Lessons and Coaching

 

Piano lessons aim to connect with student interests while building a strong musical foundation in rhythm, note-reading, sighteading and technique. Beginners generally journey with the Alfred, Bastien,  Faber or Celebration Series.  Royal Conservatory of Music or B.C. Conservatory of Music, grades one through ten, are for students wishing to pursue classical repertoire, festivals and examinations.  Studies in other  styles is encouraged through regular monthly workshops highlighting jazz, improvisation and other topics. Students interested in jazz generally use the Christopher Norton series, as well as books by Lee Evans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music theory courses in all levels are taught on an individual basis, or in group classes where needed.  Basic theory is covered in piano and voice lessons.  Grade 1 and 2 rudiments, Grade 3 History and Harmony, Grade 4 History and Counterpoint, and Grade 5 History and Analysis are offered as in more specific formats and lessons.

I offer coaching to target specific goals for young and mature students including:

  • RCM examinations

  • high school matriculation

  • audition preparation

  • performance coaching

  • student-teacher track

  • musicianship

  • Group Singspiration © Van Dyke 2006

  • vocal and choral workshops

 

Target Skills Development:

 

  • sight reading and ear training

  • piano and vocal technique

  • playing from chord charts

  • ornamentation and improvisation

  • composing and song writing

  • accompanying yourself singing           

  • small ensembles

  • memorization techniques

  • overcoming performance anxiety

  • body awareness

  • rehabilitating voices

  • musical history

  • harmonic analysis

  • aesthetics

 

Piano

  • a pianist plays music as far as his or her technique allows

  • good technique is ergonomically smart piano playing under all musical circumstances

  • learning music is like learning a language - first you listen, then speak, then read, and finally write

  • beginners →  discover the keyboard, hand-eye coordination, finger independence,  rhythmic imitation, pitch recognition, play from models, perform simple duets, read notes

  • intermediate → develop knowledge of musical styles such as blues, jazz, Baroque, Classical, Romantic,  ensemble playing, composers, repertoire, developing technique, sight reading, ear training, composing

  • advanced → master longer more structured works (solo or ensemble),  such as sonatas, suites, preludes, fugues, concerto, rhapsodies and variations, complete technique, improvisation, composition

  • in addition to lessons → workshops, recitals, festivals, exams - beginners participate in workshops,  recitals and festivals; intermediate and advanced students  take advantage of festivals, and exams to a greater degree.  These activities serve to build a musical community within Angel Music Studios and beyond.

 

 

 

 

Piano Theory

  • validates piano grade level for the purpose of high school credits and academic pathways

  • helps students to analyze their music and plan for best practice strategies

  • promotes sight reading, ear training and improvisation skills

  • holds the key for students to not merely consume music, but to understand and write their own

  • embedded into lessons up to grade 5 RCM

  • special course books required from levels 6-ARCT, beginning with Grade 1  and 2 Theory through to Grade 3 Harmony and History, Grade 4 History and Counterpoint and Grade Five History, Harmony and Analysis.

 

 

 

 

Voice

  • anyone can learn to sing acceptably; most people can learn to sing well

  • a few people have the combination of talent, desire and character to achieve greatness.

  • based on experience and research in vocal science, pedagogy and performance

  • based on models of healthy singing through the centuries and a larger frame of reference than only current vocal models

  • the whole vocal system is interrelated; attempts to locally control the vocal organ will take it out of balance

  • singing is athletic and requires muscular strength and agility

  • confidence comes from being able to characterize a particular musical style or role with ease and comfort

  • understanding of self, reality, boundaries, choices, wants and needs is fostered within an  interdependent student and teacher relationship.

Three Fundamental Concepts of Singing:

1) correct alignment and breath management

2) accurate command of vowel formation or phonation

3) appropriate adjustment of the vowel throughout one’s vocal range

 

 

1) Alignment and Breath
  • proper posture and alignment maximizes breathing efficiency; lower abdominal muscles maintain posture for rib expansion, and back muscles expand out and down during inhalation (Roger Fiammetti - Full Breathing Animation)

  • breathing not only fills the lungs, but sets the larynx in the proper position for singing; the effect of incoming air on the larynx is called “tracheal pull” (How the Larynx Produces Sound)

  • the image of “surprise” allows for  good inhalation and a connection to be made within the singer’s experience between a deep breath and a relaxed jaw, which is essential for good phonation (Shore, J. 2014. Maestro Joseph Shore on Breathing During Singing.)

