I am a native of Grand Rapids, MI, returning to my hometown after earning a Master’s Degree in Voice Performance from Wichita State University. Although it may seem strange that I moved to Kansas to become an opera singer, I was able to work with a prestigious faculty of Metropolitan Opera singers (including Samuel Ramey. Tell your grandma, she may have had a crush on him in the 80’s). At Wichita State, I had a graduate teaching assistantship where I taught private voice lessons and created their first musical theatre voice class. Before beginning my Master’s degree, I had a voice studio in the Grand Rapids area, and also instructed non-music-major voice lessons at Grand Valley State University. Dr. Kathryn Stieler, at GVSU, kindly allowed me to have a yearlong internship with her, where she gave me lessons on...teaching voice lessons!
My love of teaching stems from my somewhat unusual journey as a singer. As a teenager, I did not show a lot of promise, vocally. I had very few successful auditions, and I was not accepted as a voice performance major until my sophomore year of college. However, I had two things to my advantage: a strong work ethic and good teachers. This has shaped my private teaching immensely. I see the potential in every student I have worked with, and I believe that anyone can sing - and sing well.
As a teacher, I work not only to help my students become better singers, musicians, and performers, but also to make lessons a really wonderful experience. It’s my philosophy that I’m not just teaching you a voice lesson. You do not just enter my studio, sing a few notes, get some feedback, and leave. In lessons, it’s my goal to make you into a lifelong lover of singing. I tell my students, “Singing should be fun. When it stops being fun, we have to make some changes.” Lessons with me are a no-judgement zone, a place where you feel comfortable and encouraged to try new things and to make crazy noises. There is a LOT of laughter involved. And, at the end of the day, you become a better singer, too. It’s a win-win!