Shante's student Tyisse wins first place at Vancouver Music Fest!
Tyisse recently competed in the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival. She placed 1st in the musical theater category. She portrayed a truly inspiring performance of Anastasia's song Journey To The Past.
Shante was super proud of her. They put in a lot of hard work prior to the performance and Shante is very excited to see where Tyisse will go with her voice in the future.
Two other students of Shante's also placed 2nd and 3rd in the teens musical theater category.
Why is music important?
Music is a gift to this world. It seems to reach the hearts of every person in one way or
another, and brings us so much joy and comfort. Music can be our voice when we do not have
one, inspire us to be the best self that we can possibly be and heal our being. Music is a part of
who we are, and I believe it is our responsibility as teachers to keep this sublime force alive not
only in schools but in our daily lives.
To inspire greatness, love and light in our future generations, we need to show them all that music has to offer and create beauty through the gift of music. As a future music teacher specializing in voice I believe it is my charge not only to develop the vocal ability of a young singer but also to guide them along their musical journey, a journey that will hopefully inspire them to see the world in new ways, to gain insights, and make discoveries about their own potential and place in this world. I want to show them that they too have a responsibility in what they put out into the world but also to themselves, and that they should follow their hearts.
I whole-heartedly believe that any student in voice has the ability to succeed, whether
that is on a personal level or a professional one. The voice is the most intimate instrument and therefore success should not be measured in how many medals one receives but in how much progress is made. The art of singing contains so many layers that need to be nurtured: anatomical, musical, structural, and a huge component that is over looked, spiritual.
What are your teaching methods?
How do I teach? Firstly, I find out why the student wants to sing, what aspirations they
might have and what they envision for themselves. Accordingly I provide the student with every
bit of information that I can and teach them about the fundamentals of singing, such as breathing
techniques, articulator techniques, vocal warm ups, promote vocal health and building repertoire
that they can use in their future for all professional and non-professional occasions. I will also
introduce how singing builds connections between the body, mind and spirit. I believe that after
learning the basic technique, the student must look inside themselves to find their expression and create their own selves through these connections.
As a teacher I will provide care and respect. I hope to develop trust with my students in order to give them a safe place to exercise their potential vocally, individually, characteristically and emotionally. I hope this safe place will ultimately benefit them as an individual as well as a performer. I will instruct them on critical listening, thinking and feeling. I will find a balance between lecturing and allow them to discover their own sound. I will be open to all questions and concerns.
What sets you apart from other teachers?
As a teacher it is very important to recognize that each student learns differently and in
order to be the best teacher that I can possibly be, I will implement various examples of
information using the different learning modalities such as visual learning, auditory learning,
tactile learning and kinaesthetic in order to see how each of my students learn differently and
then cater to their specific needs. Singing is not always fun, especially when one is still learning
There are going to be times when you feel like you don't need to go through the particular exercises assigned to you, that's when you need to review your reason for learning
to sing.Obtaining the goal will be the thing that drives your voice to new heights. The desire for
that goal will give you the motivation to perform the repetitive specific exercises that I
customize/ assign to you. This is critical. Therefore, I recognize that each student will need a
balance between working hard on specific goals and “play time” where we will sing repertoire
that is purely for their enjoyment, a time where we can focus on other crucial aspects of singing
rather than just technique, such as creating vocal colours, acting, dynamics and stage presence.
What are your expectations as a Teacher?
Self discipline is a hard thing to learn and I believe it is part of our job as a teacher to
teach our students how to work on their own and to constantly better themselves. In order to
implement the beginnings of such a work ethic I will provide strict rules on practice regulations.
I believe that it is our job to insure that the student understands the meaning of “deep practice”,
formulating many small goals and acquiring those goals through patient, focused and
uninterrupted work. I will assign certain excerpts, songs, exercises, translations or IPA ( Classical
voice students only ) to learn each week and like with any class these assignments are
I will also expect each student to practice minimum of three days per week at 45 min
sessions. Beginning with a 10-15 min warm up followed by practice of repertoire that we have
chosen. I will encourage detailed journaling of every lesson, that way the student has a point of
reference to go back to when practicing by themselves. I believe journaling can be very helpful
in not only keeping track of lessons but also to help students appreciate how much progress they
have made throughout the year . Along with journaling I encourage recording each lesson as an
Just like our students I believe it is crucial to better ourselves as teachers. Constantly
learning and developing my own singing and teaching techniques allows me to stay ahead in all
aspects of music, vocal technique and performance practices. Finally, my end goal is to provide
all the information that I can to better my students so that they can become independent in their
musicianship and performance study.
If learning to sing were a streamline process requiring only a series of Youtube videos outlining the needed exercises then learning to sing would be an easy task. Unfortunately learning to sing isn't just about technique and routine exercises. A huge portion of unlocking one's voice is bringing awareness to physical and mental hang ups that are causing restriction in our ability to be free as performers.
The mental aspect to singing is a massive element. Part of my job as a voice teacher is to recognize what thought processes are hindering a person's ability in unlocking their true singing voice.
Consistency is important in this scenario. Changes internally are taking place, they are just beneath the surface. Having someone there who understands the process will greatly aid you in staying on course and in continuing to give supportive and constructive feedback the student will hopefully open up and flourish into something great.
We don't need to walk alone. When it comes to increasing our vocal ability, we're going to benefit from those who encourage us to strive for more. There are going to be moments when you feel like you might not be progressing. However, what I've discovered is that in these moments we are growing, we just can't see the results.
Witnessing others reach new heights with their voice is a very rewarding experience. I invest into my students all that I can. I know the positive transformation that singing can have, and if they desire to, I want everyone to successfully expand themselves in this way.