My availability changes from time to time. I am generally teaching after 2:30PM Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I follow the Gwinnett County School schedule. I will post all holidays and other conflicts in the calendar.
SUMMER 2017: I have some openings for the summer that I'm not releasing in the availability calendar. Some of these time slots are tentatively reserved for students that plan to take the summer off and return in the fall. Send time requests through the Ask a Question feature or through Take Lessons staff.
Mary Frances teaches exclusively from her home studio.
Mary Frances has been teaching voice since 1987. She works with youth and adults, beginner and advanced. She helps voice students develop a natural, healthy, beautiful sound, proper placement and projectio
n of the voice for singing and speaking. Her goal is to help singers gain fulfillment and joy while improving their art. She believes music should be fun and rewarding.
VOICE STUDENTS of hers have won university placement and scholarships and have been accepted into Allstate Chorus for High School in Georgia.
She also teaches PIANO. She has taught piano for about 10 years. She studied piano privately for 10 years and had further study at Indiana University.
Students wishing to have any COMBINATION of piano, music theory, sight reading and/or vocal development can receive a program of study that meets their individual needs.
Mary Frances has performed with the Southeastern Savoyards Light Opera Company, the Atlanta Opera Chorus and Studio, the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Marietta Theater in the Square, and Neighborhood Playhouse. She has sung title roles in Patience, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. Other roles include Josephine in HMS Pinafore, the Princess in The Student Prince, and Connie in The 1940's Radio Hour.
She has performed many roles with Capitol City Opera Company (CCOC) including Annina in The Saint of Bleecker Street, Bastienne in Mozart's Bastien and Bastienne, Nora in Vaughan Williams' Rider's to the Sea, and Gilda in Milton Granger's Talk Opera. She sang for many years in CCOC's school outreach program. She has sung many concerts for CCOC as well.
Mary Frances was a soloist in Handel's Messiah for Peachtree Presbyterian Church. She has worked as the soloist at The First Church of Christ Scientist in Roswell, Georgia and at The Second Church of Christ Scientist in Sandy Springs, Georgia ( This church has now closed). She occasionally directs and sings in the choir, and substitutes for the cantorial soloist at Congregation Dor Tamid in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Mary Frances holds a bachelors degree from Indiana University School of Music in both Voice and Theater. Mary Frances was a long time student of Elizabeth Colson (now deceased) of Atlanta, Georgia. She has attended Brevard Music Center, The Georgia State Opera Workshop and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. While in Graz, Mary Frances was a finalist in the Meistersinger competition.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LESSON LENGTH:
Voice students: 30 minutes for young students up to 5th grade. 45 minutes for young students in Middle School and some 5th graders. 45 or 60 minutes preferred for high school students and adults. Piano students: 30 minutes for most beginners of any age. 45 minutes for young intermediate level and adult students.
TEACHING STYLE AND CURRICULUM:
ALL: My teaching style is relaxed yet progressive. I use positive reinforcement to encourage progress with adults and children. Students are allowed to progress at their own pace which varies with age, coordination, processing speed and previous exposure to musical education.
PIANO: I prefer the Alfred's Basic Piano Library series for my piano students. I find that my students learn more music theory and music reading with this series. If the student has started lessons in a different series, I can work with that as well. I have a large music library that provides a wide selection of music in addition to the Alfred books. I expect most beginning students to learn basic music reading and theory in 3 to 6 months. They should also to be able to play simple tunes in that time. I am an active professional singer, so I have a large library of vocal material at my disposal.
All piano students are REQUIRED to have an instrument to practice on at home. The piano MUST HAVE AT MINIMUM:
IF Digital - 88 full sized, weighted keys with polyphonic sound ( at least 10 keys should be able to sound at at the same time) and a sustain pedal,
OR - If Accoustic - maintained and properly tuned.
VOICE: I begin my voice lessons with breathing techniques and vocal placement using widely accepted exercises coming from a large body of sources such as:
Vaccai, professional level vocal teachers, coaches and directors that I have worked with and learned from over the last 30 years, and the writings of highly acclaimed authors in the vocal field. I also have a wide selection of art song books, oratorio, musical theatre, and opera. My background is classical and musical theatre, but I believe all styles of singing need the basic skills of breathing and vocal placement. I strive to keep voices healthy as well as find each student's most beautiful sound. Most students will see progress in breath control, range, projection and diction in 3 to 6 months.
