JoAnn Ross

JoAnn R.

18 Reviews
Carmichael, CA

About JoAnn R.

Background check: Last verified 08/26/2014
JoAnn passed a background check on 08/26/2014 that included the following:
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JoAnn teaches: Ages 9 to 80
Teaching since: April 2008
Last sign in: Yesterday
Average response time: 12 hours


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.

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 lesson 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 you will have three opportunities per year 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. And students can earn Certificate of Merit which are recognized by universities.

Photos and Videos

Performance at Kennedy Gallery Sacramento, CA


Choir - Professional Section Leader/Soloist Sep 2003 - Present
Wilshire United Methodist Church, Glendale 7th Day Adventist Church, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, and others in Los Angeles area, and University Choir, Capella Antiqua and St Marks Methodist Church in Sacramento

Soloist and choir member:
50 member University Choir Sept 2003-June 2006, Sept 2012-May 2013
16 member Capella Antiqua Feb 2014-Present
Church Choirs 1967-Present

Participated in weekly choir rehearsal with Sunday service, bi-monthly solo/duets
bi-yearly performances of choral works with profession 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 Churchs. Sang a contemplative solo at weekly services, led congregational hymns

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

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

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.

Currently performing in private venues in Sacramento area

Cellist/Musician Feb 1960 - Present
American River Orchestra, Beethoven and Friends Chamber Music Group, Sacramento Chamber Music Group, CSULA Orchestra, Whittier Youth Symphony, Whitter Elks Cavaliers Bands

Play cello in orchestras and in small mixed chamber music groups

Played string bass and baritone horn in dance, concert and marching bands in high school

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


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, German, French, Italian, Spanish 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.

Music Teachers' Association of California Mar 2012

MTAC aspires to be the recognized leader in (1) Student Programs, which make a positive impact in the quality of music education and in the lives of music students; (2) Member Programs, which inspire quality teaching, the pursuit of ongoing teacher education and member involvement with community outreach; (3) a thriving Foundation, which funds Student Programs and member needs through its investments, donations, and grants.

Write a Review

18 Reviews on JoAnn R.

Mark C. Jul 5, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I am a brand new singing student, although, at 59, I am not brand new. After my first three lessons I am completely satisfied that I chose the right instructor. JoAnn is warm and friendly and makes me feel welcome and comfortable. It is clear she has a deep knowledge and love of music and singing, has a lot to offer her students, and enjoys the teaching interaction. I am thoroughly enjoying the experience and look forward to every lesson. Although my development is in the very early stages, I'm already noticing progress and certainly a more educated awareness of my voice.
Emily G. Apr 25, 2014
Great Voice Teacher!

I really enjoy my voice lessons with JoAnn. She is a great teacher! I've been taking voice lessons with JoAnn for a few years now and am so happy with how I sound and feel while singing. I started out as a complete beginner with quite a bit of tension in my body and have progressed along nicely these past few years.

JoAnn is extremely knowledgeable about music and really enjoys sharing that knowledge with her students. She is passionate about music and teaching. JoAnn is patient and really makes an effort communicate effectively with her students. I’ve always appreciate her enthusiasm and the effort she puts into planning my lessons.

JoAnn also has a lovely music studio. It is comfortable, private, light, and airy with a nice view of her backyard. Her music studio is quiet and I never have trouble hearing her, myself, or the keyboard.
Anna R. Feb 25, 2014
Verified Student
Great teacher!

Jo Ann is a wonderful teacher. She is very knowledgeable, patient, responsive to the needs of the students, and provides excellent explanations. I started taking lessons with her as a complete beginner and, with her help, learn to understand the features of my voice and the mechanics of voice production. Also, it is very fun to work with her!
Sandra H. Dec 6, 2013
Verified Student
JoAnn is an amazing and helpful teacher I can only recommend!

I started my lessons with JoAnn about a year ago as a totally beginner! I was incredibly nervous since I never really sung in front of other people besides my family and some friends! JoAnn showed me right away that I didn't have to be! She is a great teacher with amazing tips, calm and patient and with her help I learned a lot within only one year! Every lesson I took so far was totally helpful and definitely fun! I can only recommend her!
Richard C. Nov 26, 2013
Verified Student
Learning more than I ever expected to learn!

