JoAnn Ross

JoAnn R.

Carmichael, CA

About JoAnn R.

Background check: Last verified 07/03/2016
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JoAnn teaches: Ages 9 to 80
Teaching since: April 2008
Last sign in: 2 days ago


Your lessons are designed to help you develop the skills and confidence you need to successfully perform in public. I work hard to prepare your lessons and I ask my students to invest daily time working on skills studied at their lessons. Performing music requires the patient integration of multiple skills over time, however, the rewards are BIG.

During your lessons you will receive instruction in skills needed to sing or play the cello as well as musical skills including rhythm, melody, harmony and style. Because there is a lot to learn, I encourage you to consider 45 or 60 minute lessons, which I offer at substantially reduced rates to make them more affordable for you.

I continually update my teaching methods by attending workshops and master classes and I incorporate my knowledge of human anatomy and function, to help you perform with minimal strain. Also, I incorporate internet resources in your lessons to keep them interesting and up to date.

What will your lessons be like?
At your first lesson we will explore and name the parts of your instrument (voice or cello). We'll talk about what you would like to learn, set attainable goals and select songs that you will be successful learning.

In subsequent lessons you will warm up with scales and exercises, using common intervals with basic rhythms to improve your technical abilities and gain musical skills and knowledge, such as hearing pitches and intervals and keeping with the beat. This will also help you learn to read music.

Singers will learn to use breathing to coordinate with your vocal folds to make a beautiful tone and sing on pitch, relax your throat and tongue to create resonant chambers, shape your mouth and tongue to color the tone, and use your tongue and lips to form the words.

Cellists will learn to transfer your body weight into your cello to produce a mellow tone, placing your hands and arms on the cello and bow in a relaxed and balanced manner to allow you to play smoothly and in tune and to prepare you to produce a lovely vibrato. Since cellos don't have frets, you will also learn to locate each note on the cello but just a few notes at a time - until you know them all.

You will learn to use your technical skills and knowledge to create musical phrases that sound beautiful and authentic and are fun to perform and listen to. You will need to practice simple skills and phrases repeatedly until they become habit. I will lend you my kind and patient support to help you through the bumps in the road.

Not sure how to practice at home?
To support your practice at home you will: Receive a recording of each of your lessons to practice with; Learn simple exercises you can do at home; Learn to create and use simple backup tracks of your songs to learn to hear rhythm and harmony; Learn how to use your computer at home to get feedback for pitch, and tone quality.

Nervous about performing?
When you are comfortable I will provide opportunities to perform in student programs performing for friends and families.

You will have opportunities to participate and perform in workshops which include performance opportunities, lectures, demonstrations and Master Classes with nationally recognized teachers and performers.

Photos and Videos

O, Divine Redeemer, Charles Gounod


Nov 2015 - Present

I regularly sing classical, musical theater and jazz standards for the Dixon and Pioneer regional music series, and at Jim Jordan's piano bar.

Jul 2014 - Present
Cellist with Beethoven and Friends Chamber Music Ensemble

I regularly perform chamber music as part of the Dixon and Pioneer regional chamber music series, including sonatas, trios and quartets and folk music arrangements, by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Saint Saens, and Mendelssohn, Vaughan Williams and others.

Private Singing and Cello Instructor
Oct 1976 - Present
Private Studio and East Los Angeles Settlement House

Sacramento May, 2009-Present
Private singing instruction ages 11-60+
Opera, Broadway, Jazz, Rock, Pop
Private cello instruction ages 16-60+

San Francisco Oct 1966-June 1972
Private singing instruction ages 14-20
Choir, Broadway, Classical singing lessons

East Los Angeles Settlement House Oct 1976-June 1972
Private singing and cello instruction ages 10-18
Classical, Opera and Broadway

Solist and Choir member
Feb 2014 - Jul 2015
Capella Antiqua

Member of, and soloist with, Capella Antiqua, a sixteen member elite choir which performed a range of choral music, including annual performances of Handel's Messiah with orchestra until the ill-health of its director caused it to disband.

Choir - Professional Section Leader/Soloist
Sep 2011 - Feb 2014
Wilshire United Methodist Church, Glendale 7th Day Adventist Church, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, Monterey Park Lutheran Church, and St Marks Methodist Church in Sacramento

Soloist and section leader

Participated in weekly choir rehearsal with Sunday service, bi-monthly solo/duets, bi-yearly performances of choral works with professional orchestra - section leader and soloist, including works by Bach, Brahms, Saint-Saens, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Handel, Faure, Mozart

Soloist at Bellflower, La Canada and San Mateo Christian Science Churches. Sang a contemplative solo at weekly services, led congregational hymns

Singing Teacher and Coach
Mar 2013 - Oct 2013
Miss Cynthia's Dance Studio

Taught singing and prepared students for roles in Annie and Wizard of Oz - ages 7-18

Podiatrist/Anatomy Instructor
Jan 1993 - Aug 2013
Monrovia Podiatry Center, Mt.Sac Community College, ITT Tech

Podiatry services - including evaluation and treatment of chronic and acute injury

Taught anatomy and physiology to pre-med and nursing students

Choir member
Sep 2003 - May 2013
University Choir

Sang a variety of choral music with the 50 member University Choir under the direction of Don Kendrick at CSUS. Included performing occasional solos.

