Tristan M. (he/they)
Master of Arts in Voice Performance from The University of Iowa
Tristan Miedema is a tenor, teacher, actor, and performer located in Des Moines, IA. He performs regularly in musical theatre, cabaret, in choirs like the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus, and often in church music. He believes singing is a magical unity of music and soul, and singers must embrace their inner selves to truly find that magic. Tristan’s side hustles include Uber/Lyft Driving, recording vocal tracks for a show choir arranger, and a hand lettering business.
Tristan works with both singers and speakers, and gender affirming voice care is always at the center of his work.
Why do you teach other people to sing?
I teach because of those that taught me. The relationship between voice teacher and singer is beautifully intimate, and the journey to self discovery, acceptance, and authenticity is challenging but so rewarding. I owe much of what I do in my life and career to the support and encouragement of those that taught me, and I hope to carry that inspiration forward with my teaching.
How do you describe your lessons?
High energy, supportive, and imaginative. I believe the best sounds come from engaged singers who feels empowered to make mistakes, not take themselves too seriously, and find joy in the voice. I love imagery like peanut butter spreading to find legato, holding a crystal ball for breath management, and overall feeling the voice both in and outside of the body.
When did you start singing?
I can vividly remember sitting on a gym floor in 5th grade hearing about joining choir in 6th grade—I could not contain my excitement. I was a loud child, always making noise and singing whatever I could, but choir was really where I discovered all music had to offer. It was the perfect collaborative place for me to start my vocal journey, and it’s been a musical home for me ever since.
What do you do with a new student at their first lesson?
I love getting to know each other. It’s really where the supportive and collaborative relationship gets started and helps me lead the student in the right direction. I enjoy discussing previous singing/speech training experience and discovering a student’s aspirations and goals for their voice. Then we sing! Getting the voice moving is a fun process at any experience level, and I want to start nurturing and getting to know a student's voice right from that first lesson.
What is your favorite teaching tool?
My phone/tablet! The plethora of apps and tools available for teachers and students is incredible. Being able to audio/video record yourself, have a mirror at the ready, play/edit audio tracks, and even read sheet music add so many opportunities to the studio experience.