I'm a classically trained singer taking a hard left at the corner of classical technique and real-world application. I studied classical voice for undergrad, but I started work in pop and jazz voice during my Masters degree. As a result, I've turned out to be a very versatile instructor, well-versed in multiple genres and able to teach healthy technique to all.
*** Lesson Details *** I tend to be pretty laid-back. You give me your time and commitment and I guarantee that I will push for you as hard as I can in order to help you achieve your goals. I have a few recommended books for student
s to purchase, but no set curriculum. I expect that our lessons will be an exploration of our shared musical tastes with an emphasis upon building a healthy performance technique. For younger kids, I tend to use a lot of folk songs and Disney.
*** Studio Equipment *** Living room location, piano for assistance, computer.
*** Travel Equipment *** I will bring theory worksheets if I teach music theory. If I teach cello, student would be required to provide their own instrument or to rent one from myself. If there is a piano in the house, I am functional to provide limited accompaniment.
*** Specialties *** I specialize in foreign language pieces. Particularly French pieces. I tend to specialize in diction coaching for voice.
Regarding theory, I tend to work with students who have had some music background, but need to solidify their theoretical understanding of music. I can teach anything from note-reading to more advanced part-writing and analysis.
Alex G. April 13, 2013
Best lesson teacher I've had
Let me start out by saying something about myself. I have played saxophone for 5 years and bass for 3 But I never had any vocal training whatsoever until about 6 months ago when I started with Mr. Tanksly. I have taken lessons before but I have never felt as welcome or comfortable in a lesson as I have with him. He is very patient and encouraging which really helped me to become comfortable with my voice. Also he always has helpful analogies and ways to help me understand what he wanted me to do with my voice. Every time I walk into my lesson he is always bright and happy and ready to get started. With his help I have made huge improvements in my vocal technique. Overall Mr. Tanksly is an amazing lesson teacher and an amazing person that I would suggest to anyone.
Bobby V. March 10, 2013
Really makes you think
I have been taking singing lessons for about 6 months now, but I have learned more than I ever thought I would. Mr. Tanksley is such an amazing teacher in so many ways. You can communicate with him what you want to work on, and he always seems to have a good strategy or analogy to help you in what you are having problems with. He is very laid back, and as long as you come to the lesson prepared, he will not disappoint.
I have worked with classical singers, trained up and coming musical theater students, worked with those in bands (folk, cover bands). I enjoy all styles of singing!
I am absolutely thrilled to be returning back to Chicago full time and able to open my private studio again. In May of this year, I finished my doctoral degree at University of Michigan in Vocal Performance. It was a truly wonderful experience, filled with wonderful performing experiences and furthering my teaching skills by instructing students of all talent and age levels.
I have been teaching for full-time for the past six years and part-time for the last ten years. It is an absolute joy for me and I truly believe that it is a gift to share a student's musical journey with them. I ai
m to find how each student learns best and tailor their lessons to them.
Below you will find a more formal performance bio. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!
Katherine C. is an award-winning mezzo-soprano. In the past three seasons, Katherine has been featured in important role and company debuts across the United States, eliciting kudos for her “soaring, rich voice” (The Miami Herald), her “polished musical and dramatic characterizations” (Kurt Weill Newsletter) and her “fine coloratura technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
In the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons, Katherine C. will debut the roles of the Komponist in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos (University of Michigan) as well as the Mezzo-Soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem (Chicago Community Chorus). As a winner of the coveted concerto competition at University of Michigan, in the fall, she will make her Hill Auditorium debut with the University of Michigan orchestra singing John Corigliano's Mr. Tambourine Man in addition to performing the work with the Oakland Symphony in 2015. In January of 2014, she will return to Opera on the James to make a role debut of Julia Child in Hoiby's Bon Appetit as well as returning with the Toledo Symphony in April for the Mezzo-Soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
During the 2011 and 2012 season, Katherine C. performed with three time Grammy winning eighth blackbird to revisit Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man at the University of Missouri Kansas City as well as debuting with Opera on the James as Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore, with the Freeport Symphony as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with the Marion Symphony as the mezzo-soprano solist in Mozart’s Requiem, and returned to Toledo for Handel’s Messiah, and debuted with the Metropolitan Chorale of Waverly, Iowa for Beethoven’s Mass in C and Choral Fantasia.
