- Teaches students:
- and Ages 5+
- Teaching since:
- July 1987
My availability changes from time to time. I am generally teaching after 2:30PM Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I follow the Gwinnett County School schedule. I will post all holidays and other conflicts in the calendar.
SUMMER 2017: I have some openings for the summer that I'm not releasing in the availability calendar. Some of these time slots are tentatively reserved for students that plan to take the summer off and return in the fall. Send time requests through the Ask a Question feature or through Take Lessons staff.
Mary Frances teaches exclusively from her home studio.
Mary Frances has been teaching voice since 1987. She works with youth and adults, beginner and advanced. She helps voice students develop a natural, healthy, beautiful sound, proper placement and projection of the voice for singing and speaking. Her goal is to help singers gain fulfillment and joy while improving their art. She believes music should be fun and rewarding.
VOICE STUDENTS of hers have won university placement and scholarships and have been accepted into Allstate Chorus for High School in Georgia.
She also teaches PIANO. She has taught piano for about 10 years. She studied piano privately for 10 years and had further study at Indiana University.
Students wishing to have any COMBINATION of piano, music theory, sight reading and/or vocal development can receive a program of study that meets their individual needs.
Mary Frances has performed with the Southeastern Savoyards Light Opera Company, the Atlanta Opera Chorus and Studio, the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Marietta Theater in the Square, and Neighborhood Playhouse. She has sung title roles in Patience, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. Other roles include Josephine in HMS Pinafore, the Princess in The Student Prince, and Connie in The 1940's Radio Hour.
She has performed many roles with Capitol City Opera Company (CCOC) including Annina in The Saint of Bleecker Street, Bastienne in Mozart's Bastien and Bastienne, Nora in Vaughan Williams' Rider's to the Sea, and Gilda in Milton Granger's Talk Opera. She sang for many years in CCOC's school outreach program. She has sung many concerts for CCOC as well.
Mary Frances was a soloist in Handel's Messiah for Peachtree Presbyterian Church. She has worked as the soloist at The First Church of Christ Scientist in Roswell, Georgia and at The Second Church of Christ Scientist in Sandy Springs, Georgia ( This church has now closed). She occasionally directs and sings in the choir, and substitutes for the cantorial soloist at Congregation Dor Tamid in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Mary Frances holds a bachelors degree from Indiana University School of Music in both Voice and Theater. Mary Frances was a long time student of Elizabeth Colson (now deceased) of Atlanta, Georgia. She has attended Brevard Music Center, The Georgia State Opera Workshop and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. While in Graz, Mary Frances was a finalist in the Meistersinger competition.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LESSON LENGTH:
Voice students: 30 minutes for young students up to 5th grade. 45 minutes for young students in Middle School and some 5th graders. 45 or 60 minutes preferred for high school students and adults. Piano students: 30 minutes for most beginners of any age. 45 minutes for young intermediate level and adult students.
TEACHING STYLE AND CURRICULUM:
ALL: My teaching style is relaxed yet progressive. I use positive reinforcement to encourage progress with adults and children. Students are allowed to progress at their own pace which varies with age, coordination, processing speed and previous exposure to musical education.
PIANO: I prefer the Alfred's Basic Piano Library series for my piano students. I find that my students learn more music theory and music reading with this series. If the student has started lessons in a different series, I can work with that as well. I have a large music library that provides a wide selection of music in addition to the Alfred books. I expect most beginning students to learn basic music reading and theory in 3 to 6 months. They should also to be able to play simple tunes in that time. I am an active professional singer, so I have a large library of vocal material at my disposal.
All piano students are REQUIRED to have an instrument to practice on at home. The piano MUST HAVE AT MINIMUM:
IF Digital - 88 full sized, weighted keys with polyphonic sound ( at least 10 keys should be able to sound at at the same time) and a sustain pedal,
OR - If Accoustic - maintained and properly tuned.
VOICE: I begin my voice lessons with breathing techniques and vocal placement using widely accepted exercises coming from a large body of sources such as:
Vaccai, professional level vocal teachers, coaches and directors that I have worked with and learned from over the last 30 years, and the writings of highly acclaimed authors in the vocal field. I also have a wide selection of art song books, oratorio, musical theatre, and opera. My background is classical and musical theatre, but I believe all styles of singing need the basic skills of breathing and vocal placement. I strive to keep voices healthy as well as find each student's most beautiful sound. Most students will see progress in breath control, range, projection and diction in 3 to 6 months.
