31 May Teaching the communicative and healing power of music…
By ArtSmart Mentor, Nikki Einfeld
While many would consider me primarily a performer of classical and operatic works ranging from world premieres to the early works of Rameau, I have also been involved in music education for as long as I have been a professional. Teaching the communicative and healing power of music has been a constant part of my life. From the time I was a young student growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba I was lucky enough to have many music mentors who have shaped and influenced the artist that I have become today. Music is my passion, my escape, and has been a healing balm right from childhood. By playing flute in my junior high band, taking piano and being a part of every choir and musical theater production I could, I found my calling and ultimately my life’s work. Winnipeg also has rich tradition of choral music, which only served to fortify my belief in music as community and I both sang in and conducted many choirs over the years.
Fresh out of my undergrad in addition to performing and keeping a private studio I also started working in grade schools with children of all ages. I directed and choreographed musicals, worked with bands and conducted choirs. I even had the pleasure of taking over an extended leave of absence in an elementary music class. My experience in education has truly run the gamut and helped me to advocate and recognize all the good that music is doing in our schools. I ultimately went on to make a career performing and teaching privately but I stand by the positive and proven influences of music education right from the primary years for every student, no matter what path they will ultimately follow.
My career became more performance focused when was offered an Adler Fellowship with San Francisco Opera. While performing took a more central position in my life my love of teaching never faded and I still teach privately and in group settings and masterclasses to this day. I love working with young singers of all ages and truly love to geek out about vocal technique, vowel formants and breath control. But more important to me is highlighting the true gift that we have in sharing and communicating music with others and as community. On my journey I have worked with so many people who rely on music for its transformative powers in their lives whether they are professionals or amateur music lovers. After all, and one of my favorite quotes; “Without music, life would be a mistake.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)