Voice, Ear Training & Theory
I teach Voice. I’m a vocalist and multi-disciplinary theater artist. I’m new to Philadelphia, having recently completed the coursework for my D.M.A. in Voice Performance at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Prior to that, I did my M.M. in Contemporary Music Performance at Boston Conservatory, and my B.M. in Voice Performance at DePaul University in Chicago. As a performer, I’ve specialized in opera and new music—and I get to combine the two with my opera company, Strange Trace! I love collaborating with composers to bring new music to life. Some of my favorite roles I’ve performed in traditional opera have been Olin Blitch in Susanna and Leporello in Don Giovanni, and in Baltimore I had the pleasure of premiering the role of Mr. Darcy in Kirke Mecham’s Pride and Prejudice.
I’ve always approached music and theater with a learning mindset, and teaching is a natural extension of that—as a teacher I’m here to help you discover what it means to learn. Voice lessons are where we get to investigate, experiment, and play. I’ve taught voice at Boston Arts Academy as well as Boston Conservatory’s summer Voice/Choral Intensive, where I also taught classes in music theory, ear training, and diction. While at Peabody, I taught a theatrical-based workshop on creating performance art pieces for solo voice, and this past year I led a virtual Meisner technique class. For singers, I believe there’s a multitude of modes of expression, and our work together in the voice studio is to establish your goals and learn what it means for you and your unique voice to make the music you love in a healthy, free manner.
In addition to the foundation of healthy, flexible vocal technique, I love to incorporate a variety of performance skills in lessons—music theory and ear training, language and diction, acting and stagecraft, history and performance practice, and improvisation and experimentation are all what make the voice a truly special instrument!
When did you begin singing, and why?
I’ve loved to sing for as long as I can remember—I can still sing the little ditty I wrote about an elephant when I was about four years old—but I really started to consider singing as a learning-based pursuit when I started taking voice lessons in high school. That’s when I realized that I could take this fun thing and use it intentionally as an art and a form of expression.
What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
I played the clarinet and tenor saxophone in my school band when I was younger, and from time to time I still break out my clarinet—mostly just for fun at home, although I did recently record a clarinet part for a filmed show with my opera company, Strange Trace.
What are your personal goals as a musician?
I’d like to grow my teaching practice and eventually create and run a devised opera theater collective.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?
I can remember the EXACT moment I was sitting in elementary school band and realized how dividing and grouping beats into rhythm and meter actually worked. It was such an “aha!” moment that showed me how to take something on the page and figure it out all on my own.
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?
Try to seek out as many new experiences as you can, because you never know where you might learn something.
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument
During my undergrad, I was selected to sing one of the voice parts in Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia, which is one my all-time favorite pieces, but before that, I had never seen a score that looked anything like it! It was a really daunting challenge, but the process of deciphering the musical notation began my love of modern and contemporary repertoire. To this day, it’s greatly impacted how I approach learning music.
What is your biggest musical achievement?
For one of my doctoral recitals, I programmed an entire hour-long concert of works for unaccompanied voice, so it was just me onstage alone, including several works that I had written. People don’t always think of voice as a truly solo instrument, but we really do have everything we need right here in our own bodies!
Favorite thing about teaching?
I love seeing my students try something new. I’m very big on experimentation and play, and lessons are a great space to get creative and surprise yourself.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
Find the fun. Even when you’re working hard, or having trouble with a concept, allowing yourself to enjoy the process is key.
Personal music projects:
I help run a small opera company called Strange Trace. You can check us out online at strangetrace.org, where you can see some of our productions!