Arianna Risilia – Voice & piano Teacher

Arianna Risilia
Voice & Piano

Arianna Risilia


Pursuing B.M. Music Education (Jazz Voice Concentration), Temple University

Jazz & Classical

I teach Voice, Piano. I am a Music Education Major with a Jazz Voice Concentration at Temple University. Throughout my time at Temple, much of my studies have been dedicated to Music Education. I have partaken in choirs, private voice lessons (both classical and jazz), and jazz ensembles. Additionally, I perform as a freelance vocalist at events and restaurants. As an educator, I believe in cultivating a safe and welcoming space for my students. I believe that this fosters creativity and expressiveness, allowing the students to truly make music. I believe in making music-making and music-learning a fun experience. I implement learner-centered education, which focuses on responding to the student’s needs through specific teaching styles tailored to them. I utilize written and aural teaching methods to strengthen student’s musical abilities in an all-encompassing way.

When did you begin singing, and why?

I have been singing since before I can remember. I grew up with the sounds of my dad playing jazz saxophone; I believe that is what sparked my love of singing and all music.

What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?

I enjoy accompanying myself on piano while I sing. I studied piano from the age of 6 to 12. I was educated in both classical and jazz piano. Additionally, from the age of 10 to 18 I played saxophone. I was in both the concert band and the marching band.

What are your personal goals as a musician?

I believe that music is a language and the most effective way of learning a language is through immersion. I aspire to immerse myself in music in as many ways as possible– through listening, imitating, singing, playing, and teaching.

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?

I remember my first voice lesson ever. My teacher wanted me to focus on my breathing. I took a proper, full breath before singing a phrase and it felt as though the music was moving throughout my entire body like a force of energy. That was the moment that I realized the act of singing and making music is a total mind-body experience.

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?

My jazz vocal instructor said “You have the vocabulary in you, you just have to free your mind and it will become a story.” I think about this often and believe that it is true. We often underestimate and doubt ourselves, but once you take away the fear and inhibition, the possibilities are endless.

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument

Understanding that my voice and my body are my instruments was challenging at first. I had many occasions where I let my vocal health falter, which kept me from singing at times. I had to learn how to take care of my voice by taking care of my body and mind.

What is your biggest musical achievement?

My biggest musical achievement was when my band and I had the opportunity to perform at Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia. That was extremely special to me having known of the great artists that performed there many years ago.

Favorite thing about teaching?

My favorite thing about teaching is seeing the student’s natural curiosity and love of learning. Furthermore, watching children’s responses to music fascinates and inspires me. Most of all, fostering a love of music in my students is the most rewarding thing to experience as a music teacher.

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?

Believe in yourself. You are capable of anything you set your mind to if you are truly passionate about it. If you put passion into music-making, it will be sonorous. 

Personal music projects:

As I work towards obtaining my Music Education Degree, I hope to continue to perform as a freelance jazz vocalist while continuing to further my knowledge and experience surrounding music education.


Philly Music Lessons specializes in connecting students of all ages and skill levels with great teachers in the Philadelphia and Main Line areas.