Martha Stuckey – Voice Teacher

Voice and Piano
Classical, Pop, Rock
University of the Arts

voice, piano, music lessons, philadelphiaI am a trained, classical soprano, a musical theater nerd, and is a gigging funk/R&B singer.

Most recently, I co-produced and performed the world premiere of an original work DUE TO THE SENSITIVE NATURE at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The piece will be soon be produced for audiences across the region.

Billy Penn named me a “young professional creating the new Philadelphia sound.” I perform my original music at Maison 208, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and FringeArts. I held a solo performance series called “Moonlighting” at FringeArts in 2016. I am also touring THE SABBATICAL, the critically acclaimed piece collaboratively devised while receiving my MFA in Devised Performance from the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training and the University of the Arts.

I also devise and perform with Pig Iron Theater Company (PAY UP, 99 BREAKUPS), SwimPony (THE END Game), Mural & The Mint (CLOSE MUSIC FOR BODIES), Cynthia Hopkins (REQUIEM FOR FIVE SHOWS), Lightning Rod Special (HACKLES), and The Bearded Ladies (MOMMY QUEEREST, GET PEGGED).

I lead Red 40 & The Last Groovement and was in residency with the band at FringeArts from 2014-16. In 2015, Ars Nova Theater selected the band to perform in ANTFest. In 2016, Red 40 & TLG released the album SHE’S KEEN TO FEED. The band’s musical, THE BEST SONGS YOU EVER HEARD SHOW, has been developed at FringeArts and produced by the University of the Arts in 2017. The band has played at FringeArts, Johnny Brenda’s, Kung Fu Necktie, the Art Museum and a sold-out Union Transfer.

I perform in The Cat’s Pajamas, a band that’s been around for 25 years and makes music for all ages. We play at schools, parks, and venues like World Cafe Live.

Education is a central aspect of what makes me tick. I am inspired by discovering and sharpening my student’s voice and talent, whether they’re 10 months old or 80 years old.

 

When did you begin playing piano and singing, and why?
It’s hard for me to remember! Since my mom was an opera singer and is still a voice and piano teacher herself, music was around at all times growing up. My mom talks about me singing an Italian aria up in my room at 5 years old and putting the annunciation skills of her students to shame.

What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
When I lived in Spain for a year I learned to play guitar because I didn’t think I’d have access to a piano. I love playing it and writing songs with it, but am very shy about playing it in public…

What are your personal goals as a musician?
I suppose getting over my fear of playing guitar! In the short term, my goal is to finish a solo album. I suppose I dream of playing a late night show someday. But, actually, that may be my mom’s dream. She’s a big Jimmy Kimmel fan.

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?
One day, during a rehearsal for my college’s jazz choir we practicing scatting. I felt too embarrassed to try it! But, the director said that whatever note you sing, if it sounds wrong, go one step up or one step down and you’ll be back on track. I’d still be too shy to scat now, but when I improvise in public on voice or piano I am a little braver knowing I can never get too far off.

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?
I can out-burp most people in the world. Knowing this, my mom would often remind me in voice lessons to use “burp space.” It works!

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
I grew up sight-reading music on piano. When I started playing keys in bands, I needed to re-learn how to read music and even how to play piano! It was like discovering something shocking about an old friend. We’re good now, though.

What is your biggest musical achievement?
Playing a sold out Union Transfer with Red 40 felt very good.

Favorite thing about teaching?
Learning alongside my students.

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
In modern culture, we’ve decided that only a select few should sing and write music. This is so sad to me because it means so many feel that music doesn’t belong to them somehow. Making music is a pleasure available to everyone!

Personal music projects:
I’m working on an album of music from the show entitled DUE TO THE SENSITIVE NATURE. I co-produced and performed that show at the Kimmel Center. I’m also in a band called Red 40 & The Last Groovement. I also play in the Cat’s Pajamas, a band that makes music for all ages.