person in the more general sense, this kind of approach is helpful because you have to engage both sides of your brain. I'm always challenged at Christine's lessons, and there has been great improvement in my voice from 7 months of lessons with her. I'm also having fun in this process, which is why I continue to come back!
I highly recommend Christine. Give it a shot; you won't regret it.
She is incredibly talented. And truly understands how sound is created through voice. I highly recommend her to anyone. I am a beginner, by the way, with zero vocal experience. I'm looking forward to my next lesson!
Lessons were extremely useful for me. Christine is great at explaining the technique of opera singing and helping the student feel and find their own voice. Christine is an amazing vocal coach I would recommend to everyone.
So far so good. Christine has an interesting approach and she is very engaging
Christine is engaging and has a particular way of teaching how to play the piano. I enjoyed the session as Christine was patient yet pushed to make sure I understood her approached. Good so far!
I look forward to our next sesssion
We moved to Mt. Vernon area less than a year ago, and we needed a piano instructor for our three children who was affordable, but both my husband and I are from musical backgrounds, which makes finding a teacher a difficult process, as we aren't interested in taking just anyone who happens to have a degree in music. Christine is a rare find. She teaches in what I would describe as an immersion style that keeps the lessons steeped with concepts from theory to technique to artistry. She surrounds the children (mine ages 5, 9, and 11) with explanation, demonstration, analogy, and encourages them to learn at their own pace. "Do you understand?" is her gentle motto, probing for areas where the children need reinforcement. When they admit they aren't getting something, she will circle back to explanation from many different angles, illustrating a deeply empathetic reading of individual learning styles. My 5 year old began lessons 3 months ago and is already reading music. She listens to the children and asks thoughtful questions about their personalities. Christine is exacting in the best way an invested parent could hope for. Masterfully, she challenges the children to perfect themselves as she allows the time for such training and evolution to take place. I have been so pleased and excited over the children's experience, that I am seriously considering taking voice lessons with her, myself. I could not more highly recommend a piano instructor.+ Read More
It was truly by chance that I found Christine after another instructor didn't work out, and I am so fortunate! Day one, I was impressed with her professionalism, passion for music, and patience with a first time adult piano student.
I've always wished I had played an instrument growing up; now that I'm stable, I decided to go for it! However, I was very nervous, considering I had no musical experience. Christine has been nothing short of encouraging. In addition, my 8 year old son is taking lessons with her. It is evident that she has a gift when it comes to teaching. She has constructed her teaching methods in a way that is suitable for all ages. Although I'm learning to play at an accelerated pace compared to my son, we're able to communicate and play together because of Christine's consistency with her teaching methods.
Christine's goal for all of her students is that they will leave with the confidence and ability to go out and teach others how to play the piano. As a healthcare professional, I love knowing the rationale for things; that's what you're going to get with her. No memorization over here!! With each week, I'm getting better with reading music, understanding the WHY behind what I'm doing, and becoming more familiar with my instrument.
Christine is undoubtedly an accomplished expert in both piano and voice (she taught my 7 year old daughter both) and has an unique ability to translate this expertise into "laymans" terms for even the youngest student. I watched my daughter grown during our time with Christine, in not only her musical abilities but also as a young lady -- taking responsibility to practice at home, wanting to do her best, and reading her lessons to make sure she was on track. Christine is pleasant and engaging, and yet has a gentle firmness when my daughter needed that extra nudge along the way. I could not give her a higher review, for any student, at any age ... with Christine as your teacher you will learn, grown and achieve your goals. (I say "was." as we moved across the country, otherwise we would have been with Christine until my daughter went to college ... my daughter, and I, think the world of her!)+ Read More
First lesson was great. I was impressed by her teaching method and eagerness to teach with warmth
Very knowledgeable and prompt. She is NO amateur of the piano nor at teaching. My daughter enjoys their weekly sessions. We will definitely continue with Christine as long as she's offering the lessons and my daughter is still interested!
Christine is great - she is very patient but a great for an active 7 yr old.
I felt really motivated taking the lessons today
Christine is an outstanding piano teacher. My son's skills and love for playing the piano have flourished under her tutelage. She focuses on both theory and practice and listens to her students and their parents to ensure a positive experience.
Your are a very great teacher. The most patient teacher ever
Christine kept a very open and fun atmosphere which made for a wonderful learning environment. Her knowledge in her art and ability to tell what I was doing wrong and being able to correct it just by listening was impressive and inspiring. She has mastered the ability to explain the mechanics and fundamentals of singing in a simple and easy way to understand. I look forward to all future lessons with Christine and am excited to see the things that I can learn and accomplish with Christine's guidance. I would recommend Christine for anyone of any age to take lessons with her.+ Read More