Singing is good for you. It boosts the immune system and prolongs life (at least according to the Barbershop Harmony Society). The human voice is arguably the most amazing instrument on the planet. And though the world is full of incredible instrumental works, nothing captivates the listener quite the way that a singer does. Whether it's opera, pop or heavy metal, there are techniques that all singers need to know to not only produce a great sound, but also to avoid damaging vocal cords. Because unlike all the other instruments out there, you can't just go buy a new one.
At Madison Music Foundry we have a selection of great instructors who give voice lessons. Instruction is available for any age and level at a time that's convenient for you.
Alison Margaret Bracken
Alison Margaret Bracken’s relationship with music is both deep and broad, spanning the continuum between performance and formal education. She hails from Chicago, where she studied at the prestigious Columbia College, earning a degree in vocal jazz performance with a minor emphasis in classical piano. She has a master’s of music education with a focus on jazz performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Alison has been a music educator for over 18 years. In addition to holding a private studio of approximately 25 students, Ms. Margaret is a faculty associate for the Music Education Area at UW-Madison and teaches courses such as composition, arranging, and orchestration. She has also taught group piano and music theory courses at Madison College. Her educational philosophy is rooted in inclusive schooling concepts and she welcomes students with unique learning styles and music interests.
As a vocalist, Alison leads the “Alison Margaret Jazz Quartet.” The group has performed at Madison’s Jazz at 5 Festival, Milwaukee's 3rd Ward Jazz Festival, the Brink Lounge, Memorial Union, Isthmus Jazz Festival, and a host of other venues. Alison has also performed at many famous Chicago jazz haunts and festivals, including the Green Mill, the Hot House, Jazz Showcase, and the Navy Pier. She is likewise an accomplished Hammond organist in the Madison music scene and performs frequently with local blues bands and leads a jazz/soul group featuring the sounds of Hammond greats such as Chester Thompson, Jimmy Smith, Booker T, and The Meters.
Catie Brooks is a vibrant opera singer, vocal teacher, and music director currently residing in the Madison, WI area. Catie teaches in all vocal styles, and specializes in classical, pop, and musical theater. Catie graduated in May of 2020 from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with a dual Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Music Theatre. Catie is currently serving as the Worship Arts Coordinator at Sugar River United Methodist Church in Verona, WI. There, she leads the worship band, founded a community christian choir, and leads all of the church's musical and dramatic elements. Catie looks forward to her next project, teaching voice classes to students aged 5-18 at the Verona Area Community Theater this fall.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Marie McManama studied classical voice at CCM in Cincinnati with both Bachelors and Masters degrees. Marie has performed with the Madison Choral Project, Four Seasons Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, St. Louis Symphony, SongFest, and the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming. While completing her Masters she also earned her second Bachelors in music education and recently won a scholarship from the Wisconsin Music Educators Association for excellence in teaching. She sang Julie Jordan in Middleton Players Theatre’s production of Carousel and was the soprano studio artist with Madison Opera while touring as the Queen of the Night with Opera for the Young’s production of The Magic Flute.
Marie began teaching privately in 2002. She has taught K-12 general music and choir in public schools in Cincinnati, OH and Madison, WI and taught privately through music schools and churches. Her students are active participants in annual solo and ensemble festivals, community theater and music camps, Madison Youth Choir, and the Madison Boychoir Festival.
Autonomous study is her main goal of private teaching. She teaches music theory, ear training, sight-reading skills, the International Phonetic Alphabet, and text analysis in addition to her vocal technique training. Marie teaches classical, musical theater, jazz, and pop styles.
VOICE, PIANO, SAXOPHONE, CLARINET, TRUMPET
Evan Mitchell has been teaching voice, piano, and instrument lessons to students of all ages, varieties, and styles for the past 9 years. He is a graduate of Luther College and McGill University, where he has advanced degrees in Music Performance. He has performed both classical and pop music throughout the United States and Canada as a recitalist, lead singer, chorister, accompanist, and director. He has taught at the college level, specializing in music history, performance, and literacy courses, as well has holding his own private studio. In addition to 19th century French opera and Cole Porter standards, Evan holds a deep interest for novelty and humorous songs- be sure to ask him what that means, and he will be sure to give you some great music to listen and sing to that will be sure to make you laugh!
Tenor Daniel O'Dea is an active performer and teacher based in Madison, WI. As a versatile and seasoned singer proficient in opera, musical theater and contemporary music, he has been praised for his “high, clear voice” and powerful performances.
Daniel completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received the Wisconsin Distinguished Collins Fellowship. He received his Artist Diploma in Opera from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), Masters of Music in Voice from CCM and Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance from Westminster Choir College. He was an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera and is an alumnus of the Aspen Opera Theater Center, Brevard Music Center and the Chautauqua Institute.
He has performed with Philadelphia based choral group The Crossing including their 2017 Grammy nominated recording Bonheoffer. Locally he has collaborated with the Madison Choral Project, Middleton Players Theater, Madison Bach Musicians, Present Music Milwaukee, the Token Creek Music Festival and others. Regionally he has worked with the Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus, Chicago Bach Project, Grant Park Symphony Chorus, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.
Daniel maintains a large and active studio at the Madison Music Foundry. He encourages his students to use their instrument healthily no matter the musical style. Students work on music from many different genres including rock, pop, jazz, musical theater and classical. Lessons are tailored to the individual, from beginners to professionals. His goal is to help students find their own unique sound and to make beautiful music.
PIANO, HAMMOND ORGAN, GUITAR, ELECTRIC BASS, STRING BASS, FRETTED STRINGS, VOICE, ABLETON LIVE
Kevin Knapp is a freelance multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator living in Madison, WI with over 30 years experience. Having grown up in a home full of educators and music, Kevin is passionate about music education. He focuses on keeping music fun and helping students explore music that excites them.
Kevin’s early accomplishments include acceptance to Interlochen Summer Arts Camp with an emphasis in composition and the Chopin Award for piano performance. Kevin graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Composition from University of Wisconsin, Madison. During his time at UW, he was awarded multiple scholarships, composed numerous pieces for performance by the UW Chior and UW Symphony Orchestra, and was awarded the UW Composition Prize.
These days, Kevin plays Hammond Organ and piano at multiple Madison area churches, provides dance accompaniment to the UW Dance Department, and teaches music privately. He also performs regularly with a variety of Madison-area ensembles with styles ranging from pop to classical.