Teresa is unfortunately not accepting new students at this time. Please contact Teresa if you wish to be placed on the waiting list.
Teresa brings to her students a solid background in technique, language, musicianship, stagecraft and movement. She teaches with enthusiasm, encouragement, and a constantly growing knowledge base as she continues to perform herself.
Teresa has been helping students of all levels gain technical skill, confidence and artistry for more than fifteen years, in her home as well as in various schools and organizations, and many of her students have gone on to pursue performance or education careers. Currently, Head of Voice at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, she also teaches private students from teens to adults, from her home in a suburb just outside of Boston. A long time member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), she also offers master classes, such as her recent work with New England Conservatory Preparatory School students, and Reagle Music Theatre summer camp. She has elsewhere created and taught a specialized "Acting for Singers" class for high school vocalists. Teresa also volunteers on occasion at a nearby preschool and elementary school to present music and movement classes to young children. To learn more about her teaching experience, you can view her curriculum vitae.
Meanwhile, here is a little bit about my philosophy as a voice teacher:
It begins with this simple truth: each student singer is as individual as their own unique voice. I aim to teach to the singer, to meet them where they are, approach them with enthusiasm in the manner to which they most effectively respond, and to challenge them. In order to help them improve their personal experience in making music, I help them establish good technique, practice self-discipline and self-awareness, and to be authentic in their artistic self-expression.
My first responsibility is to impart healthy vocal technique. We start with the fundamentals of classical bel canto: round vowels, an open throat, a lifted soft palate, and, based on my guidance through their own physical feedback, we attempt to achieve that ideal balance between resonant tone and flowing breath. Breath support is, in my opinion, the most important technical skill of all, and should be continuously practiced and refined throughout the life of a singer. When that musculature is well-coordinated with vocal production, it positively relates to quality of tone, pitch intonation, and issues in register transitions, not to mention posture, breath efficiency, effective musical phrasing, diction and dynamic control.
I instruct my students in the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system as it relates to the voice, present physical exercises to help identify the support muscles, and introduce specific vocalises in preparation for applying those concepts to the repertoire. I am also very deliberate in addressing muscular tensions. A singer may possess a bad habit, such as clenching their jaw, an unhelpful strain that gives a false sense of support and control. When we free those tensions, and redirect the energy of that instinct to the larger muscle groups of the abdomen and lower trunk, they ultimately find their voices more ‘connected,’ certainly freer, and much more authentically supported. (This is one of my favorite ways to focus on the positive: eliminating a bad habit not by admonishing it, but instead, by replacing the bad habit with a stronger, good one; e.g. a tight jaw is replaced ultimately by better breath support, which allows the jaw to relax.) Throughout, I stress the importance of the process versus the result, and that process requires time, diligence and patience.
Technique, of course, goes beyond vocal function. A good singer also affects an audience, and in the case of the classically trained singer, through non-native languages. It is crucial to cover elements of structure, style, diction, phrasing, interpretation, dramatic motivation and intention, or else the singer has no real hope of communicating effectively. Having been fortunate to have had an excellent education in French, Italian and German, as well as acting, piano and dance training, I truly enjoy coaching my students through their repertoire and performance. Depending on the piece, in the early stages I may generate pronunciation handouts, introduce basic grammatical constructs and rules, or provide recordings or other resources. We work on technique, music, diction and character throughout. And in the final stages of performance preparedness, we fine-tune concepts emotion and intention, through the use of staging, movement and acting exercises, until the singer is freed to communicate authentically from the heart.
In addition to technique, language, musicality, and expressivity, I discuss my students’ practice habits, challenges and goals. I hope to impart tools they can take home, since in between lessons they must be their own eyes and ears, and I stress the importance of practice. Throughout all areas, I strive to maintain a positive approach, to be encouraging while challenging. I tend to see and hear the good in my students, the potential for improvement in even the most amateur. It is extremely rewarding when, through the course of our work together, the student overcomes obstacles, discovers their own strengths, and improves on them. They gain true confidence from this process. My valuable job is to dedicate myself to a student inspired to sing, equip them to do it well, and support them throughout the challenges of improvement. We must continue to learn and grow, and it is my belief that we must also all do our part to put a little more beauty in the world.