Kristen Seikaly – Voice Teacher, Vocal Coach

Specializing in Voice
Masters of Music, Westminster Choir College
B.M., University of Michigan – Vocal Performance
Beginner to Advanced Vocal Coaching
In-Home and Studio Lessons
Also offers instruction in French

Kristen Seikaly's Headshot 2I teach voice. I started singing at a young age, first with school and community choirs, followed by high school concerts and musicals. I received my Bachelor’s of Music at the University of Michigan in Vocal Performance, with a minor in French. Then, I earned my Master’s of Music at Westminster Choir College in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. After my second degree, I moved to Philadelphia to pursue performance and teaching opportunities. I have performed in various Philadelphia venues including The Kimmel Center, The Academy of Music, and The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. I have also participated in operatic productions with companies such as Opera Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley Opera Company, and Princeton Opera Alliance. I believe voice lessons should provide a thorough technical, musical, and emotional understanding of one’s voice. Comfortable singing always comes first, which begins with breathing and posture. I balance imagery and fact based on how a student learns and understands. Singing is joyful amongst all else. While I urge all of my students to reach certain technical goals, my main goal is to make sure the student is always achieving their personal goals and enjoying themselves at the same time.

When did you begin singing, and why?:
I began singing at 10 years old, first in children’s choirs, followed by solo performance. I was interested in acting in my younger years, so singing was a natural extension to that dream. 

 

What are your personal goals as a musician?:
I aim to tell stories and express feelings in a way that my audience strongly relates to. In this way, my goal as a musician is to connect with others, and allow others to connect with me.

 

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?:
I started off my studies as a soprano, and progressed vocally and musically for a long time as such. Eventually, I hit a wall where my range and vocal placement didn’t feel quite right. My teacher at the time suggested I might want to switch to mezzo-soprano, and once I did, everything fell right into place!

 

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:
Singing is largely about getting out of your own way. (I like to think that this applies to life, too.)

 

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:
I once had some minor health problems with my voice. As a result, I had to learn how to study music in a healthy, and sometimes silent, manner. It was hard not to sing, but it was so powerful to learn how to practice well. 

 

What is your biggest musical achievement?:
At the University of Michigan, students are unable to audition for mainstage operas until their junior year, and even then the odds of them being cast are slim. The first time I auditioned, I landed a role. Many small musical achievements led to that big one!

 

Favorite thing about teaching?:
I love seeing those moments of clarity in my students; when they’ve been working really hard at something and then it just clicks.

 

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:
Work smart, and be patient with yourself. Music is a skill and takes time to learn, just like any other skill. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it now though!

 

Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc. (if any):
As I write this, I am working on a recital titled The Art Song Recital to perform at a local art gallery. The music features music about art and artists, creating a beautiful pairing of two artistic mediums.