Marcella teaches private lessons and workshops called
Singing for Joy
If You Can Talk, You Can Sing
Singing Without Fear
Focusing and Your Whole, Free Voice
"My favorite kind of teaching is with adult students who have never lost their longing to use their voice musically or to speak publicly with a sense of ease. Life is short and time is precious to us; we have to go straight for the joy.
Our voice represents us in everyday interaction. Singing is a birthright and an essential instrument of self-expression. Everyone should have access to their fullest, free-est voice.
Singing may be understood as enhanced speech; actually, many social anthropologists believe singing is more basic than speech. Either way, both are made of linguistic sound plus rhythm and intonation – and none of us questions that we know how to talk. Yet, for many people, singing is “other,” frightening, perhaps too dangerous to do at all. It is time to break free.
I teach by tapping into experience that everyone already has, while conveying information that is likely to be fresh even for advanced singers. Together we move singing from the realm of “other” into the realm of what you already know and who you already are, while at the same time opening the door to what more there is to know."
Unsolicited written comments from students, ranging from professional musicians to people singing in public for the first time in their life:
I feel so much more confident and relaxed singing in the choir since studying with her, and that greatly improves my life… My therapist says that what I am doing with my singing is the template for my life. I think a truly gifted voice teacher is rare, and we have one in Marcella. Many fine singers have no idea what they are doing, actually, practically and technically, and don't know how to tell people what to do to sing the way they want to. Or how to figure out what it is they want to do, vocally! Some teachers can tell some technical things to the students but don't know how to connect with the person behind the voice (which is crucial! – or at least incredibly helpful) or how to get to the JOY! part of singing. I believe we all have a voice, uniquely beautiful, and that finding it and singing it is a human right as Marcella has said.
Marcella Calabi has assembled a number of teaching principles that, when combined, do the best job I've yet seen of making singing approachable for anyone. She did a wonderful job of creating a safe environment and gently walked the group from talking to discovering a singing voice. I highly recommend her class if you've ever thought that singing was something you simply couldn't do.
Kai Mantsch (workshop Focusing and Your Whole, Free Voice, San Francisco, Feb 2014)
Marcella is a gifted, wonderful teacher and motivator. She has been very supportive in encouraging me to be the best that I can be, and patiently and carefully given me information that was totally new to me. I am joining my church choir for the first time.
There are, blessedly, many good teachers in the world — and I hope and think I was one of them in my 30 years — but there are VERY few outstanding, inspiring, supportive, patient, and funny ones like yourself: thank you for all you bring to us! I look forward to more. Marjolijn DeJager
Thank you so much for your generosity with your time and your talents! You are a true blessing to those who know you - and you are truly appreciated! The Mozart went very well on Sunday - and I put my added confidence down to your training!
Thank you for your patience, empathy, humor and insight. The journey of uncovering my voice(s) is gathering momentum. What a great pleasure, with your support!
Thanks so much for your consistently inspirational and informative approach - I am growing in leaps and bounds!
I loved your class and want more!
I majored in Voice at Boston University graduating with a BM in 1979. I have studied voice since that year with a total of 4 teachers, performing as a church soloist, as leads in musical theatre and as a soloist in cabarets. Marcella is the BEST teacher I have studied with by far. Intelligent, clear, a consummate musician, she taught me to sing well with a very reliable technique in all scenarios, excellent consistent pitch and clarity of diction with no affect. Essentially, today in my 50s I sing better than I ever did, and I have developed a following in cabaret. Anyone who studies with Marcella will have a teacher who listens acutely and teaches uniquely to specific problems, and will become a much better musician and sing better than they ever imagined, in fact, sing beautifully.
Carol Abercrombie Alston
Thanks again for an amazing class yesterday. FYI, had you not introduced the notion that we should just tell a story with rhythm and pitch, etc. there is no way in hell that I would have sung solo yesterday! YOU popped the cork. I had heard you were extraordinary and the people saying it were not exaggerating!
The Chamber choir sang both services today and I think I sang 'better' - more complete, fuller. I also gave the announcements from the Board of Trustees during the second service and Margie asked me to read a rather long piece as well. I was conscious of mixing chest voice and head voice as I was reading and it felt WONDERFUL! I liked how my speaking voice sounded and the comments afterwards were positive. Thank you for your good guidance.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for yesterday’s lesson! Singing “Dona nobis pacem” as The Queen was a feeling I have never felt and was actually a little emotionally overwhelming. I found myself on the way home thinking; wow…I’m not sure what happened but that moment alone was worth so much more than fee. It was a reality-altering vocal moment! Debbie Handler
I have never worked with a teacher more wonderful than Marcella Calabi. I treasure our singing lessons -- except I am singing through my fingers, as I am a pianist! Several years ago, I invited Marcella to listen to me run through a recital that I was about to perform. Her comments so impressed me that I asked her if we could work together more frequently. Her musical knowledge, imagination and insights are awesome. She connects to your musical desires and makes it possible for you to express them. With Marcella as your teacher you never feel threatened; you have an advocate. Sometimes she sings along, and my piano responds.