- Teaches students:
- and Ages 18+
- Teaching since:
- September 1972
I am Melodie, a highly experienced private lesson teacher of voice, piano, and theory. Read my profile carefully before you sign up with me.
How should an adult begin private music lessons? First, decide why you want to spend the money, and what you expect to get for your money. Second, plan how you will manage practicing time and location. Music Theory would be maybe 45min 3 days a week, but singing or piano should be 30-60min 4 or 5 days a week. Third, find a teacher who is experienced and supporting enough to adjust goals to fit your aspirations and purposes without diluting the minimum standards of traditional artistic education. If you're lucky, you'll find one that keeps prices low and schedules flexible.
Armed with a Coe College Bachelor of Music and a Performance Certificate in Vocal Performance from 1981, I chose to work in Costa Rica 1982-1984 before calling Chicago home in 1986. My performances have usually been of scored acoustic vocal and choral soprano in mainly traditional formats. I teach private lessons in classical vocal technique from a body awareness perspective, how to sight-read keyboard scores, and music theory translated into something that makes sense.
Approaching vocal technique from a physical perspective allows us to discover the student's unique and true voice. Reading paper piano music at first sight means you can play it without knowing the song. Music theory is essential to understanding how and why the art works the way it does. Most students need help ditching the confusing silliness they've already been exposed to, and putting together the pieces of the numbers puzzle we call melody, harmony, and rhythm.
Why sing or play piano? Do you want improved balance, posture, relaxation, abdominal strength, confidence, cultural awareness, emotional expression, memory support, and stress relief? You'd be surprised how many people take lessons just to feel better. I can't guarantee you'll have the same results, but I promise you'll know if you want to pay me more money or not after about five lessons.
Label me Traditional, or Classical, or even Persnickety, but we all transcend labels. I can perform opera, simplify unifying concepts, teach folk singing, direct a church choir, suggest country repertoire, coach performance charisma, and even officiate a marriage ceremony as a Dudeist Priest. I also bake a mean pie.
Complete beginners are welcome in all areas. Advanced lessons are available for voice only. In my studio I teach adults only. Singing and voice lessons have minimum 45min duration. Prices for lessons at my studio are $30 for 30min, $41 for 45min, and $50 for 60min. Online lessons, available for singing and theory but not piano, are the same price. Schedule-As-You-Go lessons with no recurring schedule slot are an option, if you prefer that to taking a lesson the same time every single week.
My teaching studio is a residential office on a high second floor walk-up near the intersection of Chicago and Ashland. I might be able to travel within East Village / Ukrainian Village / Wicker Park / Noble Square for an additional $15 travel fee. If I travel to your location, we can negotiate younger ages and group fees.
What do you want to learn? As partners, the student and I build a plan, balancing current aspirations with proven methods. I work with the paper music and workbooks you already own, and TAILOR THE LESSONS TOWARD PRACTICAL VALUE. On the other hand, I believe I have an ethical responsibility to provide a minimum of classical instruction.
I honor the opportunity to share the joy of music with you.
Upfront deal breakers:
• Communication outside of lesson time will be mainly internet and email. The email address in your profile must be a valid form of official business communication.
• Students may not bring pets, children, or guests to the lesson. A quietly observing adult guest is welcome with 48-hour notice.
• My students know if they use too much fragrance, whether it be laundry scent boosters or hair treatments, they may be refused entrance into my studio. It's a big deal.
• You pay for any lessons not canceled or rescheduled before the 24-hour deadline, whether you attend or not. Do not be near me when you are contagiously ill. Ask me to forgive late cancellations caused by true emergencies, but realize I don’t have to.
• If you are a singing student, you need a place where you can practice. Prior to your first cancellation deadline, you must read the "Your First Singing Lesson" section found on each Singing or Voice Subject Page.
• If you want to learn how to read keyboard scores or understand how to play keyboard by ear, sign up for Music Theory. If you don’t have regular access to something that can legally be called a piano, including weighted keys and a damper pedal, sign up for Music Theory. Repeat: if you can’t practice on a real piano, don’t take Piano lessons. Music Theory lessons will probably teach you what you want to learn, anyway.
Ask me a question using the Ask-A-Question feature. Watch my videos and think about it. I'm a good teacher. I sincerely appreciate the time it took you to read my profile. Thank you.
My first paid music job was in my early teens, directing the Junior Choir and being the summer organist for my family church. I continued to be very active in church, community, and school music as a singer, pianist, and flutist.
Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance) and Performance Certificate from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA, 1981
When I lived in Costa Rica 1982-1984 I continued my private vocal studies, taught private piano and voice lessons, taught music in school classrooms, and sang with choral ensembles of both Costa Rican national universities, and in the Lyric Opera Chorus. I was musical director for a community production of Anything Goes and a high school production of Sound of Music, and I played piano for an elementary school production of Sleeping Beauty. I taught group seminars in choral technique to church choirs, and performed a half-recital.
Since moving to Chicago in 1986 my musical endeavors have included over seventeen years of private lesson teaching, seven years of sight-reading Episcopal High Mass as the soprano section leader, five years in semi-pro choral chamber ensembles, playing in a volunteer flute orchestra, occasional professional classical singing "gigs," participation in Sacred Harp singing, one full classical vocal recital, and one shared program of classical & theater songs & duets.
So far I've only had one lesson with Melodie and she really cares to help you achieve what you're trying to accomplish. We went through a few things such as posture, how to breathe, humming, vowels, position of tongue and other things. About myself: I don't know how to sing and this is my first singing lesson.+ Read More
My lessons with Melodie have been great! She is extremely knowledgeable. I'm a new piano player, and she has been very patient with me as we work our way through the basics. She is great at explaining the theory side in a way I can understand. And the out of class work she suggests not only drives home what we worked on in the lesson, but it also has me playing some basic songs...which is encouraging and keeps practice fun!+ Read More
Makes you think in order to retain knowledge. Works off of existing knowledge well.
Ms Melodie is a great teacher-caring, funny, empathic, and enthusiasitic. she is a good listener, too. this is our fourth week. and she evaluates my progress weekly and revise her teaching material to make sure i understand the concepts and practice for improvement. she is fun to be around and has high expectation for her student, which motivates me to try hard.+ Read More
Ms. Melodie F is an excellent teacher who displays such a enthusiasm for voice teaching and eager to share her experience and knowledge as a voice teacher. today was the first day of our lessons and i and my wife are glad to have Ms Melodie F as our voice teach and can't wait to see her for our next lesson.+ Read More
Great first lesson, very thorough and a lot more fun than I imagined a singing lesson would be. Looking forward to my next lesson already!
I just finished my third lesson with Melodie and couldn't be happier. She is patient and accommodating while being knowledgeable and resourceful. I am very much a beginner and Melodie has been able to adjust my lessons accordingly. I am looking forward to my next lesson already!+ Read More
We did a lot of breathing exercises that's going to help me be a better singer. We also did some exercises that'll eventually help me hit the notes I want to hit. I'm liking it so far.
Melodie is a life-long musician whose deep knowledge and experience I enjoyed the benefit of while I was studying music theory in college. She had a knack for picking the perfect example and explanation to help understand concepts. She also made music come to LIFE when she would sing! Quite honestly, her talent and skills intimidated me - but she always was willing to share her JOY OF MUSIC without judgement. She always encouraged me to not just play music, but to FEEL the music, and pass that feeling to the audience. She doesn't just do this for a living. It is her passion - and it shows in the ongoing quality of her work.+ Read More
Melodie does a great job of teaching techniques and warm ups that work for me and my style. She's very knowledgeable and has no problem explaining technique in a way that is always understandable. Plus she is very pleasant to work with, great personality. Enjoyed these lessons very much+ Read More
Melodie has helped me a lot in my singing development. She is knowledgeable and can adapt to any level, I now enjoy singing much more after taking a few months of lessons.
Melodie is very experienced and funny. I've enjoyed every lessons so far !
My lessons with Melodie are everything I hoped they would be. I had the goal of finding my vocal range, defining what type of singer I could be, and developing my voice. She has exceeded all my expectations and I am learning quick. She's very patient, teaches in an easy to understand method, and has a great attitude. Best of all, we have a blast together! I look forward to each and every one of our lessons. Melodie clearly is a practiced instructor and it seems that she would be able to find an effective way to teach anyone. I definitely recommend Melodie!+ Read More
I've have a number of other voice teachers in the the past and have had mixed results and made some progress. Since I started working with Melodie, I have grown so much as a singer and musician. She has greatly improved my vocal intonation, breath control and vocal range. When we work on a particular piece of music her input for better interpretation has always been right on the mark and I am better able to convey the message of the music. in short working with Melodie has allowed me to find my true singing voice. I will be forever grateful to her for her superb musical guidance.