During 2010 and 2011, the singer returned to Syracuse Opera in her role debut as Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel; made her first appearance with Opera New Jersey as Siebel in Gounod’s Faust; performed as soloist with the eighth blackbird in John Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man both in Chicago as well as at the University of Richmond; returned to the Toledo Symphony to perform in Handel’s Messiah and sang the world premiere performance of Vivian Fung’s Yushan Songs with Chicago based Fulcrum Point.
Auspicious operatic and symphonic debuts from recent seasons include roles as Stephano in Roméo et Juliette with Syracuse Opera (for which Calcamuggio was named “Artist of the Year” in 2009); a much touted Sesto in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Un Musico in Manon Lescaut with Florida Grand Opera; the Young Nun in the world premiere of Stephen Hartke’s The Greater Good (available on the Naxos label); Aglaonice in Philip Glass’ critically-acclaimed Orphée with Glimmerglass Opera; and Inez in a concert performance of Verdi’s Il Trovatore under the baton of Maestro Eduardo Müller with the Miami Concert Association. Calcamuggio has also performed as a featured soloist in a recital of Rossini’s songs titled Sins of My Old Age with Opera Omaha and in Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Park Ridge Symphony.
The mezzo-soprano has received top prizes in the Palm Beach Opera, Bel Canto and Shreveport Singer of the Year competitions; and has awards from the Chicago Women’s Musician’s Club and the Anna Sosenko Trust. She is a former participant in young artists’ programs at Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, as well as the Aspen and Brevard Music Festivals.
Katherine C. holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree from University of Michigan, a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music degree from Bowling Green State University.
Katherine has taught at both the high school level (Loyola Academy, Regina Dominican, Elmwood Park and Dexter High) and the college level (University of Michigan and Northwestern University as part of her graduate assistantship). Her students ranged from beginning classically trained students to musical theater students.
*** Lesson Details *** You will constantly be learning from me when you take lessons. I am an incredibly energetic, passionate and caring person which translates to a fun, open learning environment. Students will learn about proper singing technique with me including how to take prepare the body for singing, the proper breath and how to use the body to its utmost capabilities for the best produced sound. I also ask that students learn basic theory so as to help them with their singing.
*** Studio Equipment *** You feel safe, relaxed and ready to learn in our apartment. Decorated with opera houses that we have performed in, surrounded by book cases with music scores and books and opera pictures, you will be inspired to learn while I sit behind our upright piano. Parents are welcome to stay and can wait in our living room or dining room while your son/daughter is learning.
*** Specialties *** Being classically trained and being an active opera singer still, I am best suited and strongest in the classical field. However, all singing is based on proper breath technique and support, so I can teach many different genres for the voice. I also have taught musical theater!
Colleen B. March 12, 2014
Singing Verified Student
Katherine is a positive force to our daughter. She is really professional!
MikeK1 May 7, 2012
Very good teacher who is very excited when you do well. I can not believe that I am willing to sign in front of anyone but she has made me feel very relaxed.Great Job
KellyT1 April 29, 2012
Great teachers. My daughter really loves working with her.
Emphasis on fundamentals and repertoire development. Voice study requires effort and commitment.
Daniel, a former faculty member of Columbia College in Chicago, is a studio and live performance singer and musician based in Chicago. His teaching and performing experience spans three decades, and includes expertise in the studies of voice, guitar, piano, bass, drums, and trumpet, along with music theory, arranging, and composing. He is a Lincoln Academy Student Laureate who holds a BA in Music Composition, and has attended graduate courses in education at Roosevelt University and DePaul University in Chicago. He has taught students of all ages at private studios, public school, and college.
Daniel is described by his students as a natural teacher. He prefers to be regarded as an advancing student, and takes the journey along with his students to guide them towards their goals with a friendly, positive, efficient and productive approach. He feels that music is within all of us, and a desire to learn is a sign of talent, so anyone can develop their musical abilities with methodical practice.
