Erica, professionally known as Erica Piccininni, is a singer/actress from the original Broadway cast of the 2006 Tony award winning "Jersey Boys". She recently relocated to Los Angeles to pursue film and television, and has been featured in over a dozen national commercials, including a currently airing national Budweiser spot. She has performed as a singer in New York and around the country for nearly ten years, and was classically trained at New York University where she recieved her bachelor of music in Vocal Performance/music theatre in 2001. Erica also originated the lead role of "Liz" in "Palm Beach:the Screwball Musical" at its national premiere at the highly acclaimed La Jolla Playhouse under director Des McAnuff, dir. of "Jersey Boys" as well as the upcoming broadway revival of "Guys and Dolls". She understands that passion for singing that you have, or that your kid has, and wants to get you where you need to be to succeed in a college program audition or in the real world! She has been studying voice for nearly 15 years, and understands the neccessity of beginning singers with solid, healthy habits at a very young age, so you have your voice ALL your life, even when belting your heart out. Most importantly, she knows that it is the combination of technique AND expression that builds truly unique young performers...and every kid is one of them, because there is no other YOU on the planet :). In other words, she does not stifle expression/acting with stiff technique, but offers the perfect balance of healthy vocal technique and connection to your performance. This is the ONLY way to work your way to success: by letting you shine through. If you or your kid's goal is not a career in singing but just to explore your potential as a beginning singer, Erica's style is patient and fun!
*** Lesson Details ***
Erica caters lessons to each individual student's personal needs. She can focus lessons towards the preparation of a particular song for a concert or audition, get you ready to land that part in the school play, or simply work on beginner's breath technique. She can spend time working on the performance/acting of a song, or stick to vocal work, depending on her students' goals. Either way, she always begins with simple on-the-breath warm-ups that relax and loosen the chords, and excercises to release tension in the body. She is sensitive to stress in her student's minds, be it nerves or the stress of the day, and encourages students to let it go at the start of the lesson, to improve their focus and help them relax. Once the warm-up is over, students move on to singing simple melodies on vowels, using either the Vaccai book of Italian songs, or american standards, in which she focuses on forming open space in the mouth and releasing any "holding" in the jaw or diaphragm. When moving on to songs, Erica encourages students to choose songs they have always loved, in any style, even pop or R&B, to sing in the lesson. It is supposed to be fun, after all! Whether it's from High School Musical or West Side Story, bring it on! Erica demonstrates how breath technique can help drive the emotion of a song, and, (if the student desires) can help students discover their own personal meaning behind the lyrics, to make their performance truly unique to them and build their confidence as a young ARTIST, not just a singer! Discovering this "subtext" behind song lyrics inspires her students to express themselves uniquely, which has real-life benefits FAR beyond performing. In a few months, students become aware of singing as an engagement of the entire body, and develop healthy warm-up and cool-down habits that will ensure they keep their voices healthy for years to come. Most importantly, students develop confidence in themselves as unique performers and individuals, so that they are able to always bring their true selves to college or school play auditions, without mimicking a favorite singer or trying to "fake" it. Students learn that "YOU, as you are right now, are enough". That their voice, young as it is, is interesting to hear and watch, and they need not push their voices to sound a certain way or seem older. These guidelines are invaluable in performing and life. She looks forward to meeting you and getting started!:)
*** Studio Equipment ***
No piano or keyboard
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide music books. I'd expect them to provide a tape recorder. I do not have a piano in my house yet so they would have to have one, or a studio would work as well.
*** Specialties ***
*Teachers marked as a Student Favorite have taught a minimum of 25 lessons and have received the highest feedback rating from students.Voice, Acting, Musical Theatre
music theatre, classical (the vaccai method book, in particular). Singing with released tension to benefit the health of the vocal chords, and relax the body to allow natural emotion to flow while performing without the "aid" of tension.
For monologues/songs, I'd focus on how to break the material down into subtext, to understand what each line translates to, personally for the student. I'd also love to boost their moral, so nerves or competition don't get in the way of their most natural, truthful, and fun performance.