Master of Music from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University
Amanda is a classically trained opera singer & improviser with 15+ years of experience on stage and in chorus work. She studied vocal performance at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts and Loyola University New Orleans. She has performed with several bands in the Chicagoland area ranging from salsa to Beyonce covers. Currently Amanda is a member of Forte Chicago, which works to debunk the stereotypes of opera as an art form. She is also a member of Chicago’s only all Filipinx improv team, SPITfire.
When did you join The Voice Lab?
I joined The Voice Lab in May 2018, and I started learning about and working with gender expansive students as soon as I joined the team here.
Why do you teach other people to sing?
Many of my new students come in and tell me that they don't like their voice or don't feel confident with it. My favorite thing about teaching is the moment when that student says "I can't believe I just did that with my voice!" or "I love my voice!" When we sing, our brains release endorphins, so singing is good for us! I believe that singing helps make us whole as humans. We say that the eyes are the window to the soul - the voice is similar when we share our voices, our feelings, ourselves, with the audience.
What do you do with a new student at their first lesson?
I like to start by bringing attention to the breath and trying out some basic vocal exercises: pitch-matching, scales, and arpeggios, so I can discern a new student's ability. Before a lesson, I always ask my students if they have a favorite song or one that they love to sing and we will work on that if we have time.
What is your favorite teaching tool?
A Hoberman Sphere! I find that it helps my students to visualize the action of their lungs expanding and contracting.
When did you start singing?
If you ask my parents, they'll tell you that I was singing straight out of the womb. I started singing in my school's choir in 2nd or 3rd grade, then started taking voice lessons when I was 10 at the urging of my 5th grade teacher. I had my first opera chorus gig at 13 and never stopped.