ELENA DEGL'INNOCENTI

ELENA D.

Tarzana, CA

About ELENA D.

ELENA teaches: Ages 5 to 70
Teaching since: April 2008
Last sign in: 2 days ago

Overview

Hello!
Music is my life and my biggest passion. I've been a working musician and a teacher for several years and there's nothing more rewarding than sharing all I've learned so far with my students, to nurture their goals and aspirations and to make them aware of the great instrument they already possess. Every year I plan and host two wonderful recitals for my students, so that they can experience and share their progress with family and friends.

Here's more about me and my education:
I was born and raised in Italy and have been singing since I was a child but started a formal training during my teenage years with a private coach. During college, while studying Psychology at the University of Florence, I attended 2 different private music schools in Florence and Bologna, since it was not possible at the time to study music in College. There I kept studying vocal technique, solfege, classical guitar and music harmony.
I moved to LA 11 years ago and attended Musician's Institute earning a diploma in Vocal Studies and Vocal Performance and then I attended a Composition & Songwriting Program at UCLA for 2 years. I refined my vocal technique studying at Berkley College of Music for a summertime in a special program for Jazz Vocalists and I have been an Alexander Technique's student for now 10+ years.
I am a performing artist, I sing and teach privately for a living and, on the side, I help an Opera Touring company promote their tours. I have performed all over the country in some beautiful venues such as the Getty Center and Pantages Theater to name a few. Guitar is my second instrument but I accompany students with my piano during vocal exercises. My personal style of singing is modern, not operatic, I love many kinds of music but especially pop, jazz, and musical theater.

***Lessons Details***

**Singing: Teaching Adults**
There are two sides of singing that I like to work on with my students.
The first is vocal technique, which is first and foremost the study of how to use our instrument, our whole body, in the best and most useful way to avoid strain ad create beautiful sounds. I believe that when we relax and use the right posture, meaning the most natural one, then our bodies and our breathing mechanisms act as they are supposed to, and singing magically happens at its best. When we learn to use our bodies without strain, the right "singing" muscles are automatically engaged and exercised and we feel at ease. So I try to encourage a non-forceful way to use diaphragmatic breathing, which I have learned by studying Alexander Technique, which is a technique that teaches people how to stop using unnecessary levels of muscular and mental tension during any activity, especially during an artistic performance of any kind.
I try to notice bad singing habits the student may have formed throughout his/her life, (hopefully none!), and gently help them correct them. The vocal exercises I use are drawn from the Bel Canto tradition, a classical tradition, but I mix them with more modern vocal exercises to develop popular techniques like "belting" for example.
The second side of singing is simply to pay attention to song interpretation, to convey the message we would like to convey. I encourage the student to choose songs to work on they truly love, and I welcome any style of music. I give the students vocal exercises CDs to help them practice at home.

**Singing: Teaching Children**
What I described above is also true for teaching children, however I like to teach them "by ear" with simple vocal exercises and vocal games at the beginning of the lesson and try to ease them into the sound they naturally make. I like to create a positive environment in which the student can feel successful about even small achievements, whether it is standing in a relaxed way or having practiced the beginning of an exercise or part of a song. To help the student practice at home and keep the motivation alive without feeling overwhelmed I record each lesson (or let them record it) and give them the accompaniment for the song of their choice so they can have fun at home.

*** GUITAR ***
I teach young children using fun songs, games and classical guitar technique. I also teach adults and specialize in contemporary guitar. I welcome many styles of music, pop, rock as well as folk genres of Latin America. I emphasize good posture, tone and musicality, and always a high level of enjoyment with the process!

*** RECITALS ***
I plan and host 2 wonderful Recitals a year, one in January and one in June. I encourage all my students to participate, no matter how they may feel about their instrument level and preparation. Working towards a performance is one of the most effective ways to solidify your ever growing skill!


*** Studio Equipment ***
For students who come to my home studio, there is private guest parking right outside my building, in a gated complex of buildings and in a safe neighborhood just north of the 101. My studio is conveniently located just a few blocks from the freeway entrance. I have a comfortable sofa for parents and siblings to attend the lessons and a keyboard to use for accompaniment. Also, I periodically offer my students the chance to record one song in my studio, equipped with nice microphones and a professional recording system.


