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teaching

 

Voice lessons

When I’m teaching, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.  In fact, for three years, I commuted twice a month from Boston to NY just to see my students – and that’s a lot of bus mileage.  If we work together, you’ll have my utmost dedication to your progress and process.

Each of my students is honored and taught as an individual.  I believe that everyone is musical and deserves to explore their potential for discovery and fulfillment through music. The voice is the only instrument we all share to communicate and express in everyday life.  As such, our voices often seem inseparable from our identities. I believe that training both body and mind are equally critical for free expression, and I often include mindfulness practice as a way to nurture this mind-body relationship in lessons.

My studio is a positive and judgment-free space. As a teacher, my goal is to give you a clear understanding of functional voice technique.  Technical concepts such as breath, registration, and resonance are presented simply so you are empowered to teach yourself. As any musician takes their instrument out of the case and puts it together, you know how to put your instrument together and play it – with the ease we find in speaking, and with the authenticity that preserves your unique voice.

 Artistry is just as important to me as technical proficiency.  As your collaborator, I welcome your ideas and will help you express them without inhibition.  Together, we’ll explore text, character, interpretation, and style so you can more deeply connect with music that speaks to you. After all, why else are we doing this?

I’ve taught privately for over a decade, preparing singers for college auditions, theatre productions, NYSSMA, open mics, and personal enjoyment. I’ve taught at CUNY Queens College, University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, Lesley University, the Franklin School of the Performing Arts, and the Miami Conservatory of Music. I continue my own education and creative projects so I can stay current on ways to best help my students.  I believe versatility is one of a singer’s most important skills - and the same can be said for teachers.

Classical, musical theatre, and contemporary styles are all welcome.  Lessons are available in both NYC and Long Island, NY. I look forward to singing together!

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Interested in singing together? Let’s talk! Contact me via the link below, and you can also learn more on my About Me page.

Download my official teaching philosophy below.


Voice TESTIMONIALS

Group teaching TESTIMONIALS

“Elena’s love of teaching is clear from the moment you walk in the room, and is one of the reasons I loved this course, even though I really don’t have any interest in diction.  She is extremely passionate, and her excitement makes the class a fun and accepting place. We are never afraid to ask questions, and the information is presented clearly and concisely. She’s just pretty much awesome.”

-Frost School of Music student, course evaluation

 

“You made this class so much fun, and your enthusiasm makes me want to continue learning this material.”

-Frost School of Music student, course evaluation

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workshops

 
 
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We tell ourselves to pay attention.  We tell ourselves not to be so self-critical.  We tell ourselves to just let things be what they are.  But how often are we actually taught how?

Why MINDFULNESS?

In grad school, I took a peak performance class which taught musicians mental techniques to improve performance - especially mindfulness. I couldn’t believe that in all my years of training, I had never been introduced to something so vital – both to performing and simply living my best.  After years of crippling performance anxiety, mindfulness was the only tool that enabled me to perform with a satisfaction I hadn’t felt in years (and I had tried everything).

 

What IS MINDFULNESS?

Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully paying attention to your present experience without changing your circumstances.  It’s not about clearing your mind, but rather a way to accept whatever you notice without judgment. And it’s free and accessible to everyone: if you can breathe, you can be mindful!

There is a huge body of research that supports the benefits of mindfulness:

For Anyone:

  • reduced stress, anxiety and depression

  • enhanced attentional focus, working memory, creativity, learning gains, problem solving skills, sensory processing

For Musicians:

  • reduced performance anxiety

  • enhanced physical awareness

  • increased focus and improved mindset in practice, lessons, and performance

  • greater enjoyment for performers and listeners alike

*Want sources?  Contact me; the list is staggering!

What I Do

I fervently believe that the mind should be nurtured alongside the voice from the beginning of training.  After all, we warm up our instruments – why not our minds? Mindfulness remains a consistent practice in my teaching, and my doctoral research investigated the effects of formal mindfulness practice in the collegiate voice studio, with results suggesting:

  • an enhanced overall learning experience

  • increase in focus, physical awareness, productivity, and stress management

  • reduction of general and performance anxiety

I currently offer mindfulness workshops for college students, high school students, and teachers.  Together, we discuss what mindfulness is and isn’t, explore a variety of formal and informal practices, and share our reactions in a judgment-free space.  Formal practices include meditations during which we notice our breath, physical sensations, thoughts, feelings, and even sounds. Because individual experiences are unique and valuable to the group, time for for reflection and discussion is incorporated into the workshop.

If you’d like to inquire about booking a workshop for your school or organization, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you and will be happy to answer any questions you have.