MUSIC THEORY AND EAR TRAINING FOR JAZZ AND CONTEMPORARY SINGERS

Styles Most contemporary styles including jazz, soul, pop, R&B, gospel, alternative, singer/songwriter.
Skill Level All levels, from absolute beginner to professional.

Virna Sanzone is a highly experienced teacher and performer of a wide variety of contemporary musical styles. She is the vocal lecturer and co-ordinator in the Jazz Department at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has also taught extensively for UNSW and AIM (Australian Institute of Music). She was the vocal coach for television show, “The Voice” working behind the scenes for its first three seasons. Virna is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, majoring in Jazz Performance. As well as maintaining her own busy singing career and private teaching studio, some of her roles as an educator have included lecturing in vocal studies at Macquarie University and EORA Centre for Aboriginal Studies, directing choirs and being a guest lecturer / tutor at institutions such as McDonald College of the Performing Arts and at vocal seminars such as the SIMA Young Women’s Jazz Workshops, as well as leading vocal improvisation retreats abroad. Virna also spent some years as a CPM examiner for the AMEB.

Virna has performed and recorded extensively in Australia and overseas with her own projects and as a guest with a diverse range of other artists, including James Morrison, Paul Kelly, Vika and Linda Bull, Paul Grabowsky, the Australian Art Orchestra, Richard Clapton, Tina Arena, Ian Moss, Wendy Matthews, Delta Goodrem, Jackie Orszaczky and Tina Harrod and Paul Capsis, to name a few. Virna performs regularly with David Campbell and most recently, toured Australia and The UK singing with Savage Garden frontperson Darren Hayes. Virna is also in high demand as a session singer and has done countless recordings for radio, film and television. She has also performed backing vocals on live to air national broadcasts of large-scale events such as the New Years Eve and Australia Day concerts.

Virna has vast experience teaching people of all ages and abilities, from absolute beginners to professionals seeking to fine-tune their skills or prepare for recordings / performances. She draws on a wide range of disciplines to tailor lessons to the individual, depending on the goals, experience and current ability of the student. Her teaching of technique is founded on a thorough scientific understanding of the voice and on regular participation in professional development events to remain current in her knowledge. Virna is passionate about helping students find both vocal freedom and freedom of expression.

Some areas that can be covered where appropriate include:

• building a healthy vocal technique and understanding of vocal anatomy
• refining technique in the more experienced singer
• identifying and addressing physical and cognitive habits that contribute to tension and inhibit free vocalisation
• overall tone development
• ear training, sight reading and musicianship / theory, specific to the needs of a singer
• chart writing, transposition and transcription
• phrasing / understanding rhythmic feels or grooves
• personalising a song, interpretation and improvisation
• coaching in almost any genre of contemporary music including jazz, funk, R&B, pop, soul, folk etc.
• harmony singing and arrangement of vocal harmonies
• specialised techniques such as “belting” as well as other forms of tone modification
• basic stage presence, performance and microphone technique
• learning to manage the demands of professional vocal use
• learning how to avoid or recover from injury
• guiding classically trained singers who would like to sing jazz and contemporary music in finding stylistically appropriate approaches to all elements of vocal delivery
• preparing students for exams, auditions, recordings, key performances etc.

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.

If preferred, lessons may be held online.

Glebe, NSW

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Details last updated: February 12, 2024