3542 Fruitvale Ave., PMB 143
Oakland, CA 94602
Students say Ellen is so skilled that she can even get beginner students to sing harmony together on the very first day. Ellen is a jazz singer, choral director and vocal coach with over 30 years of teaching and performing experience. She teaches one-on-one private voice lessons to people of all ages and has choral groups for beginners and advanced singers. Ellen also teaches masters classes at a jazz school in how to perform and how to write your own music. She is known for bringing students together to harmonize and perform together, singing jazz, pop and Broadway tunes. Rehearsals are Wednesdays in Oakland and Thursdays in San Francisco. Beginning Chorus is open to all interested singers and Advanced Choral is by audition. The Swingshift Singers is a singing class in Oakland for women who want music and song in their lives. Visit the website or contact Ellen for full details and fees.
Healthy Vocal Technique
Studio of Victoria Rapanan
Pleasant Hill, CA
(925) 216- 5913
Victoria Rapanan is a soprano zwschenfach, a singer with an extensive range and artistry capable of singing from soprano to mezzo-soprano styles. She has taught voice for over 21 years and has been a performer and student of voice for most of her life. As she says, “a good singer and teacher never stops learning.” Victoria Rapanan inspires her students with her continuing knowledge and experience. Her training in the Swedish/Italian School of Singing has influenced her teaching, and she has studied and apprenticed with renowned Maestro David Jones, International Vocal Pedagogue. Victoria Rapanan has performed roles with many opera companies and has been a featured international soloist in oratorios and concerts in roles too numerous to list. Her background experience is extraordinary. Victoria is an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Diablo Valley College and President of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, San Francisco. She teaches private and group classes from her Pleasant Hill studio, including Vocal Intensive for intermediate to advanced singers, Basics of Good Singing, for beginning to advanced singers, and Basics of Good Singing II. Visit the website or contact the teacher for full details and group class start dates.
2087 Addison St.
Berkeley, CA 94704
The Jazzschool has a lofty aspiration: “to be an internationally recognized preeminent music conservatory dedicated to the study and performance of jazz and related styles of music…” To that end, the school offers virtually something for everyone who loves jazz, music and vocal performance in general. The Jazzschool Music School offers a broad range of classes, workshops and adult camps for vocalists at all ability levels, from the eager novice to the aspiring professional. Classes are offered quarterly with terms running 10 weeks in fall, winter and spring and six weeks in the summer. Workshops are on weekends and cover a range of topics; the numerous camps and intensives meet daily for a week or more. The Jazzschool website is packed with degree program, classes, workshops, camps and intensives outlines plus concerts, calendar and fee information for the various programs available.
Better World School Of Music
22793 Foothill Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94541
The BWSM has a mission to provide students of all ages with the necessary skills needed to enjoy a lifetime of music. The school environment is a nurturing, family-oriented one, where lively qualified instructors train students in voice and an extensive variety of musical instruments. Several BWSM voice teachers are piano teachers as well, and provide the enthusiastic edge that helps get singers excited about learning and growing their voice skills. Private and group classes that cover a range of class choices for children, teens and adults are available. Check the website for family group and monthly tuition discounts, and for group class schedules.
California State University, East Bay
Department of Vocal and Choral Studies
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Music Bldg. 2571
Hayward, CA 94542
If you are thinking of a degree in music, the school’s Department of Vocal and Choral Studies may be the best fit for you. While you need to apply and be admitted to the university and pass a Music Department audition, you will find a wealth of study opportunities at this campus, including choirs and opera workshops. Classes at CSU East Bay provide the instruction qualified students need to become proficient performers and teachers. Opera performance is highlighted here, and from a practical perspective, the department can give students excellent real-life vocal opportunities. According to the department’s website, “There are numerous occasions for solo performance with university choirs, the opera program, studio workshops and day and evening recitals,” in addition to opportunities for student singers “to perform for community organizations, churches and temples in the area.” Visit the CSU East Bay website for all the information and applications you will need.
Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.