Chester County Voices Abroad Assignment

Bill is a seasoned multi-instrumentalist, certified teacher, and former classroom music instructor who has founded and led multiple bands, vocal and instrumental ensembles. His musical journey began years ago – at five years old, Bill managed to pluck out the Star Spangled Banner on the piano by ear, and was immediately signed up for piano lessons. He studied piano throughout his youth, later adding rock guitar and classical guitar lessons. In high school, Bill’s guitar skills grew and he “felt compelled to shred,” so he immersed himself in the music of Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and others, followed by an exploration of classical guitar. At this time, he also began to write his own music, which he continues today, specifically focusing on indie-folk, finger-picking and electronic orchestrations. For his higher education, Bill attended William Paterson University, where he received his Bachelor of Music Management Degree with a concentration in Classical Guitar. He followed this with a Master of Multicultural Education degree from Eastern University, and a K-12 Music Teaching Certification. Bill taught music in PA and DE public schools for over five years, where he taught a variety of music subjects, and also led choirs, stage bands, and a drum line. Bill was formerly a member of the band, Eat Your Birthday Cake, and is currently a freelance studio and stage guitarist, working on multiple projects in DE and PA. In addition to piano and guitar, Bill plays bass, ukulele, mandolin, drums and several string instruments. When not teaching, he enjoys meditating, woodworking, and hiking. Bill teaches guitar, bass, piano and ukulele for the school. 

Elizabeth is an established and respected voice and piano teacher, and also an active, versatile performer in musical theatre, operetta, and opera in the Philadelphia region.

***Teaching Philosophy***
I am a fun, enthusiastic teacher who cares deeply about her students and their growth as musicians and people. I believe teaching works best when students are relaxed, having fun, and are actively engaged in the learning process. It is also important that you practice what we work on during lessons at home if you wish to see real progress. I will work hard along with you and ask for your input during lessons; we are partners in the learning process.

I also believe each student is unique, and take differences in learning style, interests, goals, and personality into account when I teach. Whichever you choose to study (voice, piano, or

both), I tailor lessons to suit each student's needs. I would like to enable you to meet your musical goals, whatever they may be.

***Lesson Details and Recommendations***

Singing voice: I teach classical vocal technique with an emphasis on the body-mind connection. Through the course of my training, I have studied the Alexander Technique, which is a method that has been used by actors, musicians, and athletes to find optimal body-mind coordination to achieve better results. The voice is the only instrument that is literally your body, so we will be using these tools to improve posture, breathing, and resonance. By learning a healthy vocal technique, you can expect improved tone quality, an expanded vocal and dynamic range, greater resonance, increased agility, improved diction, and more. Healthy vocal technique can be applied to any genre, and I teach students who are studying a wide variety of music, but classical and musical theater repertoire is my area of expertise.

Speaking voice: I have had great success helping students who come to me for help with their speaking voices. As the speaking voice and singing voice use the same set of muscles, the same set of functional principles apply. I work with students to improve their posture, breathing, and breath support when speaking, as well as clear diction, better pacing, and conveying emotion and meaning. These tools also lead to increased confidence when speaking.

Piano: I am also an established piano teacher and have had much success teaching beginning and intermediate students from ages 4 to 91 in various styles of music. I believe it is important for students to learn how to read and interpret written music as well as understand the structure behind it, so in addition to learning musical basics, I incorporate music theory into lessons. I encourage my piano students to learn how to read lead sheets and create chord accompaniments as well, which opens the door for comfortably playing in all sorts of styles sooner than would be possible by classical approaches alone. I also work on improvisation and songwriting with my piano students, if desired.

***Lesson Recommendations***
I offer lessons in 30, 45, and 60 minute increments. These are the *minimum* lesson lengths recommended. Longer lessons are more beneficial, except in the case of children with smaller attention spans. A 60 minute lesson is the best choice for serious students (teenagers or adults).

Voice:
Ages Ages 12 and up: 45 minutes

Piano:
Ages Ages 7 and up: 45 minutes

Combination Lesson:
Ages Ages 12 and up: 60 minutes

*Please note: I do not reserve regular lesson times in my schedule for students who cannot commit to weekly lessons. With students who wish to take less frequent lessons, I recommend the flex plan, with lessons to be scheduled as we go at our mutual convenience.

***Educational Background***
Elizabeth holds an M.M. in vocal performance from West Virginia University, where she was featured in numerous WVU Opera Theatre productions and was the soprano soloist with WVU Choirs in Faure's Requiem and Handel's Lord Nelson Mass. While at WVU, Elizabeth resumed taking lessons at the piano, which she had previously studied for many years, and exceeded the piano proficiency level required by the university. She also holds a B.A. in music and international studies from Emory University. Elizabeth has studied and performed internationally, both at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, where she was the recipient of the Lemmonds Scholarship, and at the Bel Canto program in conjunction with L'Arena di Verona opera company in Verona, Italy.

As a graduate assistant at WVU, Elizabeth taught voice lessons to music education and performance majors as well as a course on vocal pedagogy. After graduating, she served as adjunct faculty, in which capacity she taught vocal repertoire and opera theater. She has maintained a private studio since 2005, in which she instructs students in voice and piano. She has also held past teaching positions with the Meridee Winters School of Music and Woodland Country Day School.

***Active, Professional Singer/ Actress***
Elizabeth was most recently seen as Joanie in The Full Monty at Candlelight Theatre in Delaware. Other recent performances include June in Musical of Musicals: The Musical and Peaches/ Baby Jane in Jerry Springer: The Opera with Bootless Stageworks in Wilmington, DE, solo performances with the New Voices Cabaret at the Society Hill Playhouse in Center City, and Woman 2 in My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra with Mainstage Center for the Arts in Blackwood, NJ. She has performed numerous leading roles with Philadelphia area Gilbert and Sullivan companies, most notably appearing as Angelina in Trial by Jury with The Savoy Company, winning Best American Production at the 2011 International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. Her G &S performance credits include the roles of Patience (Patience), Yum-Yum (The Mikado), Rose Maybud (Ruddigore), Phyllis (Iolanthe), and Fiammetta (Gondoliers). Additionally, she has pioneered roles in new operas, including Gwendolyn in The Crowded House at the 2010 Philly Fringe Festival and Zelda in Black Horses with OperaDelaware at the 2009 Wilmington Fringe Festival.

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