Orla Conway
Vienna, VA
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Orla Conway

Orla C.

Vienna, VA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
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This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
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Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
⭐️Relaxation Based, Wholistic Voice Lessons ⭐️Using my therapeutic Relaxation-First Method, your proper vocal technique will be taught using guided relaxation. This will guarantee total vocal control, heal vocal damage, and keep you singing healthily for the rest of your life.
I am dedicated to nurturing the differences in each students voice, and through my tension-releasing approach my students learn to use their instrument effortlessly. This means that the student will be able to sing any style of music they want! Since no style is actually harder or easier than another, we can master them all when the malleability of the human voice is fully understood and used as a tool.

~ ~ Understand Your Instrument Completely, Express Yourself Effortlessly ~ ~
Together we will eliminate tension, strain and pain from the singing experience. The comfort and ease gained through Relaxation-First singing is key to healthily mastering these core skills which will be the main focus of our first 4-8 lessons :
* Breath Control
* Singing on Pitch (correcting “tone deaf” singing)
* Expanding the Vocal Range (singing higher & lower notes)
* Understanding and Mastering Rhythm
* Projecting
* Belting
* Singing and Understanding Harmonies
* Stage fright
* Mastering the Formula for Any Audition
* Confident Performance Technique

Applying my Relaxation-First methodology to these professional foundations of strong vocal technique make it easy and natural for students to find their voice and transition out of stage fright so that they can feel confident on any stage: from karaoke bars, to local and professional musical theater productions. From open mic nights to performing with their very own band.
These are not only vocal coaching sessions, but complete performance-ready-workshops.

Once we have mastered the students' preliminary vocal technique goals and conquered some of their favorite songs, I always encourage my students to expand their creative horizons with these bonus areas of study:
* Song Writing
* Music Production Using Electronic Software such as Garage Band, Ableton, Logic, or even SoundTrap (a free, online music production software).
* Beginner Level Piano Playing
* Beginner and Intermediate Level Sight Reading
* Understanding Music Theory from the Singer's Perspective (Using Solfeggio)
* Developing Content for YouTube and Social Media
* Forming a Band of Live Musicians to Play Originals and Cover Songs
* Writing Lead Sheets for the Band to Easily Communicate Musical Ideas and Simplify the Rehearsal Process
* How to Use a Microphone During a Live Performance
* How to Sing in a Recording Studio
* How to Use a Microphone in a Recording Studio

All of these core skills and bonus areas of study go from completely mystifying and intimidating, to comfortable and natural when approached with the wholistic, positive reenforcement based, Relaxation-First Method.
We embrace the notion that singing is not pass/fail. It's a gradual and open minded exploration of all the amazing things our vocal cords can do.

My vocal lessons are safe and inclusive for all people.
I work regularly with trans and nonbinary folks looking to sing in their true voice, young learners lacking access to educational creative outlets, trauma survivors looking to heal blockages and unlock their voice, religious singers looking to sing with a worship group or participate more in their local place of worship, and elders bravely beginning a new journey towards a life long curiosity.


Please feel free to message me with any questions.
It’s my pleasure to make this process as seamless and comfortable for you as possible.
Let’s get singing!

About Orla C.

Hi again, I’m Orla :)
Welcome to your completely stress-free creative space! Here exploration is highly encouraged, and positive reinforcement is the main method of guidance. There is no wrong way to the right answer in my classroom!


: : My Background : :

~ Berklee College of Music, Bachelor of Music - Magna Cum Laude 2015
~ Voiceover Actress and Singer for digital media such as: theme song for computer game Necken in original score composed by Paul Zimmermann in 2019, and Tilly Turtle in Tilly Turtle's Friendship Gift, a Read Aloud Adventure composed by Matthew Boerner and sponsored by Annie's Mac and Cheese in 2021.
~ Original writer, composer, producer, vocalist, band leader, and performer of ORLA. Have toured through the Boston, New York City, and Washington DC live music circuit since 2015.
Performed as ORLA in the Gradient Perspective's Twitch stream Covid fundraiser in 2020.
~ Professional acting career began age 12 with Ford's Theater's annual production of A Christmas Carol 2005, continued with the national touring production of Les Miserables 2007, and concluded with 2020 Production's original Web Series: Orange Juice in Bishop's Garden in 2010


: : Singing Lessons : :

• The most important thing to me when working with singers of any age or ability is:
Helping them learn the correct techniques to keep their voices safe and healthy while singing.

