A graduate of the prestigious jazz course at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Virna Sanzone is an experienced teacher and performer of a wide variety of contemporary musical styles. As well as maintaining her own busy singing career and private teaching studio, she currently holds the position of Jazz Vocal Lecturer at The Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Virna is also a private music tutor at UNSW and at AIM (Australian Institute of Music), both teaching and examining contemporary students up to Masters level.
Virna was the official vocal coach for television show, “The Voice” for its first three seasons, working behind the scenes to prepare artists for their auditions. Amongst other teaching roles, Virna has lectured in Vocal Studies at Macquarie University and EORA Centre for Aboriginal Studies, appeared as a guest lecturer at various institutions such as UNSW, McDonald College of the Performing Arts, Wesley Institute and at vocal seminars such as the SIMA Young Women’s Jazz Workshops. She has also directed choirs and coached small vocal ensembles, and has led vocal improvisation retreats abroad.
Virna has performed extensively in Australia and overseas, at a long list of festivals, venues and events, including the Sydney Festival and Darling Harbour Jazz Festival, both with her own band and as a special guest with a host of Australian jazz luminaries. She has worked with artists such as Delta Goodrem, Paul Kelly, Richard Clapton, Thirsty Merc, Vika and Linda Bull, Wendy Matthews, Katie Noonan, James Morrison, Paul Capsis, Jackie Orszaczky & Tina Harrod, Paul Grabowsky and DIG. Virna is in high demand as a backing vocalist and session singer, having sung on countless recordings for radio, film and television.
Virna provides a supportive environment, teaching people of all ages and abilities, from absolute beginners, to professionals fine tuning their skills or preparing for recordings or performances. Lessons are tailored to the individual depending on the goals, experience and current ability of the student, and can cover: building a healthy technique, fundamental vocal anatomy, releasing tension which inhibits free vocalisation, range and tone development, tuning and ear training, interpretation and personalising a song, phrasing and understanding rhythmic feels, fundamental keyboard skills, harmony singing, sight reading, chart writing and transposition, understanding harmony and improvisation, musicianship and theory specific to the needs of a singer, specifics of style and transitioning from other styles such as classical.
Virna is experienced in teaching singers who are recovering from injury and often receives referrals from Ear Nose and Throat specialists and Speech Therapists. Where appropriate, students are taught to manage the physical stresses and strains of professional vocal use, including understanding the effect of inefficient speech on the singing voice.
Virna can provide coaching in almost any genre of contemporary music, including jazz, funk, R&B, soul and pop.
Lessons are booked on an appointment basis, allowing students to learn at a pace that suits their learning style. Some students may choose to attend weekly or fortnightly, while for others, only a few lessons may be required to attain the desired results or to deal with specific concerns.