Taylor Ott – Voice Teacher

Taylor Ott
Voice and Ukulele

Taylor Ott


M.M Mannes School of Music, The New School

Classical, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Pop, Theory

I am a singer who has done everything from meticulously prepared opera to growling jazz and rock. My musical philosophy is based around flexibility, understanding our bodies and building that into what we want to say in our music. I love working with people to find their voices in whatever genre they love best with a fun and emotionally aware environment. My students have ranged from professional performers trying to perfect their technique and stretch their artistry, high school students getting ready to audition for colleges to beginners of all ages. 

In Recent years (2019-2021) I was the in-class and virtual educator with the New Orleans Opera where I also performed in many concerts and played Mother/Granny in their touring opera Little Red Riding Hood. I have a Masters of Music from Mannes, in NYC, and was in their prestigious opera program for two years. I have performed, opera, musical theater,  and jazz in NYC, London, Crete, San Francisco, Seattle and New Orleans.  I have always had a great love for different styles and crossing genres and have had to find solid technique to sing healthfully throughout my repertoire. There is no teacher that is more sustainable than yourself and I like to teach with that in mind for all my students. We first learn to trust our teachers, then ourselves, and then we will always have the ability to grow and improve in our ever changing bodies.

When did you begin singing, and why?

I have sung for as long as I remember. My mother was a performer and teacher when I was young and she was my first inspiration, duet partner, and diva competition.

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

I play Ukulele and often accompany myself on it. In 2016-17 I did a project of recorded sight specific songs where I sang and played what reflected the places I traveled to.

What are your personal goals as a musician?

My personal goals surround continuing to push the boundaries of what my art can look like. I want to ask questions about what makes something good, beautiful, effective and how does it connect to the world and to our communities. Pushing myself to keep learning and being open helps me to stay relevant in how I create. 

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

In undergrad I was really struggling with French and I had a coach that was insistent that my voice was perfect for the repertoire so I needed to improve. I remember working daily, often through tears, trying to understand the vowel shapes and elisions and feeling tortured by it. However, by the end of that year it was my best language and it is still my favorite to sing in.

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

A teacher Wendy Eathorn, used to talk about the motion of breath to singing as a wheel and I still find that to be a useful visual for students. 

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument

When you are a singer, your body is your instrument, and therefore very close to your identity. I think one of the most challenging things to learn is how to separate those ideas so that you can work critically on your technique while still being kind and positive to yourself.

What is your biggest musical achievement?

In 2018 I did something I never thought I could do. I wrote the music and lyrics for a musical called Ghost of a Chance. It was performed at the New Orleans Infringe Festival and I am not sure I have ever been more proud or exhausted by anything in my life.

Favorite thing about teaching?

I love the creativity that students bring to everything I teach. I am so often in awe of how people interpret the work we do, and I am always learning from my students. I love that it is more often than not a symbiotic relationship where we push and pull together learning, changing and growing. 

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

Musical rules are a suggestion.Think of learning as a collaboration and create the music you want to hear in the world.

Personal music projects:

I love to make new versions of classical songs, sometimes by mashing up pop and jazz songs with arias and sometimes by just making new arrangements of them. 

I am also half of a puppet duo called A Puppets life, and of course, I often sing for it. We can be found on social media as @apuppetslife 


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