About Ashley Daneman: Founder of Tiny Voice Box
Welcome to Tiny Voice Box! My name is Ashley Daneman and I'm a professional singer and voice teacher based in Kalamazoo, MI with a Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music (in Jazz Vocal Performance). I've been performing professionally for over 15 years in a variety of settings throughout many places in the U.S. - public concerts, studio recordings, church musician, ensemble section leading, and more. I've been teaching for 10 years in my private studio, for middle school choirs, high school adjudicator, group lessons, as a guest lecturer, and as Jazz Vocal Instructor at Hillsdale College.
I come from a background in classical music and musical theater, but grew up to want to sing jazz and popular music. I studied with a master teacher, Jeanie Lovetri, in NYC and learned her method to sing all kinds of contemporary, commercial music. In 2013 I became certified as a Level II Somatic Voicework (tm) - The LoVetri Method voice teacher. This is a powerful method for training the voice and gives a singer lots of options for their future musical pursuits whether that's auditioning for a conservatory program, planning a performance career on your own, or just singing as a beloved hobby.
We teach beginning students through advanced. Everyone needs a voice teacher - even me! It's how we stay in excellent, healthy shape and continue to evolve and expand our skills. Our voice lessons are completely customized for each person's vocal instrument, for where they are in their development, and for their vocal goals both now and in the future. Part of this may include songwriting coaching, arranging help, audition preparation, or planning a concert or recording session.
We specifically take students who want to work on musical theater, jazz, pop/contemporary, church, and/or singer-songwriter music, and Opera/classical voice. We offer well-rounded vocal preparation that emphasizes a variety of contemporary music styles and that also can address any problem issues. We do take some students as young as elementary school as long as that child seems ready to benefit from lessons.
Our students perform professionally in music clubs, bars, and other venues. Some of them write and have recorded their own music, or play guitar/piano to accompany themselves. Others have received scholarships from arts councils and performing arts organizations, are auditioning for national competitions, singing in pageants, pursuing an acting career in movies/commercials, or attending summer music camps and other musical opportunities.
Why do I call my studio "Tiny Voice Box?" It's because out of one of the smallest, most fragile places in the human body (the larynx, or "voice box") comes the most powerful and intimate means of personal expression. Every voice box is its own work of art and my teaching focuses on the individuality of each person. As my daughter once wrote, and as my studio motto: "My gift to you is my Awesome." This does not mean anything arrogant, it simply means that when we become awesome at something we love - it becomes a gift to everyone.
About Carmen Bell: Voice Teacher
Carmen Bell, soprano, is a professional singer and voice teacher based in Battle Creek, Michigan. She received a Master of Music degree in voice from Eastern Michigan University, where she studied with Dr. Emory Stephens. She also received a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Western Michigan University, where her primary instructor was Dr. Carl J. Ratner. She was accepted into and attended the Davidson College Vocal Symposium. Ms. Bell’s operatic experience includes the roles of Miss Todd in Menotti’s Old Maid and the Thief, La Ciesca in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, as well as scene performances in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Tender Land, Cosi fan tutte and La Traviata. She is currently studying the roles of Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Lucy in Menotti’s L'Amour à trois. As a soprano soloist, she has been featured in Handel’s Messiah, among other major works. Ms. Bell has also served as a guest artist and lecturer where she has performed specialized programs of art songs and spirituals associated with well-known African American composers. Carmen’s students have successfully competed at MSVMA District and State Solo and Ensemble competitions receiving high ratings and placing among Michigan’s top ten soloists. Current students have auditioned and were featured in several leading roles in area musical theatre productions. Furthering their passion for music, former students have received music degrees from Western Michigan University, Michigan State University, Grand Valley, and Roosevelt College. Current teaching day: Mondays.
About Elizabeth Bayer: Voice Teacher
Elizabeth Bayer is earning her second bachelors in music education at Western Michigan University with a focus in vocal performance. She also teaches piano and guitar alongside voice lessons for those interested in learning both. Elizabeth specializes in teaching musicianship skills to singers and is great with all ages. Current teaching days: Tuesdays, Thursdays.
