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Teaching Bio

In a nutshell:  Merrill Leffmann has a Masters in Music Performance (voice), as well as many years of study under masters in various genres.   Merrill has sung in concerts, opera, musical theater (legitimate, straight, belt), barbershop competitions, club jazz, and studio work, as well as creating and performing her own one-woman cabaret shows.  Ms. Leffmann works with singers of many levels and ages – from children, to adults fearing they are tone deaf, but hoping to recapture the joy of song, to pre-professionals preparing for a career in music, to professional singers who are experiencing vocal challenges.  More information can be seen below.

Voice Teacher Training and Experience 

  • Owner-Operated Vocal Studio in AZ, 2000-present
  • Owner-Operated Vocal Studio in CA, 1995-1999
  • Participant of week-long Seminar with CCM (Contemporary Commercial Music) Vocal Pedagogy Institute completing levels I, II, and III in Somatic Voicework, 2015
  • Participation in NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) workshops
  • One year participation in workshops with SLS (Speech Level Singing), 2004
  • Participant of Week-long Seminar with VoiceCare Network, 2000


Music Training with Masters of Various Genres

  • Anne Thornton, 2002- 2012 (intermittent mentor for cabaret/musical theater/pop/jazz/soul)
  • Dave Stroud, 2004 (one year intermittent SLS)
  • Edward Sayegh, 1996-1999 (opera/musical theater)
  • Masters in Voice, San Jose State University, 1996 (opera/art song)
  • Michelle Rivard, 1980s (jazz/club)
  • Ray Brown, 1980s (jazz piano and arrangement)
  • Many years piano training, 1970s-1984


Other Skills and Training

  • Songwriting, script writing, transcription, arranging skills, dance 
  • Italian studies, German fluency