The musical journey for Daniel began at an early age with trumpet and piano studies which became a passion for him by the age of 14. He was the drum major of the high school marching band, and successfully completed a paid contract to arrange music for the high school jazz band which performed in a state beauty pageant. He began teaching privately after high school, and continued playing in bands, and composing original music. He formed a professional jazz ensemble under the name of the Chicago Jazz Players by the age of 22, and developed his arranging techniques while having it performed by an eighteen piece orchestra consisting of many great local artists. It was in this environment that he gained experience with brass, woodwinds, and rhythm instruments. He was granted a position at Columbia College as an instructor at age 29 where he taught theory, sight singing, musicianship, ear training, harmony, orchestration, and composition. He scored the music for several plays, and conducted his own pieces with Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Players. During those years he found himself playing the guitar and singing more than anything else. It was in 1995 that he focused on singing and playing the guitar with his rock band. He has produced several CD recordings of his original music in his own studio, and has helped produce local bands and artists. He performs regularly in the Chicago area.
*** Lesson Details *** Daniel exhibits patience and care with each student, and develops an individualized approach based on clear goals with practical procedures. Most beginners can expect to have a working knowledge of music notation and how it applies to their instrument within three months, and should be developing fluency in performing music that they enjoy within six months. Advancing students will enjoy the rewards that will follow by studying with an experienced teaching musician that will recognize strengths and weaknesses, and recommend proven techniques for personal musical development. Studying music should be fun, fulfilling, and in harmony with the needs and desires of the student, and this is key to the philosophy held by Daniel.
*** Studio Equipment *** Eight track recording gear; grand piano; guitars/bass (acoustic & electric); cables/amps, drum kit and percussion.
*** Travel Equipment *** I can provide lesson materials, and always have a metronome with me. I expect the student to have an instrument. I prefer that a student has a music stand.
*** Specialties *** Customized approach to the individual based on needs and goals.
Conner P. June 18, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Very friendly, competent, and enthusiastic. This is the teacher I've been looking for.
Kim W. May 15, 2015
In home Verified Student
Daniel is the real deal. He is extremely knowledgable and honest about what level you are at and what it will take to move forward.
Kathleen R. July 31, 2014
In studio Verified Student
Dan has been a great teacher thus far. He is patient and finds material that I find interesting while keeping me engaged during the lesson. He has helped me with some vocal tips as well! I really am getting my money's worth taking lessons with him. I would recommend Dan to any aspiring musician in need of lessons!
The first instrument in music, the voice! I look forward to enhancing your vocal skills and help you reach your highest potential!
*** Studio Equipment *** Living room w/ piano and seating for parents
*** Specialties *** Piano and voice, musical theater and classical music.
Jenny F. April 21, 2015
Dora is the most wonderful teacher. She has such a natural way of connecting to my kids and their individual needs. My children really respond to her direction and guidance. I would recommend Dora to anyone looking for quality piano or voice lessons. Many of my friends take lessons from Dora as well and they all say the same! She has become part of our friend circle. We love Dora!!
Ellen R. April 17, 2015
Dora is an incredible teacher. She is patient, kind, understanding and talented. My daughter is in 1st grade and Dora teaches the lesson at an age appropriate way. My daughter looks forward to going to Dora's house for lessons. My daughter has made progress every week. I highly recommend sending your child to Dora for lessons.
Funda S. January 2, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Dora is an amazing music teacher. She worked with both of my kids giving them piano and voice lessons. Dora has a hands-on teaching style and integrates fun, a love of learning with music theory. She is very patient and provides developmentally appropriate exercises to practice. All of her lessons are exciting and productive. Both of my children look forward to not only taking lessons but coming home to practice! Dora has a way of motivating her students to make them want to work hard and get better. We are very lucky and grateful to have her as a music teacher. I would highly recommend her to anyone that wants to improve in their musical journey!
I teach singers of all genres (country, classical, pop, bluegrass, rock…) to sing with confidence and freedom!
I am currently studying opera at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and have extensive operatic training. I teach an open throat technique (appoggio) that allows the singer to sing with freedom, and access their entire range evenly. I also work with students to develop style, interpretation, languages, and acting ability.
My expansive breadth of interests has led me through years of experience in the arts and natural sciences. I'm a voice instructor, math tutor, and biology teacher. Now, I'm pursuing a career in opera and vocal performance.
