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Rachel Weisbart – Voice, Piano, Flute Teachers

Voice, Piano, Flute, Songwriting
B.M in Musical Theatre

Oklahoma City University
Advanced Voice: Classical, Musical Theatre, Contemporary

I teach Voice, Piano, Flute. I am a singer/songwriter based in Philly. I am a classically trained singer who loves to jam out to classic rock, belt music theatre at the top of my lungs, and chill out with a Joni Mitchell tune, all utilizing the same techniques. I believe that a healthy vocal technique allows a singer to perform virtually any style, and I want to share with my students the freedom that comes with being able to sing all the music they love! I also know that some students find the joy of singing through the creative process of writing original music. I love to help students develop musical ideas, express themselves in lyrics, and learn to write in ways that make their voices shine. 

I’ve been around music my entire life. I grew up with musical parents who enrolled me in numerous musical programs and came to every performance. I was a singer in the Metropolitan Opera Children’s chorus as a kid, where I learned the foundations of my technique. At French Woods performing arts camp, I found a deep love of music theatre that I took with me to college at Oklahoma City University, where I got my B.M. in Music Theatre. I studied voice with the great Dr. Courtney Crouse, who taught me that any style of singing was available to me if I was willing to roll up my sleeves and build myself a solid vocal technique. Exploring my own vocal abilities gave me the confidence to follow another big dream: songwriting. I was a participant in the 2020 Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriter’s Project, where I began to dive head first into the world of songwriting. I’ve written music since I was an emotional teenager, but I never felt like I could call myself a songwriter until I worked with some teachers who believed in what I was doing and helped me find my path. With my partner in my duo The Gender Gnomes, I am now beginning the process of recording a full length album of original folky jazz-pop tunes!

When did you begin singing, and why?:
My parents claim I was born singing. They’re both musicians, and growing up in a household filled with music taught me to be a kinder and more creative person. Music brings people together; once I learned that, I was hooked!

What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?:
I play enough piano to jam out to my favorite Carole King tunes and write my own music (maybe without quite as much piano flair as Carole’s). I also play the flute pretty well- once a band nerd, always a band nerd!

What are your personal goals as a musician?:
My goal as a musician is to stay true to who I am and what I love to do. The music world is full of differing opinions and ideas, but as long as I’m doing what I do, the way I do it, I’ll feel successful.
 
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?:
My voice teacher, whom I’ve worked with since college, loves to remind me that in a lesson during my senior year I threw myself to the floor dramatically because singing had gotten too easy!

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:
My first teachers of music were my parents, and my mom always used to get on my case about imitating other singers. I wanted to sound just like Avril Lavigne, Canadian accent and all. Years later, I know this was the best advice she could have given me. I now firmly believe that each singer’s unique voice is their greatest asset!

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:
I was cast as a lead in an opera my sophomore year of college. I was the youngest cast member, and one of very few music theatre majors in a room full of opera majors. I almost cried while singing my aria for the first in front of the rest of the cast because I was so nervous about making a mistake. Learning to trust my training and be down with making a mistake or two along the way was super important for me.

What is your biggest musical achievement?:
There are plenty of “on paper” achievements I am proud of; performances I’ve given and projects I’ve completed. But to me, my biggest achievement has been learning to love my voice. To sing like me and not like anyone else, and to believe I have a voice worth hearing.

Favorite thing about teaching?:
My favorite thing about teaching is watching a student find their voice and their musical confidence. Music is a gift that is available to everyone, and helping a student find where they fit in the world of music is a joy!

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:
For young singers specifically, I wish someone would have told me when I was young that if it hurts, it’s wrong! Singing should never be painful, and there’s a healthy way to sing in any style.

Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc. (if any):
My musical duo is called The Gender Gnomes, we’re on all the streaming platforms.