Larisa Montanaro has been teaching voice in Austin for 20 years.
She has performed in concert halls from New York City to Seattle and many places in between. She specializes in avant garde and popular styles and uses classic techniques to serve the modern singer. She has been a guest lecturer at several colleges and worked closely with Darlene Wiley at UT Austin to create the Vocal Arts Lab, where they conducted research on the voice and published two journal articles from their findings. She completed her doctorate in performance in 2004 and has been diving into the Austin music scene ever since.
She has performed with The Dime Store Poets, The Rust Tones, Walter Tragert, Seela, Michelle Anthony, the Raindoggs, and the Austin Jazz Workshop. She also has a solo career and her most recent recording is a jazz record called, A New Era.
Private lessons are an opportunity to develop the singing self. Students benefit from a well-rounded course of study which includes warm-ups and vocalises as well as repertoire study and performance skills. Lessons are tailored to each student. Private study can be long-term or short-term depending on the student's goals. The private voice student could be the aspiring high school singer, the professional singer who would like to solve some phonation problems and work on new repertoire, the church choir singer who would like to improve, or the mother who would like to sing to her child but feels too self-conscious to do so. Less than 1% of the population is tone deaf. Nearly everyone has the ability to sing, it's just the extent to which their abilities have been developed which varies.
Vocal coaching is designed for the student who is already performing (or on the verge of performing) but needs some "tweaking". This is often short-term and focuses on certain repertoire or vocal difficulties. For example, this student may be a singer who gigs several nights a week but has certain aspects of their voice or performance that they would like to improve (even Madonna and Steven Tyler have vocal coaches) or they may want a sounding-board for new material before putting it on the stage. Coaching sessions can last anywhere from 30-minutes to an hour depending on the needs of the student.
"I came to Larisa to improve my singing and to help coach me along as a professional singer and songwriter. Larisa's teaching and guidance has been so effective. I'm already noticing improvement in my techinque from the exercises she's given me. The exercises are not just the standard "my teacher made me do it so I'm giving it to you" fare -- Larisa has been through it, and you can tell she is teaching what has really worked for her. That kind of confidence, experience, and wisdom is exactly what I believe makes a great teacher. She is really inspiring. To listen to her sing and watch her perform, I can see she really knows her craft."
- Kathryn Gosnell, singer-songwriter
"I had the fortune of spontaneously having a voice lesson last year while visiting my daughter in Austin who is a student of Larisa's. Now it has become a priority and anticipatory part of each trip. Larisa is a very creative teacher: she easily identifies one's vocal challenges, has a large repertoire of solutions; challenges yet is very supportive and affirming. She shares her knowledge in a very easy-going yet dynamic way. We have also worked a variety of musical styles. She has helped kick start my own vocal instruction business I have here in Wisconsin. Can hardly wait for my next visit to Austin! "
- Marita Kelter, 56, vocal instructor, Wisconsin
Private Voice, Group Voice, Performance classes, Warm-up classes
2010 - present
2010 - present