Justin Spenner

Justin S.

4 Reviews
Saint Paul, MN

About Justin S.

Background check: Last verified 11/10/2014
Justin passed a background check on 11/10/2014 that included the following:
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Justin teaches: Males 12 and up
Females 14 and up
Teaching since: August 2008
Last sign in: Today
Average response time: 13 hours

Overview

Hello! I'm Justin, a classically trained Baritone with an emphasis in opera and art song. I have earned my Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, and my Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota. In Stevens Point I sang the roles of Papageno in The Magic Flute, Marcello in La Boheme, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, and Marco in Gianni Schicchi. As part of the University of Minnesota Opera Theater I have covered Ford in Falstaff, and performed Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. My recital appearances most recently include Robert Schumann’s Liederkreis Op. 24, Modest Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death, and multiple performances of Franz Schubert’s Die Winterreise in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. I have been a Studio Artist for the critically acclaimed Mill City Summer Opera for two consecutive seasons. My responsibilities as an SA include covering roles, singing in the chorus, participation in an opera scenes program, and leading a series of Opera Enrichment classes at the Lundstrum Center for Performing Arts. I am a member of the Minnesota Opera Chorus, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Chorale.

Alongside my passion for singing, I am an avid composer. I have completed a wide variety of pieces, from full orchestral works to string quartets, from 12-part choral pieces to art songs. Notable compositions include: Joys and Woes, a song cycle for Soprano; Charlotte, a song cycle for Soprano; Canticle No.1 for SATB chorus, which was marked for consideration at the UW-Stevens Point Choral Composition Competition; and the in-progress work for ensemble and voice titled “Sketches”.

I have been teaching voice for 5 years now, and have taught students ages 7-70, so I know first hand that it is never too early or too late to start singing! I have prepared students for auditions, recitals, and for just plain fun. I teach with confidence so you can sing with confidence, and I have found that it works wonders.

*** Lesson Details ***
I have been teaching private voice for five years, and have been successful in teaching a variety of students and musical styles. Though my singing background is predominantly classical, I use that training to nurture healthy, strong, and organic voices. I do this by teaching both the fundamentals of singing technique (breathing, support, resonance, anatomy), and the art of musicianship, which is essential to every style of singing. I approach my personal understanding of the voice from the angle of knowing it as an instrument, as opposed to a source of sound that can easily be taken for granted. This allows for an even mix of understanding the voice organically, and understanding how the different parts of the instrument can be manipulated. No two voices are the same, and likewise, no two students are the same. Because of this, I do not teach a pre-structured technique, but rather take the time with each student to understand their instrument and craft a technique that will work most healthily and efficiently for them.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano, access to a large quantity of classical and pop sheet music, spacious studio space, performance space, the occasional puppy, tea, music stands, and a cool fish.

*** Specialties ***
I am a trained classical baritone, and have experience in the musical theater genre as well. I teach all genres according to the Italian school of singing, which focuses on breathing and the minimization of stress while singing. As I say: classical training is only the approach, the style is up to the singer. I have been successful in teaching all types of genres through this approach. I am also an avid composer and songwriter, and regularly teach theory in my lessons.

Photos and Videos

Experience

Ensemble Sep 2013 - Present
Minnesota Opera

Perform in the chorus ensemble of the Minnesota Opera

Education Coordinator Jun 2014 - Jul 2014
Mill City Summer Opera

Planned and facilitated four classes on various aspects of opera at the Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts

Resident Artist/Cover Artist Jun 2013 - Jul 2013
Mill City Summer Opera

Covered various roles, participated in scenes program and education aspect. Sang promotional events for the opera.

Education

Master of Music Sep 2011 - Dec 2013
University of Minnesota
Masters of Music Sep 2011 - Dec 2013
University of Minnesota
Bachelor of Music Sep 2006 - May 2011
University of Wisconson-Stevens Point
Bachelor of Music Sep 2006 - May 2011
University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point

Languages Spoken

German Professional Proficiency
German Limited Proficiency
Write a Review

4 Reviews on Justin S.

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John H. Mar 8, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I've had 3 lessons with Justin. Justin has a great knowledge of the voice and the breathing required for good singing. Justin has been great at helping me with my pre-stated goals, as well as pointing out other opportunities for improving my singing. The exercises he has prescribed have been very helpful. At our most recent lesson, Justin suggested a song for me to begin working on. It's a beautiful song, and I am looking forward to working on it with Justin's insightful guidance.
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Anisha C. May 7, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
Just the teacher I was looking for

I have been a student of Justin since November 2012 and the journey so far has been incredible. I have learnt valuable techniques that make all the difference in my singing performance. I have learnt how to comfortably hit the high notes, breathe correctly and project my voice better.
Justin pays attention to every detail(like Sherlock Holmes) during practice.Yes!! He can also figure out if you did not complete your homework for the week. He always knows just the right vocal, breathing or warm up exercise to help me perform better.
He is very patient and encouraging. I remember being very nervous the first class but he made me feel at ease. He took time to understand the goals I wanted to accomplish and the areas I wanted to improve. After the half hour,I knew I found the teacher I was looking for.
Every class I get to learn something new about music, performance or my capabilities and I have never been this excited about any class ever. All thanks to Justin. He's the best!!
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Joe D. Jan 10, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
I couldn't ask for more

Justin has been twice the teacher I hoped for. Not only does he have an incredible and comprehensive understanding of the anatomy of the voice, but he can explain concepts in simple and relatable terms. He is also great at diagnosing the causes of weaknesses, and being a couple steps ahead when progressing through them. And, best of all, he is receptive to the student, always asking for feedback about the lesson or exercises. Being 23 and just starting singing lessons, I was a little hesitant to begin, but working with Justin has been great.
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NancyG1 Feb 22, 2012
Good Lessons

Justin is a very good teacher, and our granddaughter has been singing and enjoying it more since she started taking lessons from him.