Music Performance Lessons
Levels taught:Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
*all lessons are always taylored to be appropriate vocally and dramatically for age, voice type, and ability
About Serena E.
Hello! My name is Serena!
Music shapes my life and has made me the person I am today. My experience in training in opera, musical theatre, jazz, and pop has expanded my musical skills and knowledge. Not only have I been trained in performance, but I have also studied music history, music theory, conducting, movement training, ballet, Alexander Technique, acting, yoga, stage craft, improvisation, other languages, diction and the International Phonetic Alphabet, voice science and anatomy, and vocal pedagogy. I have completed my Bachelor of Music in Operatic Vocal Performance from the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University under the tutelage of the legendary Carol Vaness. I have also studied with acclaimed teachers and coaches around the world including Dr. Kari Ragan and Maestro Dean Williamson.
This year has been wonderfully packed with performance for Seattle Opera. I just closed out a 78 performance run of CINDERELLA IN SPAIN where I sang the role of CINDERELLA and was even on the poster! I also performed the roles for the Seattle Opera preview performances of GRETEL in HANSEL UND GRETEL, VIOLETTA in LA TRAVIATA, KATYA in KATYA KABANOVA, and QUEEN OF THE NIGHT in MAGIC FLUTE. I made my Seattle Opera debut singing ALITSA and RACCOON in their touring production of "OUR EARTH", as well as performing on the mainstage in many productions. My upcoming performances include singing in the Seattle Opera kick off to the season SUMMERFEST in July; and OLYMPIA in LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN with Pacific Northwest Opera. My other roles include ALKANDRE in PENELOPE with Vespertine Opera in Seattle, WA; FRASQUITA in CARMEN with OperaBend in Bend, Oregon and Pacific Northwest Opera; and SUSANNA in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with the Seattle Opera Guild. I also made my international debut in December 2014 singing GRETEL in HANSEL UND GRETEL with Opera Mariposa in Vancouver, BC. I have also been the featured soloist as "Christine" in Ten Grand's Phantom of the Opera at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA, and many lead roles in both opera and musical theatre: such as Semele (Semele), Marie (La Fille du Regiment), Gretel (Hansel und Gretel), Countess Ceprano and Gilda (Rigoletto), Blondchen (Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail), Maria (West Side Story), La Fee (Cendrillon), Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), Cathy (The Last 5 Years), Rosina (Barber of Seville), and more! I have also been part of jazz ensembles, and won the Battle of the Bands at Indiana University with a rock group! I am proud to have won the Seattle Opera Guild/Opera Plus Young Artist Scholarship Award for the 2015/2016 season, the Encouragement Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions, First Place in the National Classical Singers Competition, the C.M. Gerber Scholarship, Music Dean's Scholarship, Music Faculty Award, First Place at Washington State Solo and Ensemble Competitions, First Place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National Competitions, and many more!
Teaching brings me such joy! To share the love of music and to educate the musicians of tomorrow is both gratifying and inspiring. I have been teaching since 2005 and provide a fun and focused learning experience where there are no "wrong" questions, and everybody's unique voice is celebrated! Many of my students have gone on to study music in college, and have landed lead roles in musical theatre, choir solos, All State and All Northwest choirs, and won awards in Classical competitions.
In my spare time, I like to hike, eat good food, and spend time with family and friends!
*** Lesson Details ***
My studio provides musical knowledge through private lessons including healthy vocal technique, basic understanding of music theory, and basic piano skills. I encourage a fun and focused environment. Come ready to learn, and let's make music!
A typical lesson will include vocalises that detail proper technique, some ear training work, some music theory training, and will be followed by repertoire. During this time, students will learn how to produce clear and authentic diction (English and other languages), breath management, phrase shaping, smooth transitions between higher and lower pitches, stylistic ornamentation, as well as dramatic involvement of the piece.
Students will learn the importance of the foundations of breath support, and how to create a healthy sound for any genre while keeping the unique qualities of their own voice-- no cookie-cutter singers here! Students will also learn how to read music, practice effectively, perform authentically, and take care of their delicate instrument for a lifetime of singing!
While Skype is a marvelous tool that has revolutionized the world of teaching, nothing can replicate natural acoustics. In-studio lessons are suggested for a clearer and more personable lesson.
**Skype lessons are reserved for long distance students only**
STUDIO ABSENCE and CANCELLATION POLICIES:
Regularly scheduled and attended lessons are the best way to see positive changes in your voice! The smooth running of the Studio Schedule helps make that happen. Therefore, missing lessons is discouraged and make up lessons/cancellations are not given in the Studio unless:
- I have had a performance or rehearsal that conflicts with our lesson time and cannot have the lesson as scheduled. If this occurs, I will inform you of the event as soon as possible and give you the option of a make up lesson or cancelling the lesson.
- Notices of foreseen cancellations (family vacations, religious holidays, school functions, special occasions etc.) are eligible for rescheduling or cancellation if given before the first lesson of the month.
- Of course, life can throw us for a loop! Illness, emergencies, and unforeseen events may possibly be given make ups or cancellations and will be determined at the Studio's discretion. (In the matter of illness: standard procedure is that if the student can attend work/school, they should come to their lesson. A cold can easily be worked around. If the voice is affected (for singing students), Studio time can still be used to work on ear training, music theory, music history, etc.)
All other absences will result in the lesson being marked as "missed". A hard copy of the Studio Policies and further details will be given to the student at the first lesson. Please feel free to ask any questions or clarifications.
*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio lessons take place in a designated area of my home. The room includes seating for parents to observe lessons as well as a weighted keyboard (88 keys), music stand, desk, and materials. No pets. Lots of street parking is available. Shopping and coffee/food located within walking distance.
*** Specialties ***
Other styles and genres: Musical Theatre, Jazz, Pop, and Rock.
Speaks Italian, French, German
Teaches Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Teaches students 10 to 70
The sessions exceeded my expectations. My anxieties melted away with Serena’s personality, calmness, and thorough teaching style. It’s a real genuine experience. Serena brings innovative and natural techniques that would serve well to anyone who wants to better themselves in singing, artistry, or simply picking up healthier activities to make them more well rounded individuals.Show More
Serena taught my 8 year old son for 9 beginner lessons. The scheduling did not work out for us to continue.
I loved her teaching style! She is calm but also fun for the boy. He loved the warm up exercises. In only 30 minutes of class they were able to play several little pieces. My son could then practice and master them at home. That gave him a sense of accomplishment. This approach is better than working on a hard piece and being frustrated. She focused on sight reading from the start instead of memorizing which is a great habit.
Serena is very knowledgeable and super helpful with my daughter' s audition prep. Highly recommend!
Serena is excellent! She shares my interest in both vocal training and vocal pedagogy, so she can explain the physiology of what I'm doing wrong when that happens - frequently in my case. She is a delight to work with. Encouraging. Intelligent. Professional. I'm sad to have to drop lessons for now.Show More
Serena is the best opera singing coach I’ve ever had. She focus on the science of how human body creates sound, and use her over decades experience to explain the technique in the way that is very easy to understand and get to. After 3 class, I am already feel a lot better at technique and get a better understanding of my voice. Unfortunately, it won’t work with my scheduled anymore. I look forward to getting back to taking classes with Serena soon!Show More
First lesson, but no buyers remorse.
I have been seeing Serena for help with some obstacles I have come up against in my study of classical voice. She has been very quick to identify what is getting in my way and has given me specific approaches to improve my technique. I have heard her sing and can say that she is superb, musical and has a solid and excellent technique.
I have worked with voice teachers who are good singers but have not the vaguest idea of what they are doing to sing well. This is certainly not the case with Serena. She communicates absolutely clearly what is needed for you to progress.
She is also very kind, approachable, encouraging and puts you at ease right away.
I would, without hesitation, give her the highest recommendation.
My deepest gratitudes to Serena for developing me into a singer who is confident in her ability to sing healthily and happily. It was truly a gift to learn from such a patient, kind, and successful artist for 5 years, and to absorb some of the knowledge she has collected throughout her growing Opera career. Not only does she teach all vocal styles and can prepare her students for any vocal musical event, but she teaches the inner anatomnical workings of the voice and the proper techniques to sing efficiently and healthily. A bit of preparation and practice goes a long way with her thorough and lively teaching style. She is truly an outstanding teacher, a brilliant singer, and a lovely person.Show More
Amazing instructor. I have never taken a singing lesson, but she was extremely patient with me. She really helps you build a foundation for singing and explains the reasoning behind what she teaches very well. I would highly recommend her!
My daughter has been taking lessons from Serena for more than two years. We are very happy with her and plan to continue. Training is for classical opera and focus is on basic technique.
Serena has taught me so much about music and performing. She's a wonderful teacher and friend, and she is very professional; there is no one I'd rather be learning music from!
10 stars! She's very strict but in a good way. Keeps the students motivated! Recommend!
I enjoy Serana's teaching very much. She is a talented teacher. I love to take her lessons.
Voice Teacher with a lot of knowledge
Is competent at teaching. She has a goal and is clear about helping each child reach his/her potential. She is personable and conscientious about the small details that make a performer effective. She is supportive and encouraging.
High coloratura in many various roles with Seattle Opera. See bio for roles and details.
The Voice Studio of Serena
Teaching healthy vocal technique of varying genres with an emphasis on knowledge of anatomy and physiology while providing a fun and focused learning experience where there are no "wrong" questions, and everybody's unique voice is celebrated!
Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music
National Association of Teachers of Singing
Classical Singer Magazine
National Association of Teachers of Singing
Metropolitan Opera, National Council Auditions