All Ages and Levels
$26 -$60, depending upon length and eligible discounts.
A roomy, elegant Victorian style music studio near Montecito in Santa Barbara, 10 minutes from downtown.
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What to Expect
Teaching since 1976, Professor Christine Holvick has developed a refreshing and bold approach to music instruction. Her students are offered complete and balanced musical training. Her delightful instruction prepares them for any future: from successful professional to contented amateur.
Upon arrival at the studio, students quickly drop their nervous first-lesson apprehensions once they meet this remarkable teacher. With her contagious enthusiasm, she soon has them joining the enticing journey of converting their musical dreams into reality.
Yours, Mine, & Theirs
Professor Holvick’s students discover the joy of creativity through improvisation and composition and may be equally inspired by learning their favorite works of the historical masters: Bach to Beatles or Mozart to Miles.
Whether Professor Holvick is teaching piano, voice, harp, or diction, her lessons are designed and paced to match the level and personality of each individual student.
3 years old - 103 years old (See Suzuki Method below)
Beginners to advanced.
Piano is the Home Base
Piano is the basis of all music, which is why every music school in the country requires music students to become competent on piano. Music is an important key to a grounded body, a sharp mind, and a balanced life. All music is therapeutic. In the education of every child, the study of music is as important as readin,' writin,' & 'rithmatic and is critical to every child's developing brain.
For students 3 years old to 103 years old, the piano is the gateway to all music and all musical instruments. Professor Holvick makes the study of piano an alluring adventure into a fascinating world where other teachers do not go. Students find themselves quickly playing music they would never imagine they could be capable of playing. Whether reading from the page or improvising on a melody they composed themselves, students are taught to let go of judgment and freely immerse themselves into the tingling thrill of the musical ride.
Positive Piano Practicing
Professor Holvick teaches her students how to practice in a positive way so that their time at the piano is eagerly anticipated because it is entertaining and gratifying. Many pupils record their studio lessons to facilitate their practicing at home.
Holvick Method of Piano
Professor Holvick took decades to develop a superior, unique, and efficient method of teaching piano that is effective in providing students a thorough musical education. With this direct and user-friendly approach, students can more quickly play the kind of music they like because they understand music and can see how it is constructed.
Components of Piano Study
Breadth of study includes strengthening, relaxation, note reading and writing, improvisation, composing, arranging, chord chart playing, classical & jazz music theory, ear training, dynamics/expression, sight reading, the reading, writing, and execution of rhythm, repertoire building, conducting & accompanying practices, stage presence, costuming, professional make-up, overcoming stage fright.
Pupils studying both voice and piano with Professor Holvick learn the popular skill of accompanying themselves on the piano while singing.
Singing is not just singing
With a lifetime of dance coupled with performing repeatedly on national television and to live crowds of many thousands, Christine Holvick understands entertainment. Audiences hear songs with their eyes. Singing is visual. All singing is acting and the visual expression of a mood and story from head to toe - even if the singer is behind a piano, guitar, or harp. The body is the frame for the voice-painting. This is why so many successful singers don't necessarily have "great" voices if evaluated from the perspective of the classic "clear tone voice."
Professor Holvick brings out the pure true unencumbered voice within every student and then empowers that voice. From there, sometimes students choose to stylize their voice to fit a certain genre of music.
6 years old to 85 years old.
Beginners to professionals. Professor Holvick firmly believes everyone can learn to sing well. She delights in unveiling the exquisite singing voices from those astonished students who considered themselves to be "non-singers."
Professor Holvick specializes in coaching students to win musical theater auditions and to prepare for competitions such as American Idol. Acting is always incorporated for the polished singing performance whether for the musical theater or the classical recital.
User-friendly Vocal Method
Are you tired of hearing conflicting and complex directions from singing teachers? Professor Holvick has honed a unique method of teaching singing that is simple and results in rapid improvement.
Components of Voice Study
Elements of study include posture alignment, anatomical vocal support structures, spacious breathing, clear unimpeded tone, vocal range expansion, the seamless transition between and the blending of ranges, broadened volume, spot-on pitch, audience-grateful immaculate diction, Queen's English, Cockney & Irish accents, facial expression, relaxation, microphone techniques, arm & hand gestures, dance embellishments, stage presence, costuming, stage makeup, transcending stage fright.
Practicing Voice & Song Accompaniments
Lessons are recorded to make it convenient for pupils to practice at home or to sing their favorite songs while they drive. Pupils' songs are accompanied by live piano, harp, or professionally recorded C.D.'s.
Although classical repertoire is available and accessible, most students gravitate to non-classical music in the realm of popular music or musical theater. However, often these students also delightfully engage in classical pieces as "etudes" (student study pieces) to warm up their voices during practice time. Song language options include: French, Spanish, Latin, & Italian.
Approaching the Harp
Professor Holvick frequently explains, "Studying piano is akin to studying jazz dance; while studying harp is similar to studying ballet." Like ballet, playing the harp requires appropriate posture and positioning