Miranda Borka

Miranda Borka

My name is Miranda, and I live with my husband and our cat in West Michigan. I have been activly involved in music since my early childhood, singing in various choirs, worship teams and as a soloist throughout my community. I started teaching voice while still in high school. My first student was the daughter of a very good friend. This friend home schooled her children, and this was a great opportunity for me to begin my teaching career. I now teach private lessons in my home to grades K-12 and above, and I also offer a variety of group workshops open to the community. I love learning right along with (and even from) my students, and I enjoy watching them progress in and out of the studio. When I'm not teaching my husband and I are Contemporary Christian musicians, traveling and ministering at various churches, camps, festivals and assisted living homes. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, spending time with friends and following Detroit Tigers baseball.

Last month I wrote about building community and catching the interest of prospective students through group workshops. Thanks to those who provided valuable feedback on my last article. I will continue to explore the avenue of workshops in future posts, but this month as we embark on a new year I want to give you a creative way to acomplish the two above goals during the Holiday season.

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As I prepared for another season of teaching earlier this Fall, I was trying to think of ways to foster community among my students while at the same time allowing prospective students to become familiar with my studio. I decided that one of the best ways to do this was to have workshops on various aspects of singing and music. These workshops are small with only 3-5 participants, and have been arranged in an age-appropriate environment.

Students in grades 3-5 can learn basic singing techniques during our Disney Day sing-along, and they can also learn how to sing harmony in our rounds workshop. Junior high and high school students can broaden their horizons with Broadway, and our rounds workshop is available to them as well. Starting with junior high students, we also have a workshop that explores the meanings and emotions behind the lyrics of a song. This idea of unwrapping the package of a song culminated into a six week course on Song writing. The Song writing course is available to junior high, high school and adult students. Adult students can also participate in our rounds workshop and unwrapping the package of a song.

Other than the six week course on song writing, these workshops are 45-60 minutes, so participants can learn and have fun without being overwhelmed or quickly losing interest. I’m opening registration within the next month, and the first set will begin in January. In future articles on this topic, I’ll talk about the format and plans I have for each workshop. Do you offer group lessons or workshops in your studio? Do you open them to the public? How has this worked or not worked for you? I’d love any feedback you have, so please post in the comments section below.

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