My Story
I am a native Californian, raised by my single working mother in Napa before it became a worldwide name in the wine industry. In elementary school, we had a very modest music program. A handful of us children participated in a chorus. I remember feeling a sense of rightness about what I was doing. One Christmas concert in particular, I remember feeling that singing was the most important thing in the world. I sensed I was in alignment with my purpose on this planet. After the concert, a teacher made a couple of insensitive, belittling remarks. I recall a feeling of my heart closing and my soul going into retreat. No way did I want to open myself up to that kind of criticism again.
As a 10-year-old child, I did not have the tools to challenge his statements or understand that his words had everything to do with him and his beliefs, and nothing to do with me or my talent.A number of similar interactions with adults in those formative years left me with internalized self-doubt and insecurity, which manifested in a lack of connection to my body when I sang and an overall holding back of my sound.
Your journey may be different from mine. What may be similar, however, is the experience of being told in one way or another that we are not good enough. My journey with singing has been twofold, both technical and spiritual. Technically, I have had to learn the language of music as well as the technique of singing. These did not come easily. I have worked diligently to improve – I am living proof that it can be done!
I know that musical and technical deficiencies can be overcome with the proper guidance and with focused, consistent effort. The inner work has arguably been more profound. Through mindfulness and self-awareness, I came to see the automatic patterns of contraction and suppression that used to arise in my body when I took a breath to sing. I think this is fine since the second verb is part of the descriptive clause modifying patterns that used to be (past tense) and you have come to see the patterns (present perfect tense). By addressing the core beliefs that cause these reactions, and by developing practical tools to overcome them in the moment, I have broken the chains that held me down and achieved success with my singing that the young, discouraged version of myself would not have thought possible.
I know that it is possible to transform and overcome self-imposed limitations born of others’ criticism and disdain.
I often have first-time students come for a lesson and ask, “Do I have what it takes?” The answer is yes. But my response is always: “Have what it takes to what? What is your goal? What do YOU want? How hard are you willing to work?” Some people like their voice lessons because they are entertainment; the lesson IS the goal. Some people want to perform or record. To them I say, “This takes study, practice, and devotion.” Those of you familiar with the four paths of yoga will recognize three: jnana, karma, and bhakti. My first experience with yoga was in an actor training program, offered as one of many body awareness exercises.
The practice enchanted me. I was immediately able to feel my body in parts and as a whole from the inside out. I experienced my muscles working and my heart rate increasing, but in a way that was actually enjoyable. I wasn’t pitted against anyone else, I wasn’t being graded on how fast I could run. It was just sensation, breath, and my inner reactions. I enrolled in a yoga class at my local community college, which provided a systematic approach to learning the postures and sun salutations. When I moved to San Francisco at the age of 20, I discovered my first vinyasa class and felt very prepared for the rigorous movement and creative sequencing. Since that time, I have studied multiple styles of the physical practice, with most of my focus being on my body and sensation. Looking back, I realize that my favorite teachers always had something potent to share beyond the physical practice, and as a teacher I have now come to understand the symphony of human experience that makes up the practice. A casual listener might not notice the violas within the string section, but that listener can experience the fullness of the harmonies provided by the violas’ presence. Likewise, I could feel the spiritual power of classes taught by teachers who understood and embodied yogic philosophy, and now I compose my own classes with a more complete “string section”. I’m also developing a personal care product line that empowers people to choose. I got frustrated with the limited deodorant scent choices available. For days I searched for a specific aroma. After not finding what I wanted, I decided to do it myself. The ethos behind this product line is to offer the best customer service and personalization possible. I notice that our culture is infatuated with scaling and maximizing profit. The consequence is that the individual stops being important.

My commitment to you is to always regard you as a whole, complete, sovereign being worthy of respect and esteem.
I currently live in Nevada City with my husband and our adopted neighborhood stray cat.
We moved away from the San Francisco area as the price of living skyrocketed with the influx of the tech industry.
My sincerest goal at this time is to purchase a home and put down roots in this community I am coming to love so well. I’m working to build a thriving yoga community, forming an a cappella chamber vocal ensemble, and establishing myself with a reputation for excellence in voice teaching.

My hope is that you see something of yourself reflected in my story. Though our individual stories are different, we are not alone in our experiences. Transformation IS possible. Through understanding, practice, and commitment we CAN change patterns that hold us back from living our most fulfilling life.