EARLY MUSIC EDUCATION Music has been a part of my life from the time I was born. My father was a violinist, and my mother a pianist. There was always music playing in our home, either on the stereo, radio, or live, as my parents frequently played duets. My father was a classical music enthusiast, and my mother mostly played from her vast array of sheet music of songs from the 20's, 30's, and 40's and Broadway musical theater. My older brother exposed me to 70's popular music. I learned to appreciate and love all kinds of music.
I began to study the piano at a young age, but became a consistent student in late elementary school. I always sang. With my sister. With my friends. With my mother at the piano. And I came to love accompanying myself at the piano while singing. This taught me to read music, filled countless hours of my youth, and prepared me for my chosen career. In high school, I sang in choirs and performed in lead roles in musical theater productions. After high school, I attended Northern Illinois University as a voice performance major and graduated cum laude with my Bachelor's degree in Voice Performance. Opera and classical singing had become my passion and my dream. I sang with the Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus after college and performed in various other concerts and theater. I moved to California and attended USC, where I began post-graduate work and performed in "Cosi Fan Tutte" as Fiordiligi.
PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE I LOVE performing! Such is my love of performing and commitment to my voice that I relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area to continue developing my voice and pursue my dream of performing live. I've since been privileged enough to sing with the San Francisco Opera Chorus, and as a soloist with other Bay Area opera companies (North Bay Opera, Pocket Opera, North Bay Lyric Opera, and Sonoma City Opera and many others). I also performed several seasons with the Fulton Chorale at the iconic Bracebridge Dinners at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. More recently, I have been performing and music directing local musical theater.
Performing is something I believe every singer should explore. Getting one's voice out there and heard is a powerful and sometimes life-changing experience. To get out of one's comfort zone and grow by performing and expressing brings fulfillment. I've experienced this many times and it has been one of my greatest joys to see this in my students. If you're passionate about your voice and performing, then trust me, we have a LOT to talk about!
TEACHING I began my teaching career as an accompanist with local children's musical theater programs. The kids were asking for voice lessons, and I began to teach. Though it began as a way for me to earn a living and quit my day job, it is now a passion. I taught my students basically what I had been taught by my MANY voice teachers. And that served me fairly well until I was presented with a student whom I was challenged to help. I felt my knowledge was inadequate, and so I began to dig and search. I had heard about Speech Level Singing (SLS) from a colleague and began to study it. This approach to singing and teaching CHANGED MY WORLD. That was over ten years ago, and since then, in addition to learning and being challenged to become a better teacher, my own voice and singing has improved tremendously. I became a certified SLS teacher 5 years ago. I am now certified with The Institute for Vocal Advancement (IVA) as an Advanced Instructor.
I currently study on a regular basis with some of the finest voice instructors on the planet and am constantly learning, not only from my teachers, but from the amazing students who grace my studio. The learning never ends. It excites me to be a part of a process which inevitably allows a student to discover who he/she is through singing. To me, there is no greater gift.