- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
- Teaches students:
- Ages 16+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
- July 1975
Thomas began playing the piano when he was three, had a private teacher at age seven, and studied in high school at Jordan College of Music, Butler University. When he began his music studies at Ball State University, he learned that he could also sing! He earned his Master’s degree at University of Bridgeport, and returned to Ball State for a Doctor of Arts in Voice. His postgraduate education continued winning a fellowship at Aspen Music Festival (Fiora Contino, Margaret Hillis and Charlene Archibeque), Clare College Cambridge (where his teachers included John Rutter, Sir David Willcocks and Stephen Cleobury), The Britten-Pears School (Hugues Cuenod) and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to Mozart’s Worlds in Vienna.
Thomas shared that studying at Clare College Cambridge, deciding to remain in London, and teaching at the Hall Mead School gave him an opportunity to broaden his horizons. He developed a close relationship with British composer Dal Strutt, who composed several pieces for his voice and sang premieres of Strutt’s work at the Greenwich Festival, the British Music Information Center, All Saints Society, Essex, and other venues around London. The guitarist Martin Vishnick invited him to sing songs by the Renaissance English composers John Dowland and Thomas Campion on his recitals. Thomas performed as soloist with the Capella Singers, Ramsey Singers, and the Pink Singers, as their soloist in West Berlin for Hans Eisler’s “Die Mutter.”
Thomas sang the first performances of John Rutter’s “Shadows” for voice and guitar, with guitarist Ramona Hartmetz in Kansas City as well as Rutter’s “Mass for the Children” with the Philharmonia of Kansas City. He served as baritone soloist for Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, KC, and on tour in Salzburg, Paris, Florence, Westminster Abbey and the cathedrals of Christchurch, St. Mary’s, Southwell, Ely, St. Patrick’s, St. Davids, Birmingham, Wells, Bristol, Worcester, Exeter and Norwich.
After singing opera throughout his college years, his first ‘professional’ opera was “Die Fledermaus” at New Haven Opera. Lyric Opera Kansas City hired Thomas in 1981 for the chorus of “Fidelio” and the rest is history! One hundred plus shows, and counting!
*** Lesson Details ***
I am a laid back teacher with a great sense of humor. You will also learn a lot of music theory and music history from me! My lessons begin with some training in reading music (Music Theory) and I suggest that you purchase Alfred's Music Theory Volume One or Two depending on your level of understanding.
After refreshing your music reading and rhythm skills, we will listen to you sing and begin to vocalize. I will develop exercises just for you, to help you develop your voice, making it stronger and more flexible.
When you have warmed up your voice with vocal exercises, we will work together on the music you wish to learn. It could be a song, an aria, a Broadway or Opera aria, or a religious piece.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Large 30 foot living room with two pianos, music stands, keyboard, couches, seating area.
Mac computer, multiple cameras and great sound system.
*** Specialties ***
Classical Bel Canto (beautiful voice) style, operatic singing, Broadway style, Art Songs (Lieder in French, German and Italian.)
I have sung in the chorus and compramario roles for Lyric Opera of Kansas City for 33 years. I will sing in the Lyric's production of CARMEN in April and May 2016, my 93rd opera!
I was invited to judge science fair projects in the Behavioral
Sciences category. It was so much fun I plan to do it again next year!
Fellowship study in British Theatre and Culture (art, literature, drama). Summer study 1988.
An American labor union that represents 8,000 current and retired opera singers, ballet and other dancers, opera directors, backstage production personnel at opera and dance companies, and figure skaters.
Founded in 1907, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.+ Read More
He may be good if you want to sing opera. I just didn't connect with him and his 'Style' of teaching. I was looking for more current music and that was where a very large disconnect was.
Right off the bat I could tell that my daughter will flourish with Dr. G. He is very encouraging while simultaneously effective at improving a weak nuance of her current skill set without making it feel like a negative critique. She is very excited to see what he can help her accomplish.+ Read More
Awesome teacher! The good Dr. knows his stuff and has the credentials to prove it. If you want to improve your voice give him a try. You won't be disappointed.
I never thought anyone and I mean anyone could get me past the fear of singing. I have over three decades of acting, including a prestigous acting school, but never developed confidence in singing. Thomas taught me. He helped me develop my new voice. Wow! Thank you sir!
Tom is a most excellent vocal instructor
Tom is a wonderful teacher. He is always cheerful and encouraging and positive. He searches for the best selections to match my voice. He helps me work toward the best I can be and doesn't let me "settle" for anything less. Best of all, he is so fun to be with.
I started taking piano lessons from Dr Garrison in August 0f 2012. He has taught me about music notes and all their meanings. I started as a beginner with no musical knowledge or background. I am 56 and with Dr Garrison teaching method, knowledge and education he's given me the understanding I need to continue to learn from his instructions. Any questionsed that I have he has an answer for and each problem I have he solves each and everytime. I started my first lesson with an old keyboard I brought at a yard sale, but never used it. Since I have been under the instructions of Dr Garrison I have brought a Baldwin piano without any hesitation. I truly know with his teaching method/instructions that I will continue to learn something new at each lesson.
I've been with Dr. Thomas G. for about three weeks now, and I am excited to be his student. He is a wonderful person, very friendly and approachable. He is highly knowledgeable about music and the technical development of the voice. Dr. Thomas presents a very unique approach while coaching students who aspire to sing and develop their talent in music.
Tom is a very helpful, knowledgeable and encouraging instructor. I highly recommend him to others.