Taylor Halpern – Piano and Voice Teachers

Piano, Voice, Guitar, Ukulele, and Violin
B.M. Music Theory and Composition
Westminster Choir College
Classical, Pop, Musical Theater
Studio and In-Home Lessons

I teach Piano, Voice, Guitar, Ukulele and Violin. I am a graduate of Westminster Choir College, where I completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition in 2015. While at Westminster, I had the opportunity to sing with several of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic. I studied voice with world-renowned soprano Faith Esham for my four-year undergraduate training, acquiring a strong technique in the classical vocal style. I have performed many musical roles throughout the years, as well. Some of my favorites include Rusty in Footloose, Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera, and Jeanie in Hair. I have played piano for over 15 years, and received the National Guild of Piano Teachers High School Diploma in 2010. I have been teaching piano since 2009. In 2014, I studied in Paris as part of the European American Music Alliance program, which focused on refining keyboard, counterpoint and musicianship skills. I also have experience with more modern music, as I recently released an EP of pop-folk music titled “Beautiful Words,” which can be found on iTunes and Spotify. Songwriting has always been one of my biggest passions, and I love to have my students delve into this while they are learning their instruments.

My teaching philosophy closely aligns with the Multiple Intelligences Theory. Basically, this theory states that every person learns in a different way, so it is important to individualize the way you teach based on that. When exposed to individualized pedagogical methods, students can use their learning strengths to improve on their weaknesses. This approach provides a positive and productive environment to help students achieve their maximum learning potential.

 

When did you begin singing and playing piano, and why?
I was singing since before I can remember. I do remember the first time I sang was a song from Annie Get Your Gun, “Anything You Can Do” and it was only because they forgot to give me a part in the school play. Needless to say, it was the best mistake they could have made! Piano came shortly after. I would make up little songs and my parents thought I should learn something to accompany my singing. I fell in love with piano and it still is my favorite instrument to play.

 

What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
Guitar, Violin, and Ukulele. Violin I started at a young age, as well. I played through high school and then kind of took a hiatus in college. I’ve recently been playing fiddle in my band and I’m starting to really enjoy the violin again. Guitar came in high school, I wanted more versatility in my songwriting so I decided to pick up the guitar and it has quickly become a staple for my music. Ukulele shortly followed guitar, and again, it was to add variety to my songwriting. Super fun and easy to pick up instrument!

What are your personal goals as a musician?
My goal is to share as much of my music as far as I possibly can. I truly believe every song is a little piece of whoever wrote that song, and that is something truly special. I try to share that sort of feeling with my students- it’s not just getting the perfect notes and rhythms, but really about adding a piece of yourself to someone else’s piece of music.

 

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?
I struggled for years to solidify my mid-range (mixed voice). One day in my lesson in college, I finally nailed the breathing technique and heard my mid-range explode (in a good way!). My teacher and I literally shouted with joy! There’s no better feeling in the world!

 

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?
It must have been from my high school piano teacher. She would tell me if you aren’t getting a passage, and you keep going over and over and just not getting it right- step back, take five minutes and do something else. Come back, and 99% of the time you will get it right. Sometimes you have to clear your head because we are our own worst enemies.

 

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
Probably learning the music for my senior recital in college through my allergies. One of the major hardships of voice is that the instrument is within your body. Sometimes, your body does not cooperate and there isn’t much you can do. Luckily, I had the best support system and advice, and was able to get through the recital pretty well!

 

What is your biggest musical achievement?
In the classical realm, I would say when my choral piece was selected to be the 2015 graduating anthem. It is a school-wide competition and a huge honor to be selected. In my pop/rock music, it would be the release of my EP “Beautiful Words”, which ended up being thrown into the pool of GRAMMY nominations in 2015, which also was an incredible honor!

 

Favorite thing about teaching?
Watching my students grow both technically and artistically. I have seen my students in the past accomplish some incredible things over short periods of time and it always leaves me in awe. I am always so proud of them!

 

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
This is a personal journey. You need to know what you want from the instrument you are learning, set goals for yourself and then dedicate yourself. If you get to that goal, set a new goal. Remember that there is always farther you can strive. I am still a student, myself, in this way. You are never done learning.

 

Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc. (if any)
I am currently recording at East Coast Recording Company making my full length album. I am also a member of a new band here in Philadelphia with two good friends. Both of these projects are new, so I will update when more info arises!