Mary-Alexandra Onstad

Mary-Alexandra O.

Malden, MA

About Mary-Alexandra O.

Mary-Alexandra teaches: Ages 12 and up
Teaching since: April 2007
Last sign in: Within a month

Overview

I've been studying voice since I was about 14 years. I grew up doing Musical Theatre, Jazz, Choir-both church and school. I started to fall in love with opera when I was about 16 years and have not looked back. I grew up in the mid-west in the grand land of Fargo, North Dakota and then started my education in Voice Performance and Theatre in Minnesota. I received my masters degree in voice performance and a post masters degree in Opera Studies from The New England Conservatory of Music. During my time in school I have had the chance to perform both in the United States and throughout Europe in many different performance settings including choral, recitals, and operas. I have also been teaching a wide age range of students through out my masters and post masters degree. I have a long resume of performance experiences that I believe will be beneficial to my students. I have a love of both performing and teaching and am still actively on stage and auditioning.

*** Lesson Details ***
The key component to music of any kind is to have fun. If you are not having fun then it is not worth doing. The only way to run is to crawl, walk and then run so remember that with hard work and practice you will get where you need to go. I like to start my students off figuring out where they are in their musical studies and proficiency. For some students it is about having fun and for others its about getting ready for an audition or competition but in both situations we will focus on the major components of healthy singing which include:

Posture
Breath Control
And relaxed vocal production

We will always start the lesson out focusing on any questions you might have from your weeks practice time. If you might be confused on something that we did the week before- I think it is important to tape your lessons with some type of recording device but if that is too expensive I will write everything down for you. We then work on some of the old vocal warm ups/ vocalizes. These are not just about warming up but also working on technique at the same time. If there is a difficult part in your music I will try to find an exercise that will make it easier to do that section of music. And then we will spend some time on different music.

I have a large variety of curriculum ranging from art song books, to aria and Broadway books. If I don't have something in my library I will try to find it so don't feel hesitate to ask if there is something that you might like to learn.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home Studio with Keyboard, there is room for parents to sit if they would like to listen to their children's lesson.

*** Specialties ***
I'm classical trained soprano with a background in Opera, Art Song, Oratorio, Musical Theatre and Jazz. I am open to teaching many different genres of music but have all my students learn the foundations which include some classical music. I will also do some basic theory or music knowledge depending the skill level of the student.

Photos and Videos

Mary-Alexandra in performance at an Opera on Tap gig in Boston, MA.

Experience

Private Voice Instructor/Clinician

Aug 2006 - Present
Music with Mary

I've had the opportunity to work with a wide range of ages that went from 5-65 years of age. These students have had interests in many different genres including Pop, Broadway, Opera, R&B and more. I have also had the opportunity to present Masterclasses on Performance Presentation and Text interpretation for high school and college students in Cincinnati, OH.

Community Performances and Partnerships Opera Fellow

Aug 2009 - Apr 2010
New England Conservatory

Mary-Alexandra was in charge of writing the educational curriculum that was presented to the teachers and students. This material was used to help the students understand the opera and musical knowledge that was being presented. In addition these responsibilities, Mary-Alexandra helped arrange performance venues and communicate and act as a liaison with the teachers of these performance venues to insure a smooth transition during the time of performance.

Education

Graduate Diploma in Opera Studies

Aug 2008 - May 2010
New England Conservatory of Music-Boston, MA

Master of Music in Voice Performance

Aug 2006 - Aug 2008
Shenandoah Conservatory

Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance

Aug 2002 - May 2006
Concordia College-Moorhead, MN

Languages Spoken

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

French

Limited Proficiency

German

Limited Proficiency

Italian

Limited Proficiency

Awards

Finalist for Piccola Opera Competition

Oct 2015
Piccola Opera

Merit Scholarship

May 2009
New England Conservatory

3rd Place

Apr 2008
NATS

2nd Place at VA NATS

Apr 2007
NATS

Voice Performance Scholarship

Aug 2002
Concordia College-Moorhead, MN

Affiliations

Boston Singers' Resource

Aug 2009
Boston Singers

The mission of Boston Singers' Resource is to support and strengthen the New England singing community by providing services and a centralized resource for singers, vocal organizations, and others who are interested in singing.

Write a Review

1 Review on Mary-Alexandra O.

189619_418901_41464
Nicole W. Aug 16, 2012
Singing
Verified Student
What a wonderful teacher!

Mary always made me feel comfortable singing. Since I was a beginner, she gave me a lot of exercises to do outside our lessons to continue to strengthen my voice. In the few lessons we had, she gave me a lot to think about and I definitely learned a lot. I'm already a lot more confident with my voice and, using what she taught me, I know my voice will keep growing!