*** Travel Equipment ***
For singing lessons I bring my small and light master-keyboard and laptop or I can use the student piano/keyboard. For children's lesson I ask my students to bring a notebook to keep track of practice assignments.


*** Specialties ***
Music theory and Songwriting. Stage performance and how to feel comfortable on stage. Additionally I teach vocal jazz improvisation, Broadway singing and Italian song repertoire.

Photos and Videos

Performing at The Eagle Rock Performing Arts Center.

Experience

Music Teacher

Jan 2015 - Present
UCLA- University of California, Los Angeles

Music group teacher for children (age 1-4) at UCLA Recreation
Youth & Instruction Programs.

Private Teacher

Apr 2008 - Present
Elena D.

Performing Singer

Oct 2006 - Present
Various

Petra Haden & The Sellouts (2006-07) - Backup Singer
The Divine Crime (2010-11) - Backup Singer
B is for Baroness (2007-2009) - Voice/Guitar
Peach & Knife - Voice/Guitar
Elena Degl'Innocenti (original music project) -Voice/Guitar

Voice and Guitar Teacher

Sep 2014 - Dec 2014
California Music Academy

Education

Songwriting Certificate

Jun 2004 - Jun 2006
University of California LA Extension

Music Business Certificate

Mar 2004 - Mar 2006
University of California LA Extension

Vocal Studies and Vocal Performance Certificate

Sep 2003 - Sep 2004
Musician's Institute

Psychology BA

Oct 1999 - May 2003
University of Florence

Vocal Studies & Music Harmony

Oct 2001 - Mar 2003
Music Academy 2000 - Bologna, Italy

Jazz Vocal Studies Summer Program

Jul 2002 - Aug 2002
Berkley College Of Music

Languages Spoken

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Italian

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Awards

Finalist- Instrumental Category

Mar 2012
The Great American Song Contest

Nominated for "Album of the year"

Jun 2010
Los Angeles Music Awards

Jazz Category Winner

May 2010
Our Stage Song Contest

Affiliations

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

Jun 2009
ASCAP

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.

Write a Review

11 Reviews on ELENA D.

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Lihi S. May 5, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Great personality, very good teacher
Thank you
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Carly P. Mar 31, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
It seems like Elena has a gift when it comes to teaching young children. My Carly is so excited every week to learn how to play guitar . It's great when you c your children doing good in school however it's even better when you c such excitement in there passion.
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Ellie P. Aug 12, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
My daughter has really enjoyed her guitar lessons with Elena.
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Fiona K. Jul 29, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Elena is great! We like her a lot! She is great with my daughter. Definitely recommend!
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Mary H. May 19, 2015
Singing · Online
Verified Student
When I ask my niece about her voice lesson for the week, her usual response is "wonderful". She really has learned a lot in terms of how to use her voice & really enjoys Elena!
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DJ G. Feb 12, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I've been a performer for many years....

Simply put, Elena brought me to a whole new level.. Recommend her, YES!!!!
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Analyn C. Feb 3, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Elena teaches our 7 year old daughter acoustic guitar and voice for a few months now. Within those few months our daughter has learned so much. Elena makes sure the goals that are set are met and makes it so much fun while doing so. As our daughter progresses, Elena makes it a little more challenging but not to the point where it gets frustrating. Our daughter LOVES her and so do we. Elena is all what we expected in a teacher and more. Definitely recommend her!
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Marybell E. Nov 10, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Elena is great! She help my daughter feel comfortable and she is learning so much from her lessons.
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Frank V. Sep 23, 2014
Singing · In home
Our kids love Elena, my wife and I have know her for a few years. She has taken our two boys from no musical ability to being able to sing beautifully. Now they love doing it, they have some opportunities to sing at school and the oldest (14) keeps talking about having his own band when he grows up! I didn't know she did guitar lessons as well, but another friend of ours started taking guitar lessons (in her 40s, I should add) and she's enthusiastic about it. Teaching is a gift that Elena certainly has! We highly recommend her.
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Veronica C. Sep 9, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
As someone who has taken guitar lessons on and off for the past 10 years it was very refreshing to have a teacher like Elena. She provides great instruction, patience and enthusiasm for her craft. I enjoy the lessons and see an improvement in my playing. I highly recommend her for beginnings and for those looking to enhance their skills.
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