In the summer of 2019 I spent ten days in Edmonton at the Opera NUOVA Vocal Arts Festival as an alumni mentor. NUOVA was a formative experience for me as an artist, and I found it to be the same as a teacher. Throughout the intensive program I co-taught over 25 mini-masterclasses (4-6 singers each) and solo taught 35 voice lessons, mostly sopranos and mezzo sopranos. What I discovered, is that I have a passion and aptitude for teaching classical voice, and I’d like to explore that further. I have been accepted into National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and I’m looking to grow further as a pedigog while still maintaining a healthy performing career.
I am now accepting students for private lessons who wish to further their training in the field of classical singing. My specific expertise is in the operatic style and repertoire, but there are many basic principles of singing and breath that apply to all styles. Students will ideally have a reasonable level of vocal training or be part of (or intend to join) an undergraduate or other voice specific program. My studio is located in Varsity, NW Calgary with easy access to Brentwood Station for transit needs. I have a beautiful 1897 Bosendorfer baby grand piano, which I play poorly, however Calgary is home to many wonderful collaborative pianists who will be involved in lessons, recitals, auditions, etc as needed.
My teaching style includes focus on breath support with anatomically accurate intentions, use of resonance for self-amplification of the voice, clarity of vowels, height and space in the pallet, true legato singing, and a connected sound throughout the different registers of the voice. I have been the beneficiary of thousands of hours of training with experts in the field of classical singing, style, accompaniment, Italian/German/French/Russian/Czech diction, operatic repertoire and acting. Much of my training came from the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio and the time spent observing professional singers, conductors and teachers. Some of my most recent teachers include Welsh baritone Jason Howard, current Head of Voice at University of Toronto Wendy Nielsen, and Canadian baritone and UBC Faculty member Peter Barcza, among many other wonderful teachers, coaches and conductors.
If you’re interested in taking a trial lesson, or setting up a masterclass, audition prep, or mentorship session, or just chatting more about options, please contact me.
You can view my NATS member profile here: https://www.nats.org/cgi/page.cgi/_membership.html/694992-Neil-Craighead