I guess I went into singing lessons rather naïve because I thought my greatest challenge was singing on pitch..... I strum my guitar and want to be able to sing songs too, but was always out of tune, so thus never sang. Well, JoAnn has not only helped me find my pitch, she has opened my eyes to the whole process of vocalizing. Pitch is critical of course, but resonance and sound quality are equally as important, and as she helped me with my resonance the pitch problems began to disappear! In four short months I am a vastly better singer..... And through the comfortable no-pressure process I am also learning general music fundamentals which have helped tremendously. I highly recommend JoAnn for shy and insecure beginners like me, and, from what I saw and heard at our recent informal recital at her home, she works just as well with accomplished singers.
Jim P. Nov 25, 2013
Verified Student
Great teacher. Glad we found her.

Because my husband and I are using the same email address for these lessons, I had to write this review under my husband's "review nickname," JimSong. I am a female and a beginning cello player.Joann is an accomplished symphony cellist. Yet she is able to help a beginner like myself.
She is a very knowledgeable, understanding, and patient teacher. I am learning a lot about the cello and have been motivated to work at improving my skills. My husband is also taking singing lessons. Glad we found Joann.

Jim P. Nov 25, 2013
Verified Student
Joann Ross is a great voice teacher. Glad I found her through this website.

I am an older male adult. I always wanted to learn how to sing but did not have much singing experience. I play guitar and thought it would be nice to sing. I was very apprehensive about taking lessons because I thought I had no singing talent. Joann is a great teacher. She is helping me find my voice. She is very professional and is helping me learn how to sing by starting with fundamental building blocks that are logical and understandable.She is a very knowledgeable, patient, kind, and understanding teacher. I look forward to taking lessons from Joann. My wife is also taking cello lessons from Joann, who is an accomplished symphony cellist as well.
jane L. Nov 14, 2013
Verified Student
It has been a great experience...highly recommended

Ever since I was little, I liked singing but never got a chance to systematiclly learn how to sing properly. About 7 months ago, I decided to make a try and started taking JoAnn's lesson once a week.

As a beginner, my voice has never been trained. Also, I am a native Chinese speaker so my way of making sound is quite different from that of American English speakers. On top of that, my knowledge of music theory is very limited and it takes more efforts for me to learn the melody from the sheet music.

Against all these odds, JoAnn has managed to teach me not only how to sing, but also to sing correctly and well. As a music instructor, she is very patient, very encouraging and very friendly. But what makes her stand out to me is 1) she makes many diverse approaches to making me recognize and feel the correct way of singing; 2) she has a unique background in human body anotomy that helps me to understand by reason how the vocal chord works to make beautiful sound; 3) while being a musician, she keeps an eye on new technologies related to music and singing; she has recommended me to download some apps that have greatly enriched my music learning experience.
The type of songs that she teaches and the skill levels she instructs vary a lot. I got that idea from the recital she hosted last weekend. Performances from students include jazz, rock, broadway musical, and opera at all different levels and all did great including me :)

The other thing that I feel very good about JoAnn is that she helps me to explore and reconnect with my body through singing. As a doctor, she has the philosophy which I take as 'holistic singing', meaning it is not just your throat or the vocal chord that does the singing job, but the whole body and mind. When the brain can give proper directions and the muscles are well trained, you can sing well naturally. I like this idea and enjoy the learning experience greatly.
JoAnn R. Nov 4, 2013
JoAnn is an outstanding musician she's energetic and fun to work with

I've known and performed with JoAnn for over 20 years. She's a great musician - always well prepared and enthusiastic. I've enjoyed working with her. Her fresh ideas help enliven our music.
Darrel D. Nov 4, 2013
JoAnn always brings new and fun approaches to the performance of music.

As a friend and fellow musician, I always enjoy rehearsing and performing music with JoAnn. Her high energy and enthusiasm encourage me to perform my best. Exploring music with her is a pleasure.