I have taught privately since 2002. Note that in my current position as Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, I am not currently teaching privately.
My singing students come from various backgrounds, from professional musicians and actors to adults and youth who have never sung publicly but always wanted to. I work to create a nurturing, supportive learning environment in which my students can take risks and discover the full potential of their singing voices.
Using techniques that focus on imagery, breathwork, and physical exercises, I integrate non-traditional approaches with more traditional bel canto techniques. I think of my approach as an embodied singing pedagogy. That may sound silly–don’t our voices always come from our bodies?–yet the body really holds both the locks and the keys in discovering a rich singing voice. So my teaching pays attention to bodies as well as to sounds. The result is a unique blend of technique, physical work, imagination, and emotion that allow for great risk-taking, leading to new personal insights, and beginning to walk the path of discovering your singing voice.
A little about my formal training…I have a diploma in Music Theatre (Grant MacEwan Community College, Edmonton), a Master in Adult Education (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education), a Ph.D. in Music Education (University of Toronto) and I have trained in diverse singing styles. I have apprenticed with renowned contemporary opera artist Fides Krucker and I’ve studied vocal pedagogy with Lorna MacDonald at the University of Toronto.
A Philosophy of Letting Go
My good friend and writer Chris Kay Fraser (Firefly Creative Writing) gave me a card that reads If you hold on to the handle, she said, it’s easier to maintain the illusion of control. but it’s more fun if you just let the wind carry you. This card has sat on my piano for nine years now because its message is the heart of my singing and teaching philosophy.
Some of us are lucky enough to just open our mouths and sing, joyously and un-self-consciously. Like my young sons. But most of us, beginners to professionals, think singing is about perfection, about control, about beautiful sounds. To some extent singing is about these things. But what if singing was also about letting go? About setting yourself adrift in the wilderness of your sensual and emotional self and see where that leads you? Don’t get me wrong: singing is hard work. But lots of the hard work is in unlearning those voice-body habits that have served us by protecting us from harm, but have also protected us from fully living, fully breathing, and fully singing. My philosophy of singing is a philosophy that resides in the flaws, the cracks, the frays, the unknown. I ask you to be both curious and brave. Bring your whole self into the studio. Stand on the edge of your experience and ability and trust yourself to let go.
What students say:
“I’ve always been afraid of singing yet secretly longed to, Deanna put me at complete ease and gave me the confidence to enjoy my own voice and let it out! A true gift from a gifted teacher.”
“Deanna Yerichuk is a wonderfully gifted vocalist and educator. In addition to having a gifted singing voice and an incredibly firm grasp of vocal technique and style, Deanna understands the deep connection between art and survival. She has guided me to map out the path to my true voice, helping me to recognize along the journey both my strengths and the obstacles that inhibit them. With Deanna, I have gained the confidence and courage to perform in front of audiences.”