- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
- Teaches students:
- Ages 7 to 18 and special needs
- Teaching since:
- August 1997
My musical theater career has taken me around the globe from Japan, to the Caribbean as well as numerous cities in the U.S. and Europe! A New York City native, I graduated James Madison University's renowned vocal music program, and began work in theatre, playing such roles as Z.’s Favorite in The national tour of “The Will Roger’s Follies, Sandy in “Grease,” and Velma Von Tussle in “Hairspray” regionally, to name a few. I then went on to tour the world with a cabaret show opening for legends such as Nell Carter and Neil Sedaka, and it has been a fantastic journey so far!
Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to sing most genres of music from gospel to pop and have a passion for encouraging students in their talents, singing the styles of music they love! I believe we are all so very unique, and there is a reason we are drawn to certain types of music over others, so let's work on what we love!
As an actor I also have a strong background in improv comedy, having studied at "The Groundlings," and "The Second City." I then performed professionally with an improv ensemble in NYC called "The Grownups Playground" and can teach a myriad of improv comedy games, selected from my vast experience and cater the games to the students abilities. I believe developing your gifts should be fun!
*** Lesson Details ***
My personality is definitely laid back creating a fun atmosphere for lessons. That said, I believe the real fun begins when we cultivate our talents and get opportunities to sing our hearts out!
Lessons usually begin with loosening everything up, as relaxation is imperative to avoiding strain on the voice. Getting loose can be fun and a chance to act silly! Next we move onto learning proper breathing techniques, and practicing exercises that will develop the muscles necessary to produce the most sound while protecting the voice from damage. From there we study ways to warm up the vocal chords. The voice is a muscle and I have found the expression, "Use it or you lose it!" to hold true. Therefore, warming up is just as important as warming up your legs to run track!
The rest of our lesson I like to focus on music selections. We usually watch examples of artists performing the student's choice of music, and then begin either learning the song, or improving a song already learned. Down the road, when songs are performance ready, we will learn proper microphone technique, and try out our songs on mic! Get ready to belt it out!
For acting lessons, I always begin with a few improv warm-ups, and from there move on to the student's choice of monolgue, scene-study or my favorite more improv comedy games!
Lastly, I believe strongly in positivity and creating a comfortable environment for lessons. Sometimes life wears us down, so c'mon in for an uplifting inspiring, encouraging lesson. If this sounds like the type of voice lesson you are looking for, I would love to meet you, and help you reach for your dreams!
*** Specialties ***
Vocally, I specialize in pop, musical theatre, standards, and jazz, all of which I have performed and taught professionally. Acting wise, I am an experienced improviser, and have much experience teaching improv based on philosophies learned at "The Second City."
Gerri is a great teacher as she brings out the best efforts in our daughter (who often approaches new ideas/people/activities with trepidation). She helps our daughter understand her lessons in a very clear and absorbable fashion. We highly recommend her.