Michelle Kei Ishuu

Michelle Kei I.

Arlington Heights, IL

About Michelle Kei I.

Background check: Last verified 11/03/2015
Michelle Kei passed a background check on 11/03/2015 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
For more information, please click here.
Michelle Kei teaches: Ages 10 and up
Teaching since: May 2007
Last sign in: Yesterday


Michelle Kei I., a soprano of Japanese and American heritage, "uses her strong dramatic soprano to slice through the orchestra" in a varied repertoire that encompasses Verismo to Broadway. Possessing a captivating stage presence and praised as "superb," "gifted," and a "constant breakaway from the rest of the vocal pack," she has entertained audiences on stages around the world.

Those are the first two sentences of my professional biography. I thought I'd use them to get the ball rolling.

Ever since I can remember, I've always been a performer. I come from a very musical family. I was always singing! I sang at home, in church, in show-choir and musicals at school - basically anywhere I could find an audience!

When I decided to go to college to study music, I chose the prestigious School of Music at Indiana University. I wanted to sing Broadway, but my father encouraged me to study classical singing first, so I'd have the foundations for a bulletproof technique that could endure a long and demanding career. I'm so glad that he did!

Who would have thought that I would learn to LOVE opera?!? It had everything that Broadway did, and so much more! Plus, I learned to fill a theater with the sound of my voice and soar over the orchestra WITHOUT A MICROPHONE!!!

Would you like to learn how to do that? I can show you how.

Let me help you find your REAL VOICE!!!

What you can expect from me:

- I will provide a supportive and effective work environment.

- I will make recommendations on repertoire based upon your goals

- I will provide you with an individualized regimen of study based upon your strengths and development, not a standardized format of study.

What I expect from you:

- Learn the musical selections we choose. Your lesson time should be used for improving your technique, not learning your music.

- Leave your outside life at the door. It will be waiting for you when you leave.

- Enjoy the process. Experiment. If it doesn't work, try something else. Take constructive criticism as an opportunity for improvement, not as a personal attack.

- Commit yourself fully! Be engaged. The benefit you receive is equal to the work you put into the process.

Photos and Videos

Noli Me Tangere, Washington DC Kennedy Center 2014



Jan 2001 - Present

I sing concerts and theatrical productions with many different arts organizations across the country.


Master of Music in Vocal Performance

Sep 1997 - Aug 2001
Indiana University

Study Abroad

Sep 1997 - May 1998
Institute for the International Education of Students, Vienna, Austria

Bachelor of Music

Sep 1991 - Aug 1995
Indiana University

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


Pierson Fellowship

Sep 2006
San Diego Opera

Associate Instructor

Sep 1999
Indiana University

Student Ambassador - Indiana University

Sep 1998
Institute for the International Education of Students- Vienna, Austria

Friends of Music Fellowship

Sep 1998
Indiana University

Friends of Music Fellowship

Sep 1995
Indiana University

Friends of Music Fellowship

Sep 1993
Indiana University
Write a Review

20 Reviews on Michelle Kei I.

Julie Boggess Aug 29, 2016
Classical Voice · In studio
Michelle is an amazing teacher! I have had 8 lessons and am so happy with my progress. I am 53 years old, and have been singing since high school. But, I have never taken voice lessons, and therefore, have not been singing correctly all these years. She and her husband Robert are teaching me a whole new way of singing. It is like teaching an old dog new tricks, but they are so good at explaining things and are so supportive, encouraging and fun! It is my one hour of therapy a week. They are helping me find my new voice, and I am loving it. Highly recommend.
Jeannette W. Aug 6, 2016
Musical Theater · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter started working with Michelle and Robert when she started preparing for a role in a musical. As a result of Michelle and Robert's wonderful encouragement and specialized work with my daughter, she landed the lead title role and was absolutely FANTASTIC! They have really helped my daughter develop her voice which has really helped her in confidence. As my daughter is about the enter high school, I feel Michelle and Robert are doing a great job preparing her for whatever auditions might come her way. I really do appreciate their meticulous work with my daughter. I would fully recommend Michelle and Robert to anyone. They really do work with any starting point.
Jeannette W. Aug 4, 2016
Musical Theater · In studio
Verified Student
Michelle and Robert are fabulous teachers! My daughter first met Michelle to help her with her with an audition where she landed the leading title roll. They have been very supportive and nurturing in her quest in becoming a confident singer and I have full confidence that they will prepare her well for future auditions. Great job, Michelle and Robert!!!
Tina M. Jun 23, 2016
Opera Voice · In studio
Verified Student
I started working with Michelle and Robert in mid-March. I clicked with them right away. Knowing that we only had about a month and a half before my audition date, we worked very diligently. They did a great job customizing my lessons to really prepare me for my audition. I had a couple of songs picked out and we began ironing out the details right away. Michelle and Robert knew exactly how to challenge me more and more each lesson. They quickly helped me to find my own unique and healthy sound that felt very comfortable. We not only focused on the music and the voice, but also stage presence, interview preparation, and acting out the pieces. I went into the audition feeling positively over-prepared. I was not only accepted into the program, but also offered a generous scholarship. Quickly after my audition we began working on new, more challenging pieces. I am very happy to have the opportunity to work with Michelle and Robert. I cannot thank them enough for all the hard work they put in for their students. I would definitely recommend studying with them for any serious vocalist looking to fine-tune their craft.
Vickie Jun 15, 2016
Classical Voice · In studio
Verified Student
I am so excited about my voice lessons. I am a university trained classical singer with extensive operatic and art song experience who wanted to get back to singing after a long absence. I was looking for a teacher that could help me to navigate the changes in my voice due to the aging process and provide me with the tools to steady a vibrato that had gotten out of hand. Michelle and Robert are exactly what I needed. They have extensive and commanding knowledge of the voice and support mechanism and teach from the Italian “Bel Canto School” perspective. That is to say pure vowels, open throated but focused sound and a healthy, low laryngeal position. I am loving my voice again and it has only been 3 lessons. They are exceptional at finding the beauty in the individual voice and not requiring a “carbon copy” sound. One of the best things about my lessons is that they complement each other as teachers and find a number of ways to facilitate a natural and beautiful sound by articulating suggestions in many and varied ways. If the student is unable to reproduce the desired outcome by one method, they will find another way to achieve it. Not one minute of a lesson is wasted and each week brings quick and substantial progress. It has been a joy to work with them and I look forward to each lesson and the progress they bring. In short, I am thrilled.
Tiffany May 17, 2016
Vocal Training · In studio
Verified Student
Michelle is very understanding and really works with you to find your voice! I noticed a difference in my voice in the first lesson alone. She provides constructive feedback and creates an environment that is supportive and lets you be yourself. Her positive attitude helped me to believe in myself. I greatly enjoyed lessons with Michelle!
P.S. Her voice is amazing!!
Tina M. Apr 15, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I've taken a few lessons with Michelle now and I am very happy with my experience! Michelle is great at customizing her lesson to her student. I actually tried a few different teachers in the area before finding Michelle and no one seemed to "get" what I was looking for. With Michelle I feel challenged at an appropriate pace and am able to focus on the important details. Michelle has lots to offer and even in just a short time has helped me to improve immensely! I am very excited to continue studying with Michelle.
Angelica P. Apr 11, 2016
Opera Voice · In home
Verified Student
Wonderful experience and great teacher! Really enjoyed myself!
Annu Mar 29, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I have just begun taking singing lessons with Michelle, and I have to say she is a wonderful teacher, who not only will educate you on the fundamentals of using your voice as an instrument, and exploring your voice, but also give you the confidence, and motivation to do so. I look forward to my lesson every week with Michelle, knowing that I will learn something new, explore the strength of my voice, and also be encouraged, and given guidance to reach my highest potential as a singer, and an actress.
Heather W. Mar 21, 2016
Opera Voice · In studio
Verified Student
I just had my first lesson with Michelle and Robert and I cannot wait for my next one. They provide insightful feedback, explain the importance of what they are teaching you in regards to your voice and are extremely encouraging and engaging during the whole process. They both have extensive knowledge and experience and are flexible in their teaching methods to ensure that you will understand what they are asking of you. In just the one lesson I already felt an improvement in my singing technique. I still have a long way to go, but I am confident in their ability to get me there. I highly recommend them.
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