Rita’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Rita’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I have been around music all my life. My mother was a church organist and as a small child, I would turn pages for her when she played. Shortly thereafter, I began singing in her choir, and sang alto because I could hear the harmony parts so well. That "ear training" has helped me to this day to hear harmonies when I'm singing in parts with the other vocalists in my church, and to hear the bass parts to help me hit the right notes in the right places with the jazz players I sing with each week.
I think it's helpful for any musician to have ear training. I would help my students to hear and match pitches; to distinguish between melodies and harmonies; to identify each instrument of the band and the part that it plays within the context of the whole; and finally, to decipher when a note is in tune and when it is not.
I have been a musician all of my life. My music education began early from my mother, as I sang in her church choir when I was a small child. I had a few years of piano lessons in grade school and played the French horn from 5th grade through college. I took a high school-level music theory class and as many theory and music studies courses as I could in college, as I was not a music major. I have taken 10 years of vocal training through the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, and I've studied with Spider Saloff and David Bloom at the Bloom School of Jazz. I continue to study music as a member of my church's Music Ministry and as a professional jazz vocalist in the Chicago area.
Music is such a powerful form of self-expression. I think the best way to utilize its potential is to really know and understand its mechanics, its theories, and its history. From that knowledge, one can explore and experiment to discover how to best communicate with it.
I have been a student of communication my entire life: my degree is in Communication Arts, which included public speaking and debate training; my 20+ year career in local television broadcasting was spent watching others in front of cameras or in front of audiences; and my more recent experience with large-scale corporate events has allowed me to learn from some of the best speakers in the country. I've also studied public speaking with Datta Groover, founder of Higher Speech, a presentation skills training organization, and I've learned personal presence techniques from working with Rachael Jayne Groover, founder of The YIN Project.
All that said, I can help you become more clear in your message, more confident with your delivery, and more comfortable in front of an audience.
I have been a musician all of my life, and the one thing that all of my teachers have made clear to me is the importance of being able to sight-read music. I consider it one of the most important and valued skills that any musician can have.
I would teach sight singing in conjunction with ear training, so the student would be able to hear the pitches and the intervals between the notes in their own head, and thus translate that into successful sight singing. Once mastered, the student will be able to sing any music put in front of them, which gives them another tool to make them more marketable and thus, more successful.
I have been a musician all of my life, having sung in my mother's church choir since I was a small child. I took a few years of piano lessons in grade school, and played the French horn from 5th grade through college, but I have been primarily a vocalist my entire adult life. I have been a member of the Music Ministry at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic church in Chicago's Lincoln Park for 15 years, and I began my own career as a jazz vocalist in 2008. I have taken 10 years of vocal training through the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, and I've studied with Spider Saloff and David Bloom at the Bloom School of Jazz. In my own personal jazz education, my main influence has been Ella Fitzgerald because she was such a talented musician and her body of work is so vast and varied, but other influences include jazz icons Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, and Anita O'Day. I have also met many local musicians and jazz artists who inspire me and encourage me to grow and express myself even more.
I have three goals in teaching anyone to be a vocalist:
1) to teach proper vocal technique, i.e. breathing, ear training, warm-ups, etc;
2) to teach the basics of music, i.e. to read music and a basic understanding of music theory
3) to teach ways to improve stage presence.