About Nikki Loney & Mim Adams (and the FULL VOICE Story)
Hi Music teacher...thanks for stopping by.
Wondering who we are and why we LOVE what we do?
Here is a bit about Mim and I and the FULL VOICE story.
About Nikki Loney
My name is Nikki, and I love working with singers in the private voice studio. (I also love kickboxing, hot yoga, thunderstorms, working late/sleeping in, graphic/web design, Star Wars AND Star Trek and N.E.P.D. - Never Ending Professional Development.)
I believe that everyone can sing.
My evil agenda is to encourage more teachers to open up their teaching studios to young singers. YES! THEY ARE READY FOR VOCAL LESSONS. (And, yes, I was yelling that.) Children of all abilities can greatly benefit from introductory vocal music lessons. For the teacher - It is truly rewarding work. If you are up for this amazing opportunity - we are here to help.
With that being said - my first years of teaching were not fun. In fact, at the beginning (over twenty years ago), private teaching was a part time job that I HATED.
My first teaching job was in a small music store with a dirty, run down lesson department. I had students of all ages and no matter how hard I tried, my students didn't stick around for very long. My young singers stressed me out the most. There were no resources for singing teachers back then. I struggled to keep students engaged and learning in my private lessons.
My Dad is a super hard-working and entrepreneur type of guy (Here he is pretending to be put to sleep by the 2nd edition Workbooks - ha ha). So when I complained about how dreadful teaching was - he told me to do something about it or find something else to do (the Loney's have a no whining policy).
I moved to a better music school and started networking with other teachers. Here I met my friend and colleague Mim Adams, and we began creating one-page worksheets to try with our students. That was the beginning of the FULL VOICE Workbooks.
Testing, editing, testing and more editing...
Mim and I tested the workbooks for several years, collecting feedback from voice teachers and choral directors. We ripped apart and reorganized the first two books at least a dozen times! (and we remained friends in the process - amazing!)
We held teacher focus groups and started a FULL VOICE newsletter to keep in touch with all the passionate teachers who helped us along the way!
We continue to collect feedback to keep improving our workbooks and provide great teacher resources.
I was now teaching from my home in Toronto and at a wonderful lesson education centre in Burlington, Ontario. Teaching was now a passionate career I enjoyed. I joined the registered music teachers association (ORMTA) and NATS and continued my N.E.P.D.
I also became an Ultimate Music Theory Certified Teacher. I love teaching private and group theory lessons.
3rd Edition Release and New Website
In July 2014 We launched the 3rd Edition FULL VOICE Workbooks and a new eCommerce friendly website. We introduced our FULL VOICE Blog and Podcast and Free Resource Page. We now have teachers in Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore using our workbooks in private and classroom programs. And we now offer licensing for large classrooms or choral groups.
Here we are today
I now live and teach in beautiful Hamilton, Ontario. I share a fantastic private teaching studio with my husband (guitar and mandolin player) Shawn Trotter. Shawn has a professional recording studio in our home and he is my personal recording engineer for the FULL VOICE podcasts (don't tell him I said that). He also makes an incredible latte and is an amazing DAD. Our son Noah is six years old. He just started piano (Pa-na-no) lessons and he is still dealing with the reality that you have to practice EVERY DAY (poor kid).
When I am not teaching, I am interrogating, bribing, interviewing and probably annoying my talented and expert colleagues to bring you great teaching ideas.
Here I am with Dr. Chris Foley (Noah's piano teacher) on the cover of the Ontario Registered Music Teacher Association Magazine. We always get in trouble and we are no longer allowed to sit together at any meetings.
also: I am no longer allowed to sit in on Noah's piano lessons either. /-:
Here is my boring bio: Nikki is a professional vocalist and Registered Music Teacher from Hamilton, Ontario Canada. She is an honours graduate of the Humber College Music Program. She works with professional and amateur vocalists ages 6 to 63, preparing them for examinations, post secondary auditions, competitions and professional singing endeavours. Nikki has over twenty years of recording studio experience and her vocals have been featured on television and radio jingles, and commercial recording releases.
About Mim Adams
When I started teaching back around the turn of the millennium, I felt immediately that there must be a better way to teach young vocalists. It was all so scattered, trying to work on technique, repertoire and the basic fundamentals of music theory within the half-hour lesson format. Like Nikki, I felt deflated by all the extra work.
So when she asked me to assist with the FULL VOICE workbooks, I jumped at the chance. I could see it was exactly what I, and other teachers just like me, needed. Don't get me wrong - the workbooks have been a huge effort from everyone on the team. But I get to see its effects in every vocal lesson I teach, and it feels amazing!
I love to see students using their music knowledge. I love the nitty-gritty details of reading and communicating musical ideas, controlling our bodies to produce sounds, and how it all fits together.
As a kid I never had private music lessons, but I took what I learned in school and the tips my mom was able to give me and played piano every day for about ten years. Because it was FUN. As a teen I fell in love with big band music, golden age musicals and Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. I listened and sang along non-stop. Looking back, my formative years were spent looking at music, and listening to music. It was all input. Now I can see how that has translated to purposeful musical output. It's rather an amazing, lucky journey.
Funny enough, it was learning about triads that made me choose to study music in college. The concept blew my mind, and is probably the reason I'm so enchanted with jazz and arranging.
I'm an honours graduate of the Mohawk College Music Program where I studied vocal jazz, focused heavily on arranging, and now am a vocal instructor. I also run the jazz choir course at York University. I teach private lessons and play in a number of bands around Toronto, Ontario. My next project is to take my passion for music notation and develop my career as a transcriber, arranger and copyist. Other stuff I love is 18th century literature, history, hiking and thrift store shopping ($15 vintage dress? Yes please!).