Individual Vocal Instruction
Theresa Koon is an adjunct faculty member at Portland Community College, offering individual voice lessons for college credit. Private lessons are also available at Koon’s home studio, or remotely through Zoom and Facetime. Lessons generally last one hour and include piano accompaniment. Koon’s studio produces two public recitals each year, along with opportunities for monthly group performance classes, (see below). Koon’s vocal technique is classically-based, adaptable to a variety of performance styles including opera, music theater, jazz, cabaret and popular genres. The focus of Koon’s approach is to help singers discover and maintain their vocal individuality while developing the range, resonance and fluidity required to express the music, text and emotions within a song. This vocal work enables voices to be strong, supple and free.
In addition to vocal instruction for singers, individual sessions in acting for singers, singing for actors, song-writing and speech are available. For more information or to schedule a session, call: 503-239-8524, or email: Theresa@TikkunMusic.com.
Theresa Koon’s teaching draws on an extensive performance career in opera, music theater, cabaret, symphonic, recital and vaudeville appearances across Germany, Canada and the U.S. Foreign language diction is a particular specialty, as Koon has lived and studied in Germany, France and Italy. She is a founding member of Opera for the Hesitant, dADa, VOX Spoken Word Ensemble and many other eclectic adventures. For a catalogue of roles, resumé and C.V. details, please visit: linkedin.com/in/TKVocal
Group Performance Classes
Students enrolled in individual voice lessons with Theresa Koon through PCC or privately can also register to perform in monthly group classes, (6-10 singers), where audition prep, blocking, interpretation, performance anxiety and other specific areas are addressed.
FOCM Vocal Music Appreciation Classes
In preparation for vocal recitals by international artists produced by Friends of Chamber Music, Theresa Koon teaches three-week classes in vocal repertoire that is specific to each recital program. Texts are translated and explored within the social and historical contexts that inspired them, amid biographical details of poets and composers from many countries. Live performances by local musicians enliven the class, as contrasting compositional and performance styles are presented. The intention behind these classes is to foster a deeper understanding of the vocal instrument, repertoire, musical expression, performance practices and collaborative interactions between singers and pianists. Discussions tend to be both thoughtful and lively. For more information and to register for upcoming classes, visit:
Recommendations & Endorsements
For Vocal Instruction:
“My experience with Theresa began as a vocal teacher-student relationship, but has grown over the last decade into a life-long mentorship that has been a keystone of clarity in my creative life. On a singing level, Theresa taught me that I have a voice – an instrument inside me that I simply needed to learn how to use. In a short time, my shakiness was transformed into a real voice, my voice.
Soon into our working together, Theresa began to pour gasoline onto the embers of my interest in writing songs. She completely shaped me as a songwriter. She taught me not just the basics (rhyme, scanning, etc.) but something far more precious: to listen for what’s under the words. My experience with Theresa has gone on to inform my life in profound ways, and was a gigantic factor in my deciding to dedicate my life to music. I’m forever grateful.” –Eli Hirsch, Singer-Songwriter, Lead Singer in Courtship.
“Theresa is without question the most dedicated, knowledgeable, respectful, kind, encouraging, and capable instructor I’ve ever had. It’s my honor to recommend her without reservation. I studied music at a prestigious university and am a working composer. So I have had my fair share of music professors. Theresa excels them all, without a doubt. She has the remarkable ability to be fully present in her time with a student. She so invests her entire self into my success that I loose all sense of time in my lesson. Every second is used so fully that each time I walk away feeling like I’ve just discovered new layers of my abilities. It’s profound how her complete engagement with me allows me to completely trust her and open my voice. Theresa’s knowledge of vocal repertoire is unmatched. She knows exactly the right pieces to match with her singers, from across genres. And it’s not about matching a piece to “your voice” it’s about matching it to “you”. She has a unique ability to listen to who you are, and to what your goals may be… and respond with the music that will move you directly forward on your path. So to me she’s also become a guardian and guide for my spirit. Her pedagogy is divinely inspired. She hears “you” in your unique voice and quickly identifies how to nurture “you” to fully embrace your voice. And she guides you at exactly the right pace, the one at which you are most comfortable, and that will best help you achieve the best you can be. Theresa also excels as a pianist / accompanist. She has a remarkable ability to play so well, all the while completely focused on your singing. Her ability at the keys certainly brings a greater musical depth and understanding to the lessons. I am grateful for Theresa in my life, every single day. On days I don’t sing, her wisdom is still with me. Her joy in watching me improve, in embracing my voice is infectious and inspiring. Anyone who is looking to start singing or continue at the highest level will be so grateful for their time with Theresa.” — Sharon Fendrich, Award-winning Composer & Performer.
