V O I C E
"My voice is my home." - Mahsa Vahdat
Your voice is the messenger of your truth. If you have a desire or a need to communicate your truth out loud in a way that feels good, these lessons will be a good fit for you. In these co-created, one-on-one lessons, you will develop and refine vocal techniques that support the empowered and liberated use of your voice. You will learn a mixture of techniques, warm-ups and melodies that inspire the confidence to sing freely and without restraint. You will study breath control, resonance, vowels and tongue placement, dynamics, vocal health, and singing as a healing practice.
My students are songwriters, performers, actors, teachers, gentle souls and power houses. I work with teens, parents, young creatives, elder geniuses and seekers of all types. If you are deeply committed to music, are ready to prioritize your voice, and looking for a guiding hand, I’d love to hear from you!
I am an experienced guide through the complex waters of vocal development, having taught for nearly 2 decades. I view the process of learning how to sing as a path of learning to be at ease with oneself. As a teacher, my main objective is in empowering people with the skills they need to use their unique voices to sing, and speak their truth with power, beauty and wisdom. I use a combination of western-classical, Iranian-classical, and Indian-classical techniques and theories to lead my students to vocal healing and liberation.
"Adrienne helped me learn how to sing in a voice that is truly mine- not the singers that I try to mimic- so that I can offer my unique voice to the world. She helped me learn how to breathe and hold my body in a way that supports my voice to be more powerful without straining. I'm so much more confident..."
- Iris B.
G U I T A R & S O N G W R I T I N G
I used to play guitar and sing when i was younger but I lost motivation and confidence for a long time. Lessons with Adrienne are so much fun and in no time I've gained my confidence back and have started learning new songs and techniques. Adrienne is patient, encouraging and funny - a truly wonderful teacher."
"As a songwriter, if you can touch people and make them feel a little less alone in the world, then you've done your job." -Tom Cochrane
Instruments become our friends. They support us through difficult times, they give us purpose and direction, they challenge us to grow, and they sing our songs back to us in real time. The guitar can be a companion, a guide, a cowriter. These lessons are for those of you who are already comfortable with the basic basics, want to write or have written songs and want more skills and tools to accompany your songs as you sing them. (*I am currently not taking brand new beginner guitar students.)
In working together I will help you:
Break through your mental blocks / write with clarity
Craft your story lines / themes for lyrics
Be more fearless with your poetry
Write beautiful chord progressions and melody
Learn what you need to know about music theory
Songwriting is very personal and can be a mysterious process. My job is to help you navigate the jungles of creativity so that you can see real progress and growth in your songwriting skills. I also am happy to co-write with you, offer ideas and get into the song with you to see what's necessary, what needs to come in and what needs to be let go.
M U S I C A L H E A L I N G
"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."
- Ella Fitzgerald
You and your voice are not two separate things. You and your voice, your music, are one. Your voice is your body, is the expression of your spirit, and it is the manifestation of your Truth.
We all experience ruptures in this awareness at times in our lives.
The power of music and singing to mend deep wounds or to ease physical and emotional tension is proven and real. Many of us feel that pull to music as one of pathways finding wholeness.
In our lessons together, we will focus on reclaiming what has been lost or taken from our voices by the storms of life and we will take care to allow our whole self to sing and create - with love and kindness.
Music, songwriting and singing have always been my greatest source of relief from the turmoil in my life, my mind and the world. So at the core of my teaching and my performance is a longing to share that gift of healing with others.
"I started working with Adrienne nearly two years ago because I wanted to liberate my voice. I knew that the resonance I carried inside of me didn't match my external expression. What I felt within, I wanted to be able to share with others. And now, having worked across both the technical aspects of vocalization through Western music, and the emotion / connection to the Divine through Persian music, my capacity to express what I feel now matches. My expression is more fluid, expansive and clear.
I’m grateful not just for Adrienne’s technical mastery and ability to translate complex skills into tangible changes in my body, but more importantly for the invitation she creates through loving presence and laughter to bring forth heart -- in myself and others."
MORE ABOUT MY TEACHING BACKGROUND
After nearly two decades of devoted study in the performing arts, guitar and singing, composition, technique and expression, I have developed a deeply informed approach to teaching. In this time I have made incredible breakthroughs with students, seen people through vast and deep shifts in their lives through the work we've done together and transformed my own relationship to music to be one of empowerment and liberation. I am a patient, non-judgmental coach and build loving relationships with all of my students.
It is my mission that you are free to be your complete self and am committed to creating a safe, lasting connection with you so that I may be a valuable resource throughout your musical life. In my experience, technical skill is as important as creativity and spontaneity, and we will delve fully into both of these realms of music exploration.
I studied music theory and composition at Sonoma State University and have been a guitar player and songwriter since childhood. In 2018 and 2020, I received the Master-Apprenticeship Grant through the Alliance for California Traditional Arts to study Iranian Classical Vocal Tradition from master vocalist and teacher Mahsa Vahdat and Iranian Classical Instrumental Music on Setar with master player and composer Atabak Elyasi (respectively). I have studied Western Classical vocal technique from baritone and master teacher Zachary Gordin for nearly 10 years.
(Lessons are offered on a sliding scale and last 55 minutes.)
This rate is for those whose financial needs are more than met and who have easy access to expendable income. By paying this rate, you are supporting me and other students who can't pay my full rate.
Payer Forward: $100
This is my full rate and I ask people to pay as close to this amount as you can, so that I can earn a living wage.
This rate is for those whose financial needs are always met, but for whom expendable income is not always in easy supply.
This rate is for those who have limited expendable income, but whose essential needs are met. Maybe you have unstable employment, but housing, food, healthcare, childcare is still covered.
For people who are experiencing true financial hardship or who are truly struggling to meet financial need, I offer a couple time slots a month at this rate. It is important for all of us to experience the liberation that is possible through the arts, regardless of financial resource. This rate is prioritized for those who identify as Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color, trans women, trans femmes and raised poor.
Thank you to my friend, teacher and musician, Eli Conley, for creating this structure for sliding scale rates.
*Why I use a sliding scale for my teaching practice:
It is essential for the wellness of the world that people of all backgrounds have access to opportunities to sing and create music in community. Sliding scales are tools of economic justice and a way of acknowledging and honoring that many resources are inaccessible to those who are impacted by institutionalized racism, colonialism, and classism.