Teaching: Online and Beyond

It’s been quite a while since I’ve used this page–my husband and I started a family, I embarked on a brief stint as a producer, and I’ve been teaching more and more genres and levels of voice. I even taught some music theory classes!

I’m currently branching out into online teaching. One of the pleasant surprises I got from everything going online was that I had students who made quite a bit of progress! Not to say that there weren’t difficulties, and definitely not to say that it’s better than seeing and hearing a student live, but it wasn’t nearly as limiting as I thought it would be. It turned out to be a viable format for teaching, and some of my students are going to continue virtually.

The next thing is to reach the people who don’t have time for weekly lessons. If that’s you, check out my Online Courses for Busy Adults. Singing can be such a fulfilling part of life–and I believe that most of you who aren’t professional singers can meet your goals without committing to long-term weekly lessons. I’ve got a course for those who need the basics of pitch-matching (otherwise known as the “tone-deaf”), and a course for those who’d like to learn how to improve their tone in popular genres of music.

Although my students have been having more and more success, and I am in my 17th year of teaching music full-time, I still get attacked by Imposter Syndrome when starting something new–like online courses. When I step back and think about it, there’s no logical reason why I can’t deliver classes in a slightly different format, to a slightly different set of students. But that nagging voice in my head still says, “Who do you think you are, trying to reach a whole new group of people? Trying to expand your reach and impact? Why don’t you just stay in your lane?”

If you’re hearing that voice when you think about taking a short voice course–if you feel like it’s not for you, or that ship sailed long ago–well, it’s the voice of our amazing brain, whose job it is to keep us alive. Our brains like closure, certainty, and safety. Stepping out to try something new is none of those things! It’s like when I ask my mom for advice on some new venture. Her advice is always quite conservative, because she wants to keep me safe above all.

And when I hear that little voice, or feel that hesitation, telling me that maybe I should wait, maybe I shouldn’t try just yet? I thank my brain for letting me know what the absolute safest option is. I tell someone, like my husband, that I’m feeling afraid, just so it’s out there. And–like Elsa in Frozen II–I decide to step out “Into the Unknown.”

If studying singing feels like that for you, join me and we’ll take that step together.

Upcoming Performances: Spring 2015


Whoo, it’s been awhile since I updated! Here’s what I’ve got coming up, performance-wise:

Verdi Requiem

Tuesday, March 3rd at 7:30 pm
I’ll be the mezzo-soprano soloist in the University of Northern Colorado’s
concert of the Verdi Requiem. It’s about an hour and a half of thrilling music with
all of the university’s choirs, full orchestra, and a soprano, mezzo-soprano,
tenor, and bass soloist. This is my largest gig to date; I’m very excited!

Union Colony Civic Center
701 10th Avenue, Greeley, CO
Adults are $12, Students are $8.

Recital for Project F.A.I.T.H.

Friday, March 20th                                                                                          Fredericksburg, Virginia

I’ll be singing for the sponsors of this charity organization started by family and friends in my hometown of King George, Virginia, to provide low-income and disability housing. I’ll also get to see my family an extra time this year!

Music by Colorado Composer George Lynn

Saturday, March 28th, 7:00-8:30pm
Later in March, I’ll be singing with Chamber Ensemble con Grazia’s recital of
works by Colorado composer George Lynn. This year, he would have had his
hundredth birthday, and his daughter Christina and I will perform some of his
songs and arrangements for voice and piano.

Washington Park Center for Music & Arts
400 South Williams St, Denver, CO
There are no tickets, but a suggested donation amount of $10.

MHM Music Student Recital

Sunday, May 3rd; Denver, Colorado                                                                                        This is the Spring Semester recital for students of MHM Music, taught by myself and pianist/conductor Daniel Mullens. Recitals have been getting really long, so we may attempt to have a break so we’re not there for 2 full hours!

Doctoral Conducting Recital

May 2015 (Exact date & Time TBA); Greeley, Colorado

No, I’m not getting a doctorate in conducting!  I’ll be singing Ravel and Stravinsky art songs with chamber orchestra for a student doctoral recital. More details to come!

Studio & Performance Update

Spring Recital:
Sunday, May 4th, 5:00 pm
Singers warm up and rehearse @ 4:15

Sixth Avenue United Church of Christ
3250 E. 6th Ave, Denver, CO
(Southwest corner of 6th & Adams)

Makeup Week: 
Monday, May 5th – Friday, May 9th

Extra Makeup Lesson:

Friday, May 30th morning-1:00pm

Marlena in Recital:
Saturday, May 10, 7:30 pm
Sixth Avenue United Church of Christ
3250 E. 6th Ave, Denver, CO
(Southwest corner of 6th & Adams)
This is a fundraiser for my church, the 6th Ave United Church of Christ, so we are accepting donations, but there is no ticket price. I will sing about an hour of classical music with pianist Grace Asquith.
New Summer Camp:
Marlena has been asked to teach voice in a new summer music camp!
This new camp will be held from July 14-18, and is being hosted by Metro State University on the Auraria Campus. It is an all-day camp with a recital in the evening of the last day. Students will sing in a large choir and collaborate with other students to perform on piano, voice, strings, guitar, and percussion. Popular music and Movie themes are our focus this summer! Online registration will open April 25th. Let Marlena know if you are interested.