Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University
Erin Carney is a professional teacher, singer and actor. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Vocal Performance in 2014. Since then, she has performed in choirs, musicals, operas, plays and films around the Chicago area. Erin has taught private lessons at different Chicago music schools, led vocal workshops, and directed small vocal ensembles. She is happy to work with students of all ages, interests and abilities! Erin has been working with transgender singers and speech clients since 2018 and is eager to share her training and expertise with new students.
When did you start singing?
I don’t remember this, but apparently when I was six months old my parents and I were visiting my aunt in Rhode Island. I got a hold of a spoon and was near the radiator. Then I started hitting the radiator and humming along to the pitch it made! If only YouTube had been around back then…
What is your favorite teaching tool?
I make my students play hopscotch to learn scales and intervals. Did you know scales are structured like hopscotch, where some notes are easier to land on than others? Well, you do now!
Why do you teach?
Because it’s fun! There are some engineers in my family, so I think work that takes a lot of tweaking and finesse is in my blood. But more importantly, I love seeing students grow and become more confident and comfortable with their voices. For most people, the ability to sing beautifully is inside of them, they just need a guide to get there!
How do you describe your lessons?
Because your voice is *literally* inside of you, I rely heavily on body awareness and good breathing. I usually spend the first 10 to 15 minutes on physical alignment and breathing exercises to build a solid foundation for the rest of the lesson. Then we’ll warm up your voice to get it going (like a car in Chicago winter, as a student brilliantly said to me just today). After that we’ll apply what we’ve learned to a song. My lessons are filled with humor, strange sounds, and lots of analogies. I’ll make you work too, but at the end of the day we can make that work pay off together.