“Theresa Koon is an exceptional, gifted teacher. Several years ago, my impulse to sing led me to Theresa’s studio. I had no idea what a life-enriching journey her teaching would inspire. My voice has developed beyond anything I imagined. Singing and the practice associated with developing my voice gives me unparalleled joy. I am in awe of the focus, the concentration, and the presence that distinguish Theresa’s teaching. At the same time, she fosters a safe, humane, and trustworthy space for the development of the voice and the student. Every lesson yields progress because Theresa precisely isolated barriers and just as precisely prescribes remedies that she patiently works through with me. Theresa works with the student in developing the voice and her pleasure in that is clearly evident. It is fun, rewarding, and exhilarating to be a student of Theresa’s.” — Ruth Metz, National Library Consultant.
“Among Theresa’s numerous gifts as a vocal coach is her astounding ability to leave judgement out of our coaching – I don’t think she tries to do that, I don’t think she can teach any other way. I’ve studied with her for close to 5 years now and am convinced that her highly developed intuition, which she marries flawlessly with her incredible technique allows her to teach me in a way that I can hear and understand best. I don’t have to conform to her ‘way’ or ‘style’ but rather, she has stripped away everything in technique but what is useful to me and useful in a given moment or phase of my development. Her skill in articulating what is up for refinement comes from an unswerving devotion to uncovering my true and authentic voice. She is a miracle and a gift to me and I’ll warrant, to all who wish to sing from that place of authentic grounding. I’ve experienced the glory of singing with a freedom that has lifted me to seek a quantum way of living – so I can continue to sing from that place! Theresa has been able to unlock with me, those places in my instrument that have been blocked and unavailable for integration. I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anyone else.” — Christine Kahane, International Performer.
“I’ve had the privilege of attending Theresa Koon’s student recitals for the past 10 years. They’re incredible! It’s amazing to watch the progression of individual students as Theresa develops and opens their voices to soar and fill the auditorium with breathtaking interpretation, color, and depth. Many of her students first join her studio during high school to prepare for musical theater or choral productions. As Theresa brings out their talent, these students will often progress on to enroll in university voice programs. They have auditioned for and been accepted to Hartt, Emerson, and Indiana University, amongst others. They also compete and win in NATS and state level high school competitions. One was even named Oregon Jazz Singer of the Year. In addition to watching the progression of Theresa’s students, seeing the diversity of styles and abilities is also impressive. Students include members of high school music programs, Portland Community College students, the Portland Symphonic Choir, Staged!, Stumptown Stages, Opera in the Park, and numerous local bands including lead singers and even entire bands! Their genres include music theater, opera, folk, blue grass, jazz, and singer-songwriter. During any given recital the auditorium becomes filled with moving music theater pieces, glowing operatic arias, and lively music from her singer-songwriters and regional bands. Both beginners and professionals alike are welcomed onto a stage where music and singing are the main event. Looking forward to the next one!” — Bryan Hallberg, Multi-media Producer.
For FOCM Vocal Music Appreciation Classes:
“Another WONDERFUL vocal appreciation class. Thanks to all for offering it. Theresa Koon is a terrific teacher. The recital itself would not have been nearly as meaningful without this class. While I realize that I could study on my own, I probably would not be disciplined enough to do it. Thank you for the needed nudge.”
“Theresa Koon is a master at designing and delivering a class for optimum benefit: her knowledge and insights, and her creative structuring of the class pulls historical context, live performances, artists’ input, handouts, and references into a cohesive whole. Plus, her inspiring and facilitating dialogue among students and artists is brilliant.”
“Theresa is AMAZING! She covers a vast amount of musical territory with a lot of depth, and she makes it look easy. We loved the class and look forward to the next one. It is really special. Thanks!! The guest artists were extraordinary as well. Very, very well prepared and artfully played.”
“Theresa does a wonderful job. Such an extensive background, and then so beautifully prepared.”
“Theresa was terrific, as always. I’m always impressed with her preparation and breadth of knowledge. She is also very welcoming and encouraging to all the participants.”
“Theresa was so professional and incredibly well prepared. She made a number of complex comparisons and connections seem effortless – she carried the class along so easily. I felt very comfortable asking questions and making comments, and it seemed as if others did, too. Very impressive.”