  • vocal coaching trains the mind to conceive of the musical sounds and phrase required;  from this the breath cues the whole vocal neuromuscular system
     

2) Vowel Command and Phonation
  • breathing and phonation happen instantaneously as cortically controlled reflexes over respiratory musculature and pre-phonatory tuning of of laryngeal muscles become automatic  (Wyke, 1982, p0. 139-140; in Miller, R. 1996. The Structure of Singing: System and Art in Vocal Technique, p. 200)

  • phonation is commanded from the visual cortex to the motor strip in the brain, and then to the articulators

  • pure Italian vowels are easiest for singing; these are similar vowels in Latin, Spanish or Japanese

  • nasalized vowels, such as in French and Portuguese should be learned later

  • English diphthongs and combination vowels need to be treated carefully, as do German umlauts
     

3) Vowel Adjustment
  • an integrated voice aims for a well-balanced sound in all vocal registers

  • the human voice is capable of making various  sounds, qualities, textures, pitches, volume levels and intensities in a free and healthy manner

  • belting is a skill that must be approached with the proper technique (McCoy, S.  2007. A classical pedagogue explores belting. Journal of Singing (63)5, 545-549; Popeil, L. (2007). The multiplicity of belting. Journal of Singing (64) 1, 77-80)

 

 

Music Coaching

  • from a big performance or important audition to simply having the goal of improving your skills, coaching on a lesson-by-lesson basis is available.

  • indivualized techniques and exercises applied to specific problem areas

  • manage performance anxiety

  • practice with visualization techniques

Please click on the service you want more information on

 
 
 

Singing lessons build comfort and facility in your voice through technical exercises and repertoire study.  Regular studio workshops and recital performances compliment more competitive venues such as festivals and exams. 

 

Voice students use an RCM graded book along with supplemental studies in popular styles such as jazz, Broadway, pop and gospel music.  

 

The RCM repertoire song books include a variety of musical styles and time periods set in several languages such as Italian, French, German, Spanish and Japanese, just to name the most common ones. 

Adult singers maintain confidence by developing body awareness and techniques to extend vocal longevity based on voice science. 

From Parents' Perspectives:

 

"I am pleased with my daughter's progress over the years with festival performances, sight reading and composition skills.  Piano practicing and lesson times are never a bore!  What an incredible blessing for us as parents to have our daughter be a part of the Concerto Stars. To know that she was getting an experience of a lifetime and that it would encourage her in her love of the piano was very special to us, let alone the excitement of watching her play on stage with an orchestra! The whole process was very well organized and professionally done. We are very grateful to Angelina and all who were involved in the BCRMTA to make this happen." - Tracey

 

 

 

"When Viduni  (age 12) came to Angel Music Studios she was inspired to become a great pianist.  However, she said she could not do voice, since she did not have the ability to sing. After her encounter with AMS she realized that she had the ability to sing and she has a very good voice.  Now, she loves singing and playing piano. I hope she will have  a good future in her musical journey."

 -Vimukthi

Testimonial
 

TESTIMONIAL

From Voice and Piano Students' Perspectives:

 

"I came to Angel Music Studios when I was 11, and before that I had piano lessons when I was 6, and dreamed of becoming a guitarist.  At Angel Music Studios I started singing lessons and piano lessons. I loved my piano lessons, but struggled with singing. I began to dream of being a great pianist. I played and sang in the Christmas recital and attended all the workshops.  One workshop in April was on musical journeys. This workshop helped me to think about my future.  When I am 18 I want to be an advanced piano student with AMS, and when I am 25, I want to teach piano and be a pianist.  I want my attitude to be free of nerves, to be unconsciously competent in my playing. I especially would like to learn Für Elise on the piano.  I am also enjoying singing more, and my teacher and mom think I have a nice voice."

-Viduni

 

"Thanks for being my teacher.  I've enjoyed all my classes with you." –Jazmin

 

 

"Thank you for teaching me how to enjoy music and praise God with it! It is a joy to be your student!" -Hannah

 

"Thank you for all you do to help me get better in my piano.  I appreciate it!"

 - Rachael

 

"I loved the experience! It was incredible to have the opportunity of playing with an orchestra in front of a large number of people! I learned so much from the auditions, the recitals, and the rehearsals. And having a piece for so many months taught me much about different aspects of the piece and the phases of performance that must be overcome. I am so thankful that God let me be a part of this fantastic event and I hope others will be as thrilled with this opportunity as I have been."

 - Hannah

 

 

TESTIMONIAL

Voice Coaching from an adult student perspective:

 

"I had taken voice lessons from Angelina in 2009-2010 alittle over a year during which I progressed and learned a lot. Due to busy family and work life I stopped lessons at the end of 2010. About late March 2015 I was preparing for 2 solo pieces in my choir' concert. They were pieces I knew well , Mozart's Laudate dominum and Faure's Pie Jesu, deceptively difficult to sing well as I was to find out. With 7 days before the concert date I was in despair as I knew I would embarrass myself and others . It was bad.  In my 4-5 year off lessons I had picked up some bad habits. In desperation I phoned Angelina and begged her to help me even though I had not seen her in over 4 years. Angelina was kind and gracious and generous. I got a crash course and intense coaching in 5 of the 7 days left before the concert. Four days before the concert and two lessons in, I still sucked but was getting a little better. I ploughed on and saw Angelina everyday in the three days leading up to concert day. I worked very hard and improved steadily . On concert day everything went really great! I pulled it off thanks hugely to Angelina."

 - Ursula

 

 

 

“Relating to the world from the inside out is paramount in one’s development, even if one is not a singer.  It is especially necessary that a singer develop his/her independence and self-analysis skills.”

-Jones, David L. (2001).

The Right of Entitlement Singer vs. The Professional Mind.

Angel Music Studios Recitals