University of Southern California, B.M. in Classical Voice/Opera
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, concentration in Classical Voice/Opera
What’s the most rewarding part of being an educator?
Teaching allows me to share my love for music with others. Singing is often portrayed as a skill that you are born with, when in reality everyone can be taught.
It’s part of human nature to bring our voices together in song, and there isn’t a single culture around the world that doesn’t sing.
Unfortunately, many people are told either implicitly or explicitly that “they don’t have it.” My mission as a teacher is to break that misconception and welcome as many people into music as I possibly can.
What are the most common areas you see your students struggling in? How do you help them in those areas?
Students tend to judge their voice by how they hear themselves, but the voice we hear when we talk or sing is not what it sounds like to others. Over time, the best singers learn to hone in on the bodily sensation of singing.
But, focusing on small adjustments, like in the tongue or jaw, and excess tension in the body is hard and requires practice and hard work.
Sometimes the work gets ugly and you crack or run out of air or go flat, but these things are part of learning your own voice and acquainting yourself with those minute bodily stimuli.
I try to give my students this advice: be confident in your sound; be confident in your artistry; in time, singing will be as effortless as breathing.
What do you enjoy doing outside of teaching students?
When I’m not teaching, I’m practicing or studying music for my next performance. I’m also an avid rock-climber and I love it more than any form of exercise.
What do you think makes Hodis Learning & Music a great service and company to work for?
The founder, Drew Hodis, always struck me as an eminently kind person, and I have come to know that he attracts some of the most positive and understanding people. It’s flattering to be included in that group.
Naturally, HLM has high standards for educators not just in their technical skill, but in their pedagogical approach. Being a student is hard. Our founder understands how vulnerable it can be, and that students who feel safe are in the best position to grow themselves.
I’m passionate about that, and as a student myself I know how a teacher’s approach can mean the difference between a life long love for the art and long lasting self-esteem issues.
I’m proud that HLM understands and trusts me with that responsibility, and HLM’s approach to teaching will spread love and excitement for learning far and wide.
Rachel is the Director of Marketing at Hodis Learning & Music. She has years of experience in marketing and public relations. Rachel is also an experienced reading, writing, English, and Spanish tutor.