Repertoire is chosen on an individual basis depending both physical and musical ability. Younger students and beginners will be encouraged to not push their voices with material that is too difficult for their individual abilities because singing requires a certain amount of physical endurance. My goal is to find each student's natural sound without strain for whatever style he or she
Voice students are encouraged to bring a recording device to lessons to use for later practice and study.
STUDIO EQUIPMENT AND LIBRARY:
Piano, Computer with Internet Access, Library of Music and Reference Materials (Sample Listing): Alfred's Basic Piano Library Books Twenty-Four Italian Songs and Arias, Medium High and Medium Low Voice; Schirmer Sing at First Sight; Alfred Basics of Singing by Jan Schmidt; Schirmer Many Soprano Collections of Arias, Oratorio, Sacred, and Art Songs from Schirmer Several Broadway Music Collections from Hal Leonard Discover Your Voice by Oren Brown Training the Speaking Voice by Virgil Anderson International Phonetic Alphabet for Singers by Wall Dynamics of the Singing Voice by Meribeth Bunch Classical Singer Magazine Subscription Journal of Singing, The Official Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing,Inc.Subscription
I am classically trained bel canto voice teacher, but I can work with broadway and pop styles. I teach sight singing for students pursuing auditions for All State Chorus and College entrance, etc. I use the Alfred Basic Piano Series for Piano students
My teaching experience dates back to my University days. I was in my first year of my music degree when I applied for my first teaching position at a music school in Australia. I taught there throughout the Four years of my Bachelor's Degree and remained teaching
there after that. I also started teaching at another well respected music school and remained there until the end of 2010. During this time I was very fortunate to have a large database of students who were with me from the beginning of my teaching career up until I left both schools. The only reason I left was as I am also a performer; I was offered an opportunity to perform overseas and i took it. It was a very exciting part of my life as a performer and has helped me grow as an artist and teacher immensely.
In 2012, I relocated to Miami and have been teaching from my private home studio while I continue working on my music career. As a musician and educator, I am very passionate about my teaching and like to bring the best out in my students. Every lesson is tailored specifically to your individual learning needs. I will teach you a vocal technique based on the Seth Riggs Teaching method with my own methods implemented, performance skills, repertoire selection, and audition preparation amongst other skills. It doesn't matter what your desired goal is, I can help you achieve it. The most important part of it all is that you have fun!!
And for piano I like to teach through a series of books depending on your learning levels. We can start at book one, with scales from the book A Dozen a Day, or we can take the the more traditional route of scales, or learn popular songs. This decision can be made by you and I when we meet at our first lesson and discuss what your goals are as a musician.
*** Lesson Details ***
Every lesson is tailored to your individual learning levels. I normally asses this in the first lesson. Lets start with the Singers.
Most singers are looking for help with contemporary popular music so using specific texts are void here. I will teach you a method of singing technique based on the Seth Riggs singing method, implemented with a technique called "Emotion Centered Singing" which will help you understand music beyond melody and composition but also through text and individual interpretation through story telling customed to your needs. I also teach Musical Theatre Singing, pop, rock, jazz, so if these are routes you would like to take, I can help you on your way there. I will help you choose repertoire for auditions, performances, we will work on performance and audition technique and many more fun things!!!
For the Pianists. This also depends on what you want to get out of your lessons. Do you want to learn pop songs? arrangements? Or do you want to learn classical pieces? I ask you all these questions and more at our first lesson to make sure you and I are both happy with the direction we will take. I use either Scale Books or The Dozen a Day Series or the ABRSM Piano series, Alfred's Adult Piano book and many more. Once again the important factor here is Fun based learning!
*** Studio Equipment ***
I provide a full size digital weighted piano for all Lessons, it has various different sounds and a great grand piano sound for piano students. Printer for any homework given, and stationery
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide some books for learning and make copies accordingly. The student should have a working piano/keyboard in the home. If i request they purchase a book for their learning development, they are required to purchase it.
*** Specialties ***
For Singing- I teach a method called Speech Level Singing. Similar to the Seth Riggs Speech level singing as well as a technique called Emotion centered singing which deals with connecting with the song and feeling the connection through the core. This is useful for performance and interpretation. I specialize in teaching, Pop, RnB, Musical Theatre, Rock and Folk
For Piano, I use a variety a books. I particularly like the Alfred's series as well as the Bastien Series. I also like to encourage other learning materials for holidays which is lots of fun!! This depends on the students learning level. I asses learning levels in the first lesson and plan lessons accordingly after that in order to have the student progress each week. I teach classical piano and contemporary, pop