Opera singer
Sep 1966 - Jun 1971
Pacific Opera, CSULA, Citrus College, Euterpe Opera, Pasadena Opera

Perform light jazz, folk and classical songs with Beethoven and Friends Chamber Ensemble. Performed leading roles in operas including Gianni Schicchi, Magic Flute, Sir John in Love, Orpheus in the Underworld, Hansel and Gretel, La Boheme, Romeo and Julliette with Pacific Opera, CSULA, Citrus College, Euterpe Opera

Sang in Pasadena Opera chorus in productions with international stars including Placido Domingo and Richard Tucker.


Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
Feb 1977 - May 1980
California College of Podiatric Medicine
Bachelor of Arts Music
Sep 1964 - Jun 1970
California State University, Los Angeles

Languages Spoken

English - spoken; German, French, Italian and Spanish - sung
Professional Proficiency


Community College Teaching Credential Anatomy and Physiology
Sep 1984
State of California

Teaching Credential for Anatomy and Physiology


Winner ARC Annual Aria/Concerto Competition
May 2012
American River College
Outstanding Singer of the Year
Jun 1968
California State University, Los Angeles
Outstanding Madrigal Singer
Jun 1968
California State University, Los Angeles


National Association of Teachers of Singing
Apr 2012

Founded in 1944, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc. (NATS) is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world with more than 7,000 members worldwide.

36 Reviews on JoAnn R.

Write a Review
Mike Dec 29, 2016
· Cello · In studio Joanne is an excellent teacher. She takes time to explain not only what to do but why certain techniques are used. The cello is a beautiful-sounding instrument and Joanne is teaching me how to bring the most tone out of my instrument.
Louis May 4, 2016
· Classical Voice · In studio JoAnn is a great and friendly instructor: She clearly explains proper technique and suggestions for good practice; she picks songs to help strengthen weak points of the student; she knows how to connect with each student; and she cares about every student she has.
Megan H. Mar 8, 2016
· Singing · In home I took voice lessons from JoAnn for one year and recommend her to anyone looking to improve their singing ability. I improved the quality and sound of my voice as well as my confidence. She also taught music theory and was very good at interpreting lyrics/songs to bring the music to the next level.

JoAnn is very professional and dedicated to the art of teaching music. She explained concepts in a way that I could understand and apply. She has a firm grasp on the anatomy of your voice and throat and uses that knowledge to design effective lessons and exercises to improve your singing.

She also records every session so you can go back and listen to the lesson and your performance when you are at home. If you desire, she provides opportunities to perform and practice singing in front of an audiences.

JoAnn is fun to work with and I enjoyed all of my sessions with her. Again, I highly recommend her to anyone looking to improve their singing ability.
Julie W. Mar 3, 2016
· Cello · In studio Fantastic instructor! JoAnn is very thorough, extremely patient and a master at cello. Definitely recommend.
Yoojeong E. Feb 9, 2016
· Vocal Training · In studio She was absolutely spectacular, and I was very intrigued by her and her teaching style. I can't wait to see her again, and just soak up everything she offers me!!!! Thank you, and it was most astonishing experience!
Bill Jan 18, 2016
· Singing · In studio As an absolute beginner in singing, I appreciate JoAnn's patience and encouragement very much. She is very knowledgeable and dedicated to her teaching. I recommend her as a teacher without reservation.
Glenn Tamaki Jan 17, 2016
· Broadway Singing · In studio I love how she breaks every element down and always gives positive feedback! Her knowledge of the body mechanics is incredible and helps me understand how to properly sing. She is friendly and always tailors her lessons to the individual needs of the student!
Ann Jan 15, 2016
· Cello · In studio Ms JoAnn is a great teacher. She has the knowledge, and the understanding. She is very helpful in all ways to help student develop the skills.
Thank you much.
julie Jan 15, 2016
· Cello · In home JoAnn is a gifted teacher, because of her extensive background in music, she can quickly identify where a new learner needs to focus. My daughter's technique has improved as well as her playing. We feel lucky to have found JoAnn.
Isaac S. Dec 2, 2015
· Cello · In home I began cello lessons with JoAnn almost a year ago. This was an instrument I had always wanted to learn, so I bought a good student cello and nervously scheduled my first half hour lesson. Her availability didn't initially work well with my plan to take lessons prior to coming in to my work, but a quick phone call and we worked out a very agreeable schedule.

Eleven months later, our weekly 60 minute lessons are very enjoyable and I am progressing well. JoAnn has been very accommodating with her schedule, last-minute cancellations, and patience. Sometimes I dread my next lesson because I've been too busy to practice or too fatigued from work, but an hour later I leave with a smile on my face and more confidence with my instrument. Hey, this is fun!

I would not hesitate to recommend JoAnn to anyone, especially a busy, working adult. She is a very skilled cellist and teacher, incorporating many lessons from other disciplines into this. While her teaching course has been different than I expected (lots of focus on slow playing and no vibrato yet), I believe my playing is much, much better because of it. In the beginning I had planned on a couple months of weekly lessons. Now a year later, I have no intention of stopping - way too much fun! Thank you JoAnn!
JoAnn Ross
JoAnn R.

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