Repertoire is chosen on an individual basis depending both physical and musical ability. Younger students and beginners will be encouraged to not push their voices with material that is too difficult for their individual abilities because singing requires a certain amount of physical endurance. My goal is to find each student's natural sound without strain for whatever style he or she
Voice students are encouraged to bring a recording device to lessons to use for later practice and study.
STUDIO EQUIPMENT AND LIBRARY:
Piano, Computer with Internet Access, Library of Music and Reference Materials (Sample Listing): Alfred's Basic Piano Library Books Twenty-Four Italian Songs and Arias, Medium High and Medium Low Voice; Schirmer Sing at First Sight; Alfred Basics of Singing by Jan Schmidt; Schirmer Many Soprano Collections of Arias, Oratorio, Sacred, and Art Songs from Schirmer Several Broadway Music Collections from Hal Leonard Discover Your Voice by Oren Brown Training the Speaking Voice by Virgil Anderson International Phonetic Alphabet for Singers by Wall Dynamics of the Singing Voice by Meribeth Bunch Classical Singer Magazine Subscription Journal of Singing, The Official Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing,Inc.Subscription
I am classically trained bel canto voice teacher, but I can work with broadway and pop styles. I teach sight singing for students pursuing auditions for All State Chorus and College entrance, etc. I use the Alfred Basic Piano Series for Piano students
I've taught mainly for my private studio since 1991;
I taught for Music Life Studio from about 2006 until 2013.
The MTNA was founded in 1876 with the goal of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states—and more than 500 local affiliates—the MTNA is the preeminent source for music teacher support, where members embody like-minded values and commitment to their students, colleagues and society as a whole, while reaping the rewards of collaboration, continuity and connection throughout the lifetime of their careers.+ Read More
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.
Very knowledgable and patient teacher - recommended!
Mary K Frances is a truly excellent teacher! My 14 yr. old daughter loved working with her. She possesses an impressive depth of talent, experience and a detailed understanding of the voice and vocal techniques. These qualities and a patient kind manner, enables her to teach any student at any level from beginner to seasoned professional. Anyone interested in improving their voice would be lucky to have her!+ Read More
She was patient with me, completely sweet, and clear with her instructions.
My daughter has had the pleasure of learning from Mrs. Katz for the last 4 months. My daughter sings a style of music different from Mrs. Katz's usual, but we decided to give this a try because my daughter was having some trouble with her range and producing a good sound in the higher octaves. Mrs. Katz understood our needs immediately and started working each week to improve my daughter's range. She started from the basics, improving my daughter's breathing technique befor moving onto scales and other exercises. She is very kind and soft-spoken, as well as technically versed; she explained to us, anatomically, how sound is produced and resonates. Just recently, my daughter placed very highly in a national music competition, most definitely thanks to Mrs. Katz's lessons. Thank you!+ Read More
Mary Frances was very kind and patient with my 6 year old son and he responded very well to her. She also has a beautiful singing voice - I would highly recommend her !!
Thank you for making my first visit so enjoyable.
Hi--Mary Frances suggested that we go with 45-minute sessions, and I agree. We ran over about 15 minutes yesterday, so could you change my 30-minute charge to a 45-minute charge starting with yesterday's session? Then could you let me know once this change has been made so I can let her know? She will then change the schedule accordingly. Thanks, David+ Read More
Love her. Makes me feel so comfortable
Mary is a great teacher! She's really nice, made the lessons fun for my daughter. Mary explained the information in a way that was easy for my daughter to understand and apply.
Working with Mary Frances has been absolutely amazing! With her guidance, I have obtained better breathing skills and correct posture for singing. I came to a lesson one day and I had infected tonsils. She gave the best advice on how to take care of my vocal cords!+ Read More
This was our first year with Mary Frances and it was GREAT!!! Our daughter has grown in confidence with her singing and is learning the techniques and skills.
Great vocal teacher!
Mary Frances has been my 14-yr-old daughter's vocal teacher for over two years. My daughter's voice has developed greatly--she has learned the importance of proper breathing techniques, posture, and vocal warmups. Mary Frances has helped my daughter build a solid foundation that they are building upon. My daughter thinks that Mary Frances is a very kind and caring person with a great sense of humor and really likes her.
Mary Frances is both a great vocal and piano instructor.
I have been taking vocal lessons with her for roughly 3-4 years and have learned a tremendous amount in this time. Mary Frances is an outstanding teacher as well as a spectacular classical singer!