- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I am unique because of my combined musical and medical backgrounds. In addition to my graduate and undergraduate musical training and extensive musical experience, I was a surgeon and taught anatomy and physiology. Part of my medical training included studying the mechanics of how the body works and its application.
In addition to the traditional methods such as imagery and mimicry that all singing teachers use, I will help you understand your body - precisely how to produce and resonate your tone, and how your breathing really works in conjunction with tone production and resonance, not in an isolated way as is commonly taught.
Also, I will work with you on all the musicianship skills you need: Singing with correct rhythmic style and phrasing, on pitch and with the existing harmony; reading music; and a knowledge of the history of musical styles and how they developed. And, we will work on performance skills to convey the meaning and beauty of a song to your audience. As a professional musician I bring you my extensive experience singing Broadway, opera, jazz, and choral music, and playing various instruments in dance bands, chamber groups, and orchestras. I am well prepared to teach you the skills you need to meet your goals.
I keep my knowledge and skills up to date by studying the latest journals and books, attending workshops and master classes, listening to recordings, attending live performances, participating in music associations and taking private lessons. I search out and use the latest computer-based and internet resources to help you learn faster and support your home practice.
Many of my students have previously studied with other teachers and they have volunteered that what they learn in my studio far exceeds what they learned elsewhere - that they are thrilled. So I encourage you to sign up for lessons and see for yourself. To help you make faster progress, I offer 45 or 60 minute lessons at substantially reduced rates that are more affordable for you.
- Teaches students:
- Ages 9 to 80
- Teaching since:
- April 2008
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.
I regularly sing classical, musical theater and jazz standards for the Dixon and Pioneer regional music series, and at Jim Jordan's piano bar.
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.
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
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.
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
Taught singing and prepared students for roles in Annie and Wizard of Oz - ages 7-18
Podiatry services - including evaluation and treatment of chronic and acute injury
Taught anatomy and physiology to pre-med and nursing students
Sang a variety of choral music with the 50 member University Choir under the direction of Don Kendrick at CSUS. Included performing occasional solos.
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.
Teaching Credential for Anatomy and Physiology
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.
I received about 10 lessons from JoAnn and feel very good with the results. I started playing guitar and singing in a small band and knew that I needed help. Joann educated me with many warm up lessons, a good start on reading music, and numerous exercises towards reaching pitch that will also save my vocal chords from harm. It's up to me to practice and use the available tools that JoAnn has introduced me to while I take a break from lessons while traveling. JoAnn is a professional singing teacher.+ Read More
She is great! My daughter really enjoys her lessons and we appreciate how thorough JoAnn is.
JoAnn is a very patient and kind teacher. In the last few lessons I've had, she has taught me more than Ive learned with my previous teacher of 8 years. She is very understanding and teaches her students everything we need to know to be a good vocalist. I would highly recommend her.+ Read More
JoAnn was very personable and helped Samuel understand breathing techniques easily. Looking forward to the next lesson!
She is wonderful!!!
JoAnn is such a wonderful instructor and as a beginner I feel lucky to receive instruction from such an accomplished cellist. I highly recommend JoAnn as an instructor.
Awesome instructor. Sees what one strugles with right away and corrects on the spot. Very fun to work with as well :)
JoAnn is a. Very good teacher and suited the needs I had to polish and reawaken my vocal skills. I look forward to working with her.
I accompanied my teenage son to his first voice lesson with JoAnn and thought she was excellent. I particularly appreciated how she broke everything down to the most basic scientific level. She demonstrated clearly how the voice actually works and what is going on in the body that affects the voice. She taught that learning to control those things will improve the voice and quality of singing. I'm confident and excited that her tutelage will improve my son's singing. He enjoyed it and is looking forward to next week.+ Read More
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.
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.+ Read More
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.
Fantastic instructor! JoAnn is very thorough, extremely patient and a master at cello. Definitely recommend.
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!
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.
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!+ Read More
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.
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.
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!
Disciplined & organized but accommodating and relaxed. Just right for my 14 yo G'daughter
JoAnn is a wonderful teacher. She is very patient and encouraging. She is thorough in making sure proper form is achieved so that you are playing without discomfort. I would highly recommend her as she is great at confidence building and a truly sweet person!+ Read More
She’s a terrific teacher! She’s scholarly and intellectual herself, years of research and study on her own, knows the fundamental mechanics, physiological and mental, to learning to sing properly and conveys it in a very clear fashion. She builds a singer; she doesn’t just do superficial pitch coaching.+ Read More
Very good first experience for my 11 yr old
I really appreciate that she took time to emphasize good form to avoid muscle strain on my first lesson. Looking forward to many more lessons!
We here at Timin Music Entertainment are very happy to have JoAnn working with our pop artist Adam Aldama aka Sizzle. Thanks for all you do.
My first lesson was great, and I look forward to more sessions. Thank you JoAnn.
Adam Aldama aka Sizzle, from www.timinmusicentertainment.com
Very professional! Very Kind! Supportive with your learning. She builds a relationship with you. Completely recommend !
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.+ Read More
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. Iâve 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.
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!
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!
Learning more than I ever expected to learn!
I guess I went into singing lessons rather naÃ¯ve 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Customized instructions, to the point, and excellent listener
I am a beginning student with no singing experience. JoAnn has been my instructor for the past several months. What I like about JoAnn is her attention to detail. She believes, for example, in starting with a strong foundation to build your singing voice on such as having proper breathing and relaxation techniques. More importantly, she is upfront about the importance of practice. This is the only way to get better. Thank you, JoAnn, for your encouragement and patience.
Structured and organized
I'm having a great time. My time is very structured, which is what I am looking for. I enjoy the homework she gives me, and the goal we have set for my singing.
A great teacher for adult learners!
I am classically trained in both the piano and violin. It had been about 10 years since I last had any private lessons and 8 years since I last sang in a choir. I was excited to get back to music.
JoAnn has been an extremely supportive instructor. I am shy to perform but she put me at ease immediately and has encouraged me to be more confident and daring in trying new techniques. What mainly sets her apart from my past teachers is that she also has a way of giving easy to understand instructions on how to change various parts of your body to produce the sound you want. As a result my singing has improved immensely over the past 6 months since starting lessons. I now sing in a professional level choir and love the mature, full sounding quality of voice I have been able to produce with JoAnn's help!
I am very happy with JoAnn. She is patient, supportive, and encouraging. I also appreciate that fact that she is straightforward about expectations and the how much time improvement will take.
Business Services Officer
JoAnn has been patient with me learning to breathe correctly and is teaching me how to read music. Music is more than just singing. I look forward to learning more and JoAnn is nice to work with.
My instructor JoAnn is amazing! She is teaching me the anatomy of singing that helps me understand the details behind the exercises I'm doing. I look forward to every lesson and am confident I will meet my goal of obtaining studio work in the near future. Thank you!+ Read More
I really enjoy my lessons with JoAnn. I feel comfortable and supported during my development as a vocalist.
very personable,knowledgeable ,lovely studio