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CHRISTA LAZAR - voice teacher, conductor

I am a voice teacher and vocal coach with over 15 years of teaching experience of teaching at music schools as well as privately, specializing in classical vocal technique. I have taught students ranging from 8 years old up to 50 years old. I have successfully prepared students for auditions, exams, performances, and university program admissions.

I have studied voice at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. I have performed in opera and musical theatre productions, (Suzanna in the Marriage of Figaro, Flora in La Traviata, Fransquita in Carmen etc.), in fully staged productions of the Toronto Opera Repertoire, Centuries Opera Association, Etobicoke Musical Theatre and Marquee Productions etc.

I am a choral singer and soloist in the Scola Cantorum choir in Toronto.

I have conducted and taught workshops and directed student productions for various schools and contributed to creating vocal syllabi for vocal programs and festivals. I conduct the St. Elizabeth Hungarian School's Children's Choir.

I am founding member and performer of the Sempre Libera Project, aimed at the artistic development of a group of singers through performance, at creating performance opportunities for young artists ready for stage and promoting the classical music repertoire to audiences.

I teach privately from my home studio in Toronto, Ontario.




Natural talent or rigorous training

I am often asked the question whether one needs to be born with a natural talent for singing, or is singing a skill that anyone can develop with training and dedication, so I would like to express my thoughts on this here.

Anyone can sing. The question is how, for what purpose and how far it can reach. Some people sing in the shower or in their car and it lifts their spirits. Others perform in front of large audiences in memorable performances. A student should be guided by two things: ability to learn and passion for singing. Generally the combination of these two will make a great performer, and lack of either one will only result in great enjoyment of the act of singing but not necessarily the delight of audiences.



I met students with outstandingly gifted voices whom unfortunately could not channel their talent in the right direction out of lack of discipline, dedication or passion. I also met students with great passion and dedication for singing but lacking a level of necessary inborn musicality, which prevented them from breaking through the wall an average singer faces.

There are a few elements in the study of singing that are critical to the development of a successful vocal artist and I will list them here. The lack of any one of these elements could seriously compromise the success of vocal training:

1. Natural musicality or "good ear". It can be taught to some degree, but truly outstanding singers just feel it.
2. Passion for singing. It can not be taught. It should not be mistaken with wanting to be the next pop-star, or with passion for being the center of attention.
3. Discipline. Training as a singer is as demanding as training to be a top athlete or a physicist. It takes hours and hours of hard work, focus and preparation.
4. Positive attitude towards learning. Open-minded, humble, eager to learn, quick to follow instructions.
5. Courage. Willingness to take risks. Singing uncovers our vulnerabilities. Someone who is very shy will never open himself out of fear of failure. It can be taught to some degree but it is beyond the scope of my vocal training.

Expectations from my students

I do not consider vocal instruction a profitable business. I teach my students for a fee of course, but mainly for their success and development.  My students (and their parents) need to carefully consider the list above mentioned. If any of the above elements are not in place, I will recommend that student takes a break. I will not get my students into routines that don't work or don't bring results, and I will comment very frankly on what I believe the student is lacking. After a break, a student may return to training, with new consideration and readiness for what it takes to succeed.

My expectation of my students is high level of preparation, dedication, punctuality, inquisitiveness, eagerness to learn, trust, and constant proof of over-achievement. That is if I ask a student to practice breathing for 10 minutes every day, student will practice 15 minutes every day, not 5 minutes every other day. If I ask student to prepare a song, student will prepare two songs with extras, not the beginning of one song. Success is conditional upon dedication, perseverance, hard work and undeniable passion for your craft.

My privilege

It has been my honour and privilege to teach students with beautiful voices and beautiful souls, who have made me grow as a teacher and as a human being, while I helped them grow as singers. I aim at developing deep respect for each other and for our craft, and thus to contribute together to humanity in some way through music and singing.
I hope to have this privilege again and again, working with you!





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