My parents are both musicians so it was just meant to be :) I remember wanting to be an opera singer from the time I could talk. There was always music around our house, whether on the stereo or my parents practicing. I was always singingalong with everything. When I was 11 my parents opened Arbor Music and there was a wonderful Bluegrass community that took my whole family in and helped all four of us to play bluegrass together. I took up mandolin to keep my hands busy while I sang and decided that I wanted to be the next Allison Krauss. That lasted until I started taking formal voice lessons at 15. Singing bluegrass kept me from singing things that were too big for me. Once I was old enough to take lessons everything just fell into place. I got to be part of Houston Grand Opera High School Voice Studio and went on to graduate from Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a degree in Vocal Performance. Playing violin, mandolin, and piano all helped me become the singer and musician I am today.
If I had to say a specific style it would be classical and jazz. I love getting into the characters and stories of the operas I sing. There is a great deal of depth in classical music that is so satisfying. But really I just like singing!
My favorite opera singers of all time are Jessye Norman and Anna Moffo. Two very different voices, but they share so much passion and finesse. I would sing Mozart all day every day, if I could. He has such fun with notes :)
My piano teacher, Terrie Fleming, started teaching me how to teach when I was 16. I think she just knew I was a teacher. I think she must have been right ;) because it is so fulfilling! I really like being part of my students lives. Getting to watch them grow as people and musicians is so much fun.
In lessons I try to find the one thing that will keep my students excited about their voices and music. My studio is a space where we play with the instruments we have been given. Playing is much more fun than practicing :)
I remind my students that the voice is a very complicated instrument and everything we work on takes time. If they get frustrated we just look for another way to do the same thing. It is all about tricking the body into doing what we want it to do. I mix vocal technique into learning music so that it doesn't feel like we are only working on technique.
I would be a pink magnolia tree.