1. What is your greatest passion or joy as a singer, voice teacher, or vocal professional?
As a singer, I would say that my biggest joy comes from being a part of something that serves my community. I have participated in fundraisers over the past few years as a solo singer and part of a choir to raise money for the Pregnancy care Centre and for the "Make a Move with Jagger Foundation." which is committed to facilitating the inclusion and independence of individuals with special needs in our community. I also love bringing music to the older people and watching them connect with some of their favourite songs. I just love singing it makes me feel happy and joyous inside and most of all I feel free!
As a Voice Teacher, I am passionate about helping my students with whatever it is they are needing. I really love spending time with my students and my lessons are generally productive and fun. I also enjoy assisting other voice teachers who have done everything they know to do but are not getting the results they were hoping for. Its fun to see students having breakthroughs in their own singing, hitting notes that they couldn't before and then being surprised at their own achievements. Watching the confidence in my students grow, it truly is very heartwarming.
3. What is an interesting or funny fact about you?
I love meeting new people, Enjoy new experiences.
I am constantly engaging in new learning opportunities and spiritual development. My most recent adventure has been discovering the world of Voice Overs.
4. What led you to the NYVC Voice Teacher Training & Certification Program?
I have always been interested in the voice and how it all works. I wanted to be a better voice teacher and felt like I needed to learn how to "teach voice". I was already a singer and had plenty of training and experience, but felt like I was actually lacking the knowledge of "how to" teach effectively. I watched many of Justin Stoney's teaching videos on YouTube and instantly connected with him and felt like I could learn a lot from him, so I checked out his website and came across the NYVC Voice Teacher Training and Certification Program. I arranged a consultation with Justin to
discuss the opportunity to attend the next Training session. I registered shortly afterwards and this has proven to be a very wise decision that has been beneficial to me personally and professionally. Very grateful indeed.
5. What was your experience in the NYVC Voice Teacher Training & Certification Program?
My experience in the NYVC Voice Teacher Training & Certification Program was amazing and life changing. I took the classes on line but felt just as involved as the people sitting in the room. Justin was always engaging, ready to answer any questions any one had and no question was dumb. I asked a lot. He was and is very knowledgeable about the voice and the fact that he continues to learn encourages me to keep learning and growing. I really liked that Justin would bring in students to demonstrate how to teach and of course each student had their own set of challenges, so it was very helpful for me to watch the whole process. I had the opportunity to fly to New York to complete the program and meet Justin in person. He made me feel very welcome and comfortable especially when I had to teach a student in front of him. He patiently observed my instructions and graciously offered me encouragement and valuable feedback. Justin has continued to make himself available to assist in any way he can.
I often replay the course and continue to learn from each session, each time I hear the information, it's like golden nuggets dropping into my brain. Taking this course has definitely given me a lot of confidence to teach and really know what I am doing.
Justin is also an amazing voice teacher and I love having lessons with him, he has helped me tremendously.
The friendships I have acquired throughout my training has been amazing also. It's good to be around like minded people who are willing to help out the best they can.
6. What advice would you give to future participants of the Program?
Sit and soak in as much as you can, ask as many questions, write lots of notes and keep listening to the videos even after the course is over.
7. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an artist, teacher, or vocal professional?
I think the biggest challenge for me has been the lockdown. I had quite a steady stream of students, a mini choir, and all that came to a halt. I had to learn how to teach online. Many of my students didn't feel comfortable having lessons online so they didn't continue. People were running into financial problems and so they just couldn't afford lessons. I found this very difficult.
Today, I am happy to say, I actually love teaching online.
8. What was your greatest victory ever as an artist, teacher, or vocal professional
The biggest victory moment for me this year was just recently actually. My friend who is a singing teacher in a different city had approached me regarding one of her new students. This student had a really nice voice with some great tones, but was straining so badly. She performed for the Kawanis Music Festival and the adjudicator told her that she was damaging her voice and needed lessons with a classically trained singer. We arranged a zoom call and together we came up with a really good exercise plan for her. This student asked for the zoom recording, went home and worked diligently all summer long, working on her head voice and lighter mix. This year she performed for the Music festival and received several awards and prizes. She also took a voice exam with Conservatory of Canada and received first class honors. She was commended for her sweet and warm tones, beautiful legato lines and a wonderful blend of the registers (chest mix and head mix). She did a phenomenal job. This was a perfect example of a teacher and an enthusiatic student who just wanted to do well and was willing to learn and practice. I was thrilled to bits and was encouraged.
9. What is one piece of advice that you would love all singers to know?
Be your authentic self, be open to trying new and different genres of music. Most of all, don’t compare yourself to others.
10. What is something you've learned on your journey that you would love other vocal professionals to know?
Find out what the student's needs are, their goals, and work with that. Gently guide and encourage them to do the very best. Create an environment of fun and laughter and creativity.
11. How can we find out more about you and your work?
I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.