Helena Waterous – Voice Teacher

Helena Waterous
Voice

Helena Waterous

She/Her/Hers

M.M Voice Performance, Indiana University

B.M Voice Performance, SUNY Potsdam

Classical, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Folk

I am an opera singer and recitalist, and I love everything about the theater! One of the most wonderful things about singing is that every person has a completely unique and special voice. Through proper technique and refined artistry, the human voice is a liberating and beautiful vehicle for expression.  I specialize vocal technique and repertoire for classical singers, as well as musical theater, jazz, folk, liturgical, and traditional/world music. Every voice – just like every body and soul – is unique, and I believe that a holistic approach helps my students integrate those aspects to find their most authentic and empowering voice. Students of every gender, color, size, creed, and origin are welcome and celebrated in my studio! 

 

As a passionate vocal pedagogue, my approach to technique reflects the anatomical and physiological functions of the vocal mechanisms, as well as the nature of acoustics. Of course, singing isn’t just science – it is a personal, emotional, and spiritual artform. I encourage my students to use their voices to express their truest selves, and to find personal empowerment and comfort through music. I emphasize the connection and harmony of the body and mind in singing, and incorporate yoga and relaxation techniques into my lessons to promote relaxed musculature, fluid movement, and a clear mind.

 

I teach students of all levels and ages, and believe that music is important and valuable at every stage of life. Every singer – from the aspiring opera performer to the seasoned shower singer – has something special to contribute to through their art, and I love teaching anyone who loves music and loves to learn.


I began my musical journey as a ballet dancer and then fell in love with opera and musical theater when I began studying with soprano Danielle Woerner. Since then I have completed my Bachelor and Master level degrees in vocal performance and pedagogy, and have studied with acclaimed teachers Deborah Massell, Mary Ann Hart, and Beth Roberts. I actively perform across the United States and Europe and will be making my operatic debut in Italy at the Trentino Music Festival in August 2022. Some of my other career highlights include Orfeo ed Eurydice and L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Brooklyn Telemann Chamber Society in 2021, premiering several original operas with the Dominic J. Pellicciotti Opera Competition, and several concerts at Carnegie Hall.

When did you begin singing, and why?

I began singing in high school when I saw the amazing musical theater productions my school was putting on–I wanted to be a part of that! Shortly thereafter I saw my first opera, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and I was absolutely hooked on the beauty and drama. Once I began studying classically with my first voice teacher, I knew that I wanted to make opera my life. I also found out around that time that my great-grandparents were opera singers, so it felt particularly meant-to-be!

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

I played clarinet for about 8 years before switching my focus to voice.

What are your personal goals as a musician?

To me being a musician is all about storytelling and communication. My goal with every performance is to make a connection with the audience – something they can identify with, sympathize with, or find compelling. With music we get this magical language that everyone can understand no matter who they are.

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

Back in college I remember I had hit a roadblock in my breath control. I couldn’t finish phrases in one breath and I felt like I was fighting with my body to get the notes out.  My teacher had me take a step back from my frustration and remember that singing should be working WITH the body, not against it. That singing should feel good, and that listening to feedback from your body is crucial when putting technical concepts to work. Reframing my mindset changed my approach to vocal technique, and also shaped my teaching philosophy.

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

Singers and voices are like fingerprints, each one is unique. We all have something so precious to bring to this art form and comparing yourself to others is a waste of time.

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument

For me, the most difficult moments are always the ones that require patience. Learning is a process that doesn’t happen overnight – something I have to remind myself of all the time when I’m approaching a difficult piece of music or technical challenge!

What is your biggest musical achievement?

As a performer, my biggest achievement to date will be my Italian operatic debut in Italy at the Trentino Music Festival in 2022. Teaching has also been an ongoing achievement to me. Sharing music in such a meaningful way with someone is always significant, no matter how many times you do it!

Favorite thing about teaching?

My favorite thing about teaching is that moment when a student realizes how far they’ve come and how much potential they have. I love it when my students feel proud of the work they’ve done. 

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

My advice is to never forget WHY you’re learning music. Remember what it is that you love, and what you want to say. Technique is the toolset that allows you to do that, but it should always come back to that love of music.

Personal music projects:

I work frequently with the Brooklyn Telemann Chamber Society, and am usually preparing for any number of stage shows and concerts with various opera companies and concert venues.

Up

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