About Elizabeth Cowan: Voice Teacher
Elizabeth Cowan has sung with opera companies across the United States, most notably the Santa Fe Opera and the Dallas Opera. She was the 1994 Metropolitan District winner in Dallas, named the North Texas Singer of the Year, and was the featured recitalist for the National Association of Teachers of Singing convention at North Texas State University. A winner of the Wagner Society Solo Competition in Dallas, a Dallas Opera Guild career grant winner, and a concerto competition winner at SMU, Cowan was a finalist in both the San Antonio Vocal Competition and the D'Angelo Vocal Competition. She has also served as an adjudicator for many major vocal competitions. Her students have sung all over the world and have won major national and international singing competitions. Cowan has worked with such notable conductors and stage directors as John Copley, John Crosby, Marc Astafan, Dejan Miladinovic, and John Moriarity, and she has performed on stage with singers such as Fredericka von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Kevin Langan, Timothy Noble, and Erie Mills. She has been the featured singer in master classes for many famous teachers, including Robert Merrill, Margaret Harshaw, Martina Arroyo, Shirlee Emmons, and Rosalind Elias.
In addition to her responsibilities at Western Michigan University, Cowan has taught at Florida International University and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. She holds the Graduate Diploma from New England Conservatory, the MM degree from Southern Methodist University and the Bachelor of Music degree from Wittenberg University. She has also done additional study at Westminster Choir College and the Chautauqua Institute.
About Elizabeth Townsend: Voice Teacher
Liz Townsend is a vocalist, private voice instructor and music professional in Kalamazoo, MI. Liz is well-versed in many vocal styles including classical, jazz, musical theatre and pop. After spending several years in the classroom, she is moving her focus to individual and small group instruction. She holds a degree in Choral/General Music Education from Western Michigan University where she sang in Gold Company and the University Chorale. After completing her degree, Liz has sought out many opportunities to learn more about vocal health and techniques through workshops and trainings. Liz employs many techniques from Estill Voice Training in her teaching as well as many vocal health exercises learned through her own vocal health journey.
In her free time, Liz enjoys yoga, exercise and, spending time with her husband, Mike. Together, they love to travel, hike, and work on house projects.
Private Voice Lesson Program
Our private voice lesson program consists of weekly lessons and three performances a year. As part of the Jazz and Creative Institute, we also invite singers to perform at the jazz jam session monthly if interested. We offer private voice lessons in 30-min, 45-min, and 60-min sessions. A typical lesson begins with stretching/alignment and vocal warmups followed by vocal exercises selected specifically to train and balance your voice. We will generally apply the technique training portion to repertoire which is selected together. Aspects of theory and musicianship are covered throughout. Beginners should take a 30-min lesson and professional singers should opt for the 60-min lesson. Please contact us at 269-350-4311 if you have questions about what lesson length is right for you. For best results, lessons should be taken weekly, however you may schedule intermittently if we cannot find a suitable weekly meeting time. All lessons are prepaid via the online scheduling and billing system.
We also offer vocal coaching to help singers prepare for upcoming auditions or recording sessions in a short time frame. This is different from a private lesson because the focus is more heavily on repertoire and less on long-term technique development. We’ll help you choose songs and keys that are right for your age, voice, technical abilities and audition type. We will find strategies for any challenging song parts and make individualized arrangements to showcase your strengths. Coachings may be scheduled as individual 60-min lessons, or weekly as part of the private lesson program.
We offer 60-min songwriting/arranging sessions to songwriters who need to learn basic composition and/or who want to flesh out their ideas. Sessions may be done once or several times, either sequentially or on an as-needed basis. Coachings may be scheduled as individual 60-min lessons, or weekly as part of the private lesson program.Want to hear Ashley’s original music? Check out her website.