Julia Vaara

Julia V.

Portland, OR

About Julia V.

Background check: Last verified 11/18/2016
Julia passed a background check on 11/18/2016 that included the following:
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Julia teaches: Ages 9 and up
Teaching since: January 1987
Last sign in: 3 days ago


I have a Master’s in Opera Performance from the Boston and New England Conservatories as well as graduating from Vocal Performance programs at Boston University and Western Washington University. I have sung professionally with Boston Lyric Opera, Children’s Theater Companies, churches and synagogue and have toured on the east coast as well as Athens, Greece. Premiering new music is a specialty. I can help you prepare your pieces for auditions.  My students have successful auditions for college opera and music theater programs, and as choir soloists.

Students gain a larger vocal range and an easy, natural way of singing whether it is in a rock band, choir or as a soloist. Together we find the joy of singing while building a solid technique.

I have worked with small children as a Musikgarten teacher and have toured artist residency programs which introduce children to music and theater in schools.   I was adjunct faculty at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University and local music studios as well as maintaining my private teaching practice.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am persistent and positive! Working and performing with singers and master teachers has helped me to be a resourceful teacher who understands the process of becoming a singer. I believe that a sense of fun and play helps you to accomplish your goals quickly.  For beginners you will learn how the voice works and how to care for and develop your instrument, I recommend adults take 45" - 1 hour lessons weekly for skill building. The price of lessons DECREASES by 10% after each 5 lesson purchased for the first 15 lessons. Studio policy is located at VaaraMusic.com. We will choose music that interests you and helps to build your voice starting with basics before moving to more complex and challenging music. Understanding music theory and sight-reading will help you get the most out of your singing. After 3 - 6 months you should have a good command of breathing and an understanding of how to sing with an expressive tone.For the advanced student, I can help you work on trouble spots and give you tools to help with the changes that voices naturally go through.  I look forward to giving you my full focus and celebrating your growth and accomplishments!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Condo w/ open area with piano. Visitor's parking lot w/ seating in studio for parents to listen. Parents with younger siblings can use play areas outside.
Basic library of vocal music, giving the student a way to sample different kinds of songs before purchasing books or downloading songs on their own. Music stand, iPhone plug-in/Amp for accompaniments and examples you want me to hear.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide a basic library of vocal music at my home studio and will bring targeted books with me. Students should print out their favorite popular songs from such services as Music Notes website.
I expect my students to provide a keyboard, music stand and notebook as well as a low distraction environment.

*** Specialties ***
As an opera and musical theater, Oratorio and church singer, I help singers of all levels improve within their genre from popular music to opera. A good singing technique will help performers in any style stay healthy and enjoy an expressive singing instrument.

Photos and Videos


Private Studio
Jan 2010 - Present
Vaara Music

Voice teacher including singing lessons and public speaking coaching as well as practical music theory, sight reading and piano. With one to one private lessons, all students receive a personal practice plan that works with their goals.

Voice Teacher
Jan 1996 - Jan 2004
Schmitt Music, Roseville, Minnesota

Teach a variety of music students of all ages singing and prepare quarterly recitals for parents and supporters.

Adjunct Voice Faculty
Aug 2000 - Jan 2002
College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

Teach individual lessons to college students, preparing them for voice juries and auditions. Teach and facilitate a performing masterclass weekly.


Artist's Certificate
Sep 1988 - Jun 1990
Boston University, School of Fine Arts, Opera Institute
Voice Performance
Jul 1988 - Aug 1989
Tanglewood Phyllis Curtin Seminar for Singers
Master's of Music
Sep 1984 - Jun 1986
Opera Dept. of the Boston & New England Conservatories
Bachelor of Arts, Vocal Performance
Sep 1980 - Jun 1984
Western Washington University

Languages Spoken

French, German, Italian
Limited Proficiency


Adult and Child CPR Certified
Dec 2012
American Red Cross

Always good to know that your singing teacher is prepared, just in case. I keep my CPR certification current because I work with new families in my role as a lactation consultant and postpartum doula where singing helps to calm and support new parents and their babies.
Current thru January 2017


Grant for performance of the mono-drama Miss Havisham's Wedding Night
Jan 1990
First Night, Boston
Cook Scholarship for two years of graduate school
Aug 1988
Boston University


American Guild of Musical Artists
Jan 1997

An American labor union that represents 8,000 current and retired opera singers, ballet and other dancers, opera directors, backstage production personnel at opera and dance companies, and figure skaters.

15 Reviews on Julia V.

Write a Review
Anne Marie Jan 3, 2017
· Speaking Voice · In studio
Warm welcome led into warm lesson. Already have 3 key things to work on!
Neely M. Oct 14, 2016
· Singing · In home
Thanks for the great lessons for Neely!
Alexis B. Jul 23, 2015
· Singing · In studio
Julia is an excellent vocal coach ! She's helped me come out of my shell and discover my vocal talents. Every lesson with her has been meaningful and inspirational. At first I was very shy and hesitant about pursuing lessons, but I'm glad I did ! I look forward to everything else she has to teach me.
Ivanna P. Jul 9, 2015
· Singing · In studio
Very professional, knowledgeable. Great teacher.
Neil Jun 30, 2015
· Singing · In studio
I am 60 years old, have some musical background, have never, ever sung, and have wanted to rectify that for several years. For me, Julia is perfect, and if I say that I am finding my lessons life-changing, it is not an exaggeration. Julia is experienced, skilled, warm, attentive, and observant. I look forward very much to my next lesson.
Chelsea H. Jun 9, 2015
· Singing · In studio
Very knowledgable and very relatable. Super nice and fun. Extremely helpful and good listener. Focuses on everything you, specifically, need help with.
Ian V. Jun 8, 2015
· Singing · In studio
Julia is an incredible vocal teacher! I did extensive research on local vocal coaches and she is by far the most experienced. I have had major improvements since my first lesson with her. She is an amazing singer and knows everything about vocal technique. She teaches every style and can help you whether you are a beginner or master singer. I highly recommend anyone who wants to strengthen their voice to meet with her! Thanks Julia for being such a great teacher!
Janice Neer May 23, 2015
· Broadway Singing · In studio
She's a lot of fun, I enjoyed the time I spent there. I can't wait until my next lesson.
(Grandma) Deb N. Dec 15, 2014
· Singing · In studio
Julia is very animated and knows how to keep Maleena engaged and excited to come each week. This is a great experience for my granddaughter.
(Grandma) Deb N. Oct 20, 2014
· Singing · In studio
We have had 3 lessons and so far it has been really fun. Maleena is excited each time she comes to her lesson.
Julia Vaara
Julia V.

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