JoAnn Ross

JoAnn R.

Carmichael, CA

About JoAnn R.

Background check: Last verified 07/29/2015
JoAnn passed a background check on 07/29/2015 that included the following:
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JoAnn teaches: Ages 9 to 80
Teaching since: April 2008
Last sign in: Yesterday


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 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 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. 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


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 - 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.

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

35 Reviews on JoAnn R.

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
Verified Student
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
Verified Student
Fantastic instructor! JoAnn is very thorough, extremely patient and a master at cello. Definitely recommend.
Yoojeong E. Feb 9, 2016
Vocal Training · In studio
Verified Student
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
Verified Student
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
Verified Student
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!
Kiana V. Nov 19, 2015
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Disciplined & organized but accommodating and relaxed. Just right for my 14 yo G'daughter

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