- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate
- Teaches students:
- Ages 5 to 70
- Teaching since:
- April 2008
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.
**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.
Music group teacher for children (age 1-4) at UCLA Recreation
Youth & Instruction Programs.
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
Women In Music is a non-profit organization with a mission to advance the awareness, equality, diversity, heritage, opportunities, and cultural aspects of women in the musical arts through education, support, empowerment, and recognition. Our seminars, panels, showcases, achievement awards, and youth initiatives celebrate the female contribution to the music world, and strengthen community ties.+ Read More
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.
Elena is an amazing teacher! She has taught my 9 year old both singing and ukelele, and inspired her to practice without me prompting her! She's flexible with scheduling changes, offers a wonderful experience for children learning to use a microphone, uses humor to make her students comfortable and offers participation in a biannual performance at a venue. This opportunity to perform in front of an audience with a professional multi-camera recording is such a plus! I can't say enough good things about her teaching style, and how quickly my daughter has gained confidence in singing and playing an instrument as a result. My daughter is inspired to play and sing as she sees quick results and enjoys her sessions. I highly recommend Elena as a music instructor for any age!+ Read More
Excellent session. It pointed out what I need to work on, specifically.
Elena is a gifted teacher. She is patient, enthusiastic, and flexible with her lesson plans. She is amenable to tailoring the sessions to the student's needs and interests. And she provides the whole package; singing, songwriting and guitar instruction. Most importantly, she makes the sessions fun and interesting. I would highly recommend Elena for singer/songwriters who want to improve their performance skills.+ Read More
I asked my daughter today after her first lessons how it went and she seemed really happy👍🌻
Great personality, very good teacher
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.+ Read More
My daughter has really enjoyed her guitar lessons with Elena.
Elena is great! We like her a lot! She is great with my daughter. Definitely recommend!
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!
I've been a performer for many years....
Simply put, Elena brought me to a whole new level.. Recommend her, YES!!!!
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!+ Read More
Elena is great! She help my daughter feel comfortable and she is learning so much from her lessons.
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.+ Read More
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.+ Read More
I've had a couple of private vocal coaching lessons from Elena and let me tell you she is a consummate professional. She has extensive vocal training, a gift for teaching and her passion for music comes through and inspires. I highly recommend!