Traditional Study for Children through Adults
Promotes healthy use of your instrument

Whether you are a beginner, solo singer, member of a choir, or would like to participate in your school’s musical, our private voice lesson program is wonderful for aspiring/developing singers and their individual goals. Our voice program is designed to increase vocal flexibility and range and develop beautiful tone that will last a lifetime.

Students will advance musically, learn to sing at sight and train their ear. The material used in our sessions is specifically based on age and each student’s particular stage of advancement. Lessons include proper technique instruction, relaxed breathing, posture, and diction/vowel formation, as well as clarity of speech, economy of breath, and proper articulation. Focus on proper breathing technique helps reduce stress and relaxes the performer, developing confidence in both musical performances and other areas (such as public speaking, etc.).

Our voice ensemble program is designed to help students learn about vocal color, harmony, and blend. Built into the private lesson program, it encourages students to work together as a team building camaraderie, confidence, and a supportive attitude towards other singers. Since it is a smaller scale than singing in a choir, students are able to use their solo voices in a free and healthy manner while blending with others.

Recommended session duration:
Young Children ages 5-7 and Beginning Adults: 30/45 minutes, Youth ages 8-14: 45 minutes, High School Students/Advancing Adults: 45/60 minutes.

What age should students begin voice lessons?
The right age to start music lessons is when the child starts to show an interest in music. In the past, there was a misconception that teaching children’s voices was dangerous. Our lessons for children are designed to keep unchanged treble voices healthy by staying within a child’s natural range and lung capacity and focusing on healthy head voice singing, relaxed breathing, appropriate repertoire, music reading skills and ear training.  Vocal training can greatly benefit students experiencing challenges with shyness and stage fright, and may help students with special needs.

2016-17
Winter Art
Classes and Workshops

Our Voice Faculty

Instructors on our faculty have outstanding credentials and years of performing and teaching experience. We offer the best in classical/traditional teaching while including repertoire in many different styles of music.

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Kirsten Fyr-Searcy

Voice Instructor

Bio

Kirsten Fyr-Searcy, contralto, is a current performing member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, singing under today’s most prominent conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, James Conlon, Pierre Boulez, and Bernard Haitink. Kirsten studied voice with Robert Orth, Theresa Brancaccio, Loretta Robinson and Amy Cofield Williamson, all of whom are active performers of opera, oratorio and art songs throughout the United States and abroad. In addition, she worked with mentor Wishart Bell, studying pedagogy and conducting as well as having coaching with Dr. Bell during her singing and teaching career.

Kirsten has sung the alto solos in Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Magnificat, St. Matthew and St. John Passions, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Mass in C Major and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Song cycles performed include Vier ernste Gesänge (Brahms), 12 Poems of Emily Dickinson (Copland), Poème d’un jour (Fauré), Rückert Lieder (Mahler) and Wesendonck Lieder (Wagner) as well as many motets, cantatas and sacred concertos including Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Vivaldi’s Salve Regina, and the alto solo cantatas of J.S. Bach.

In addition to singing with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Kirsten sings professionally with Chorus Angelorum of Northwest Indiana and has sung with the South Bend Chamber Singers, South Bend Symphonic Choir, Vesper Chorale and Schola Cantorum.

Kirsten believes in bringing the best of her performing experiences to her students. She has nearly 15 years of experience teaching private and group lessons for all ages. By following classical principles of correct singing, she has taught her students to sing well in many styles including classical, early music, Broadway, jazz, folk and rock. She is also a founding teacher in the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program.

Kirsten’s unique private voice lesson program includes ensemble singing, harmony, ear training and sight singing. Utilizing the Kódaly method of tonic sol-fa and rhythmic syllables, she is highly successful in teaching students to match pitch and develop a keen ear. With a firm belief that anyone can learn to sing, Kirsten motivates all of her students and instills confidence.

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Zachary Goforth

Drums, Bass, Voice Instructor

Bio

Zach Goforth is a multi-instrumentalist from Aurora, IL.  He received a B.A. in Music Performance from Trinity Christian College, with focus on vocal and percussion studies. Zach has played and taught professionally for over 15 years. As a drummer, Zach has been hired to play at many youth camps, youth conferences, church music conferences, and regularly for various churches.  Zach has done five tours of the U.S., smaller tours to Nashville and New York City, and continues to do live and recording session work in the Chicagoland area.

Since 2003, Zach has also worked as the Student Music Director for various churches including Community Christian Church in Montgomery and Naperville, IL, working with Jr. High and High School students.  Zach brings his many years of experience as professional performer and working alongside youth into his private lessons.

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Kim Obert

Piano, Voice Instructor

Bio

Kim Obert graduated from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor’s degree in music. She has been teaching piano lessons, voice lessons and general music for over 20 years. In addition to teaching voice and piano at the Fox River Academy of Music and Art, Kim is currently the principal accompanist for the Dolce, Treble, and Lyric choirs of Young Naperville Singers, music director at the Kensington School of Naperville, and has been a piano accompanist for School District 308 for almost 10 years. She also serves as a worship leader at her church.