The Studio of Phoebe Gildea
Music is a form of communication that transcends words. The voice comes from within, and communication using the voice precedes communication with words in human development. Vocal music is the combination of words and musical language. Using the voice to make music with words is a combination of all these very profound ways that humans have found to connect with one another and express ourselves.
Creative acts at any skill level enrich the universe, and the vulnerability and courage it takes to make art in general (and to make such personal art as producing music from our own bodies specifically) is beneficial to humans. I am here to explore and make a safe space with students who are called to this art.
My goals for every student:
- Free the authentic voice -
- Find honest expression and communication through music -
- Celebrate the process of learning a new skill vs. solely the end product -
- Good musicianship at the appropriate level -
- Find diverse repertoire that the student loves -
- Involve the whole body in making music -
My goals for what I will have taught graduating seniors who plan to pursue music in college (regardless of major):
- How to feel a healthy sound and assess new techniques -
- Basic music reading, solfeggio, and piano skills -
- Auditions skills and strategies -
- Performance anxiety coping skills -
- Diverse repertoire in the appropriate genre -
- Anatomy of vocal and breathing mechanisms -
While I enjoy teaching students of any age and gender, I have grown into a specialty of helping teenage girls find and free their authentic voices in musical theater and classical styles. Teenage girls are under so many different pressures to be a certain way – sexualized but also supposed to be pure, look a certain way, do well in school but don’t be a nerd, create a plan for the future but don’t close any doors, be confident but don’t intimidate the boys. I want to give them a free space for open expression. Unleashing the voice is closely tied to letting go of long-held worries and expectations that create tension and burden the body/voice/mind. I am here to accept them just as they are right now, and to help them pursue the dreams that they have chosen for themselves.
I am here for late-bloomers and misfits. I was overlooked and told I wasn’t good enough when I was a teenager. I didn’t know that I needed different tools, rather than to try harder at the same tools that worked for others but consistently failed me. I have a large voice in a small body and I spent years trying to squash my voice to fit what people expected of me. I want to empower my students to find what they want and feel, and to let go of the expectations of others.
I teach throughout the Portland area.
The Studio of Phoebe Gildea is currently accepting new students. Limited space is available.
To request a trial lesson, click the button below.
"We cannot say enough good things about Phoebe and her voice lessons. My daughter loves her voice lessons with Phoebe. She is almost always tired and low energy when she goes into her lessons (as they’re after a long day and week at school), and invariably she comes out recharged, energized, big smile on her face, and happy about life. Phoebe has helped my daughter liberate, develop, and strengthen her voice. And she has given her an expansive array of techniques for dealing with performance anxiety and stage fright. Phoebe gives her confidence, courage, and really helpful tools for being an empowered young woman in today’s challenging times."
- Rebecca, parent
“I have been taking voice lessons from Phoebe for almost two years. Going into lessons I was initially really scared and had terrible stage fright. I can’t tell you that after a week I was singing on broadway, but I definitely got far more than I expected. Phoebe is warm and welcoming; even in the first weeks I felt totally comfortable singing my heart out. She uses a collection of tricks, tips, and weird poses (including squats, wavy air motions, and much more) to help you engage all the right parts of your body. Despite the sometimes ridiculous themes in broadway songs, she has never let me sing, “He doesn’t act as tho he cares, but deep inside I know he cares, ” without telling me that I should demand more than that. Furthermore, her witty humor and playful personality means I am laughing all the way through class. Phoebe has been helping me overcome my stage fright. Even when I forget every single word and turn beet red on stage she is in the first row mouthing my next line. Phoebe is not only a great teacher, but also a role model and friend to all of her students.”
- Althea, 18
"It’s nice to find a teacher so passionate about teaching teenagers. Phoebe understands not only the unique vocal needs of a teenager's changing instrument but also the social challenges they face daily. My daughter started lessons with Phoebe over a year ago. She’s learning vocal technique, aural training, and sight reading along with coping strategies for nervousness and breathing techniques. My daughter's skill and confidence get stronger every session. It brings tears to my eyes to hear my daughter sing, she’s learned so much, but most important - she loves to sing and Phoebe has nurtured her love for music."
- Sara, parent
"One aspect of our lessons that I greatly enjoy and appreciate is your knowledge of the science and physicality of using our voices. I like how you point out the very useful and practical details of breathing, posture, and how the vocal folds are working while I’m singing, the way to open the inside back of my mouth to allow the right sound to come out, how my skeleton is functioning (“You have a tailbone!”), and many other physical details that allow me to make the sounds I want to make. It is a real privilege to work with someone who is so aware of (and still curious and learning about) how our bodies do what they do. Thank you for sharing what you know to help make more music in the world!"
-Lisa, adult student
Phoebe is certified by the OperaWorks teaching artist program (levels 1&2), and is a full member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and a trainee member (working toward licensure) of Andover Educators.