A Beginner Lesson Plan begins by covering the main foundations of healthy, happy singing:
1. Breathing
2. Placement (head voice, mask voice, chest voice)
3. Location Muscle Tension and Releasing it

After covering these techniques, my students will be able to achieve any style and level of singing they desire.
My Relaxation-First Method makes stretching your vocal range, learning a new genre/style, or incorporating movement into your songs much more natural and accessible.

• I also make sure to focus a lot on confidence and stage presence, so as to help my students achieve their goal of public or internet performance.
I use my Stage Fright Survival Guide to give my students a step-by-step plan for dealing with going on stage.
I also make sure to deconstruct societal misconceptions about singing in public, so that students can graduate from viewing singing as "pass vs fail" to viewing it as a gift every singer gives to themselves and to their audience.


: : Meditation Lessons : :

• The most important thing to me when working with singers of any age or ability is:
Learning that the success of meditation is not based on what happens during it, but simply sitting down to do it in the first place.

Once my students see that meditation is not a complex nor strenuous exercise, that it is all based in simple mindfulness and relaxation techniques, and that ones mind does not need to be made "blank", they may realize how capable of meditating they have been all along.
They may feel brave enough to try meditating all on their own.

• I begin with brand new meditation students by teaching them about basic mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation does not center a certain goal, but rather encourages the meditator to passively notice what is happening in their external environment, and their internal environment.

This gentle and judgement-free practice is very accessible and requires no stillness of mind or even patience of any kind.
I find that beginning with mindfulness meditation helps to demystify meditation in general.
And this demystification is key to building a gradual path towards independence and curiosity as to what ones mindfulness practice can be, even outside of class.

• I also specialize in guided, full body relaxation.
This is an excellent practice for beginners as well.
Full body relaxation aids in insomnia, healing from trauma, releasing chronically tensed muscles and blockages, managing carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic stress, and decreasing anxiety and depression.
This practice tends to be so relaxing that when my students are already tired, they will fall asleep!
This is totally natural and welcomed, as you are here with me to be comfortable and supported, in whatever way your body and mind tell us they need.

• I like to make it clear to all my student that I am not a licensed therapist or medical professional.
I have been meditating with teachers, pre-recorded audio, and completely on my own since age 14. I have explored Mindfulness Meditation, Full Body Relaxation, Transcendental Meditation, and Hypnosis.
Meditation helps me manage anxiety and depression, has helped me heal from trauma, and has been an absolutely integral part of my self care routine for over 14 years.
I have come to learn that meditation is something we can learn, practice, and then take with us into our daily lives. We do not need to become Monks or dedicate every moment of our day to Mindfulness just to be able to meditate regularly, on our own.

I want to be a resource to anyone looking to incorporate practical, easily accessible meditation into their lives. I want to be a comrade and mentor to anyone interested in re-prioritizing or even just balancing their contemporary and fast-paced lives.

I am excited to help you slow down and chill out, and I can't wait to meet you on this particular step in your journey 🤍


Please feel free to message me with any questions.
It’s my job to make this process as seamless and comfortable for you as possible 🤗

My classroom is safe and welcoming to folks from all walks of life.
At any age and any stage of your life, we can commune and share together, without risk, judgement, or retraumatization.
My classroom maintains a zero tolerance policy towards bigotry.

Reviews

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4.9
29 Reviews
5
93%
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7%
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Tegan
Profile-location-online Online

Orla has been amazing for my daughter (8). Not only are the lessons organized and friendly, Orla easily adapts to find personalized teaching moments. My daughter is always excited for class and even for the homework she gets.

Posted Jan 7, 2021
Chad Stinner
Profile-location-online Online

Tegan loved her first lesson. She quickly opened up and told me to leave.

Posted Dec 3, 2020
John
Profile-location-online Online

Orla (not Ana - autocorrect oops!) has led me through five meditation sessions now and continues to be wonderful! She's helped me with "loving kindness" meditation, breathing exercises, and ways to let go of stress. Highly recommended!

Posted Sep 26, 2020
John
Profile-location-online Online

Ana was a wonderful and empathetic teacher.

Posted Aug 25, 2020
Elise V.
Profile-location-online Online

Orla was ahhhhhmazing! Her positive attitude and feedback made my daughter feel so comfortable! She is absolutely giddy about her next lesson!

Posted Jan 18, 2020
Katie B.
Profile-location-online Online

I have learned so much just in the first lesson!

Posted Jan 7, 2020
Riley
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

She’s awesome with kids. Makes the lesson fun for them and ties classic teaching to modern songs.

Posted Jan 3, 2020
Mayya Kawar

Very knowledgeable. Very encouraging. Very cheerful

Posted Dec 11, 2019
Megan
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I've been with Orla for over 2 years now, and I have to say she is the best voice teacher I've ever had. When I started with her, I had zero confidence in singing and performing and was very frustrated with how my voice wasn't improving. Because how I have viewed myself singing wise, I doubted my abilities in other areas non-music wise. Now two years later my voice has vastly improved in terms of vocal strength, quality, and endurance. I'm also singing songs that I never thought I would ever be able to sing. Orla patiently and kindly helped me through my agonizing frustrations with my voice and helped me unlearn vocal habits that curtailed my voice from growing. I can say now with her as my teacher I have grown a lot of confidence not only in my voice but also myself as a person. I highly highly highly recommend Orla. She caters to every student's vocal needs and wellbeing.

Posted Dec 7, 2019
Debbi V.
Profile-location-online Online

she's great!!

Posted May 13, 2019
Nicole C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My 12 year old daughter took multiple lessons from Orla and she was fantastic! Orla taught in a way my daughter easily understood and could relate to- making the learning fun and progress at a fast pace. Orla is an amazing vocalist herself- professional and a wonderful teaching style.

Posted Nov 5, 2018
Kazumi
Profile-location-online Online

Awesome first class. Felt more comfortable with meditation :)

Posted Oct 17, 2018
Kerr & Sophia E.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great novice singer first lesson. Orla has energy and enthusiam that inspires you to learn.

Posted Oct 10, 2018
Blyleih M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Super supportive and patient. She tries to keep the lessons fun for a young child and is always enthusiastic. My daughter is happy and learning, and that’s the point.

Posted Sep 13, 2018
Hannah
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I was only able to take five lessons with Orla, but within a short period of time she helped me improve the quality of my chest, mask/mix, and head voice. She teaches with clarity, and she gave me the skills I needed to continue learning after the lesson had ended. If you are new to singing or want to try honing your skills, Orla is a great teacher for you.

Posted Aug 23, 2018
Sara
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Orla is a very effective and supportive teacher - she makes a point to communicate the lessons is a very personalized and positive way. I've progressed more with her than any other singing teacher I've had. Can't wait to continue my lessons!

Posted Jul 13, 2018
Maria
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have only had my first lesson with Orla, but she is excellent! Very knowledgeable and fantastic at explaining the mechanics of singing and getting me started. Looking forward to m next lesson!

Posted Jul 3, 2018
Margaret N.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I booked a package (10 lessons) with Orla to help me gain confidence in my choral singing abilities. I was nervous at first, but she was patient and made me comfortable very quickly. She is very knowledgeable about anatomy and the "how" of singing, but even more importantly, she can communicate the visual, physical and emotional cues that are so critical to learning to sing properly. We focused on exercises to improve the areas I needed the most work on, and I could see the improvement in my singing in just a few lessons! As the lessons flew by, she "leveled me up" in areas that I was doing well in, and kept on working with me on the techniques that are a bit more difficult for me. I could tell that she was really engaging with me as an individual, and making me the best singer I could be.

Overall an extremely positive experience - I would recommend Orla to anyone in the area looking for a vocal teacher.

Posted Apr 10, 2018
Jack S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Orla provides very structured and concrete ways to practice your voice. She is clear in the way she teaches and focuses a lot on making sure you are using the right technique. Within a couple lessons, I was already improving the way I was singing. She is also very flexible to adjusting to your schedule and singing needs.

Posted Feb 27, 2018
Judy R.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Really enjoyed my first lesson with Orla. She was very gracious and imparted alot of knowledge about voice. Looking forward to working with her.
Judy

Posted Jan 26, 2018
Jesse
Profile-location-online Online

Orla has helped me become more confident in my singing abilities in 4 lessons than I ever was in 10 years of self-taught experience.

Posted Nov 3, 2017
L.O.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Five stars! I came in with goals and we are mastering them! I always have fun!

Posted Nov 1, 2017
Amber Cox
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Orla has provided such a stress-free environment with passionate & patient individualized teachings, based on different singers needs, that make for the best learning environment.

She gives warm ups for the three parts of your singing voice along with recording the first time the warm up is introduced for you to have at home to practice along with.

Personally, I even had a tiny bit of trouble trying to do one of the warm ups and Orla went out of her way to do more research and found a warm up that was better suited for my voice. She never fails to say the most positive things that always put a smile on my face and assures students that its all a learning process. Even when you feel like you aren't progressing, she also provides the outside perspective of positive change and helps to reassure you progress is being made even without realizing it.

I didn't mean to write so much but Orla is a really amazing teacher with a big wealth of knowledge on singing and voice that shouldn't go unnoticed.
I had never taken voice lessons before but I feel so lucky to have found such a kind and motivating teacher!

Posted Nov 1, 2017
Kevin
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

As a birthday present for my granddaughter who recently turned 10 I purchased a series of voice lessons from Orla. My granddaughter feels she has learned a lot and she really enjoyed the lessons. As she gets older I’d be happy to schedule another series of lessons.

Posted Nov 1, 2017
David
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Daria has really enjoyed her lessons and learned a lot about singing.

Posted Aug 15, 2017
Zina
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Orla was fantastic - just had my first lesson!! Couldn't be happier.

Posted Jun 29, 2017
Ella T.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Orla did a great job with my 11 year old daughter. She explained how as a young student, vocal chords are still developing and how to care for them during singing. My daughter really connected with her and enjoyed her first lesson.

Posted Jun 6, 2017
Eric M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I had a wonderful experience through my lessons with Orla. She gave me individualized warmups specific to the areas I needed to improve, and they yielded great results over a short amount of time. She knows what she is doing. Highly recommended.

Posted Jun 2, 2017
Aubrey
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Orla was my student at Berklee for 2 years and in that time I saw her grow tremendously as a performer, educator, entrepreneur, composer, and more! In addition to being a phenomenal musician, she is a very kind and patient person who is very well equipped to handle a wide variety of students and teaching scenarios. I highly recommend Orla and vouch for her skills completely.

Posted Sep 29, 2016

Photos & Videos

14 Photos & Videos

Experience

Band Leader, Song Writer, Producer, Lead Singer
Oct 2014 - Present

ORLA

Orla is the lead singer, songwriter, producer, manager, booker, and promoter of her ambient electronic band, ORLA. ---- ORLA has been playing since 2014 in the Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. area. They have been compared to Aurora, Imogen Heap, Enya, Vaults, Fever Ray, Phantogram, Grimes, London Grammar, and Florence and the Machine. ---- Orla has worked with backup singers, dancers, digitally projected visual teams, and videography crews to put together her live shows. Orla writes lead sheets, arranges harmonies, and plays keyboards and midi percussion pads live. ---- ORLA's most recent EP, called Transformation can be heard on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Pandora, YouTube and anywhere else you may stream or purchase music. ---- Since 2020, ORLA has been featured in Internet Live Stream festivals with other electronic artists and DJs. As an electronic artist, ORLA will continue to participate in new versions of digital concerts, creating digital media for YouTube and social media, and exploring virtual reality platforms within which music can be enjoyed. ---- Check out ORLA at www.OrlaTone.com

Vocal Coach
May 2014 - Present

Voice Lessons with Orla

Over the years, Orla has coached neighbors and friends in vocal technique, musical theater audition prep, musical theater technique, rock technique, and contemporary concert/recital prep. She used to do this as a fun favor for friends and neighbors but is now extending her specialized teaching abilities to you so that you can achieve all of your wildest singing and vocal performance goals.

Voice Actor
Apr 2021 - Apr 2021

Novel Effect

Acted and Sang as the voice of Tilly Turtle in the Read Aloud Adventure of Tilly Turtle's Friendship Gift, sponsored by Annie's Mac & Cheese

Voice Actor
Jan 2019 - Jan 2019

Paul Zimmermann - Composer , Joccish - Game Creator

Sang vocal arrangement of theme song for Necken the computer game made by Joccish and playable on Steam, GameJolt, and Itch

Education

Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, Magna Cum Laude
Sep 2011 - May 2015

Berklee College of Music

Lead Singer
Jan 2008 - Nov 2010

School of Rock

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Spanish

Limited Proficiency

Awards

Magna Cum Laude Bachelor of Science
May 2015

Berklee College of Music

Partial Scholarship
Dec 2010

Berklee College of Music

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