I have extensively studied vocal performance and opera for many years and continue to add to my own technique. I have been in many operas and musical theater productions. I am currently enrolled as a second year masters student at the Chicago College of Performing Arts studying vocal performance. I have studied other vocal genres, such as jazz, rock, and pop. I have prev
iously taught at The School of Rock in Indianapolis Indiana. I have administered vocal lessons to every voice type at all different levels. Several of my students have recored albums and are currently performing all over the U.S. I use the appoggio technique of breathing and believe all singing should be produced in a way that does not damage the vocal folds.
I have a bachelors degree in biology with a minor in art. After graduating college, I was a full-time high school biology teacher, volleyball coach, and director of the school musical. As a high school teacher, I learned first hand the kind of pressure and expectations that are placed on students in order for them to succeed. In college, I was the head student researcher on a two-year lab project. I took several upper level science courses including: biochemistry, calculus, organic chemistry, calculus based physics, cell biology, anatomy, and physiology. I studied marine biology in the Virgin Islands and am CPR certified.
*** Lesson Details *** Voice lessons with me are fun and effective. You can expect to hear improved technique form day one, eventually reaching your long term goals. I teach an open throat technique called appoggio. It is the technique opera singers use, but can be applied to any music style. This technique allows the singer to sing with their entire voice using a relaxed larynx. I begin every lesson aligning the students voice through various vocal warm ups and exercises. We then work together to pick repertoire that will suit the singer's voice and they will enjoy singing. During a lesson we will also cover performance presentation, acting, diction, rhythm, musicality, style, and interpretation.
During tutoring you can expect a personalized plan based on your goals and aspirations. Since every student is different you can be assured we will come up with a plan that is designed just for you. I am a laid back tutor but will be sure to get the most out of you after our time together. Most students see at least a one letter grade improvement. My main goal for every tutoring session is student learning and comprehension.
*** Studio Equipment *** Piano, recording equipment, large collection of sheet music, subscription to IPA source (foreign language translations and pronunciations), several math and science textbooks
*** Specialties *** I specialize in helping students find their true singing voice.
Jeff W. May 20, 2015
Online Verified Student
Benjamin is my second instructor I have had on TakeLessons, I stopped with the first when I did not think it would be a good fit. I have only had two lessons and I can already see that Benjamin has high attention to detail and is very skilled. I want someone to teach me the fundamentals, point out my bad habits and teach me methods to correct them - no compromises. I am confident that Benjamin will get me on the right track and intend to continue on with him.
Mitch M. May 18, 2015
In home Verified Student
Benjamin has improved my vocals beyond words. Within the first 2 months I increased my range by an octave more on my chest and head voice, dramatically increased my control, and learned how to sing with much less stress and tension then before. His teaching approach deals with logic and anatomy which resonates more to me then memorizing a million stupid little tricks like with my old teachers. I have Benjamin to thank for my dramatic increase in vocal sound and confidence. I will continue to take lessons with him until i run out of money!
Will G. April 30, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Ben is an excellent teacher! His experience and patience allow for a great experience no matter the student's experience. His lessons focus on the mechanics of singing and provide a concrete foundation on which to build your skills.
Students are raving about their Singing instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Lee
"Just before I met Carol for my first singing lesson, I expected to feel embarrassed to sing in front of her. I was quite nervous, actually. But Carol's pr
ofessional yet fun, laid back manner disintegrated all my trepidation and I left giddy and excited for the next lesson. She is a very encouraging and supportive instructor, and I feel so lucky to have found her!"
San Diego, CA teacher:
Review by Patrick
"I always enjoyed Sarah and made so much progress
Sarah always had an interesting and helpful lesson plan! Her studio is close to my house but she comes t
o my house for lessons as well. I always learn so much and have fun!"
Bloomington, IN teacher:
Review by Dimonica
"Chip is a great teacher who loves his job."
Tampa, FL teacher:
Review by Sophie
"An amazing instructor!
Definitely take classes with Tanisha - she's a wonderful instructor and equally wonderful person. You'll come out of class with im
proved singing skills...and spirits!"
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Eileen
"My son is 16 and has been taking lessons with sandra since November of 2014. Sandra not only focuses on singing techniques to build your support and vocal
strength, but also helps with understanding sheet music and acting within a musical piece. She is extremely personable and friendly. She has helped my son expand his vocal range, and she taught him vocal techniques to use to develop his voice. My son does musical theatre, and Sandra has taken a significant amount time during each lesson to help him sing the songs comfortably and understand the acting stand point in each song. She is a great teacher for him."
Philadelphia, PA teacher:
Review by Dr D L
"Passion + Prowess = Priceless!
Melody's knowledge and drive are truly contagious. She has a unique ability to pull the absolute best out of her students
by bringing all of her learned and inherent skill to the table sharing with those she is teaching. It is apparent that this is not just a job for her, but a calling. If you're looking for a teacher who is talented, compassionate, and will push you to be the best you can be, she's definitely the one!"
Minneapolis, MN teacher:
Review by Alvarez
"Gained more confidence since my first lesson
Shelly is a wonderful vocal coach. We always have a lot of fun and I always look forward to my lessons. She
helps me feel more confident about singing in front of people. Because of Shelly, my singing has made a big improvement since last year. She is an amazing teacher and I am lucky to have her as my coach."
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Cleo
"Nancy is awesome! I'm so happy I have this opportunity to tell everyone what a really great person and teacher she is. She's really demanding (but in a ni
ce way) and knows her stuff technically, but she's also really encouraging and kind and I feel like she "gets" her students.
I'm going into my junior year at Cornell where I'm studying pre-med, and believe it or not I really feel like voice lessons with Nancy helped me get here. I love singing, but never had much confidence. I started taking lessons with Nancy my senior year in high school and she helped me sing so much better than I ever thought i could. She was really supportive of my song-writing too. I ended up getting a good part in the school musical (I went to a super competitive high school too) and performing my own songs at a couple of local venues.
Then as part of my college applications she suggested that I include a recording of me performing some French art songs by Claude Debussy. Not that I was a classical singer or was even going to study music seriously in college, but my family is French and I really like the poetry of Paul Verlaine. Nancy introduced me to some cool Debussy settings of Verlaine poems. I thought the songs would be way too hard for me, but with Nancy's help I actually sang them really well and did a good recording that I think helped set me apart in my college applications.
Now when I come back home I always have a few lessons with Nancy. (I still compose and perform my own songs) And don't tell anyone, but she's a lot better than any of the voice teachers at Cornell! Not naming names of course."
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Annika
"Hi, I'm 9 years-old and I think Ruth is very nice!!!!! She understands how you can sometimes feel uncomfortable, and she puts me at ease. I'd say that onc
e you've had 3 lessons with her you'd feel completely comfortable with her. But I was comfortable with her at 2!! She teaches you how to sing in a healthy way, and teaches you how to take care of your vocal cords. Long story short, if you take her class you will love it!!!"
Interested in learning how to sing jazz? Here, Ann Arbor, MI singing teacher Elaina R. shares how to get started...
Jazz is the cool cat of the music world. She sits in the back of the room wearing sunglasses and red lipstick. She doesnt sing, she croons soft and sonorous, drawing the ear in. Its no wonder so many people want to learn how to sing jazz! At its most basic form, jazz singing is just like any other kind of singing. All singers carry their instruments inside of the …
How to Sing Jazz Like a Pro in Five Steps
Interested in learning how to sing jazz? Here, Ann Arbor, MI singing teacher Elaina R. shares how to get started...
Jazz is the cool cat of the music world. She sits in the back of the room wearing sunglasses and red lipstick. She doesnt sing, she croons soft and sonorous, drawing the ear in. Its no wonder so many people want to learn how to sing jazz! At its most basic form, jazz singing is just like any other kind of singing. All singers carry their instruments inside of the
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Auditions can be the most unpleasant part of being a performing artist. But with great preparation and forethought, they can also be the most valuable and exciting part. Aud
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Finding a teacher whose philosophy fits your learning style is a huge challenge for both student and teacher. It can translate to a great deal of success or stagnancy for young artists developing their voices. Your pace of learning, entering ability, and choice of musical repertoire should
4 Unconventional Ways to Get Better at Singing
Did you know there are ways you can get better at singing... that DON'T involve singing? Find out the ideas in this guest post by professional voice teacher Molly R...
The obvious thing to do when you want to get better at singing is, of course, to sign up for voice lessons! You may have even found that teacher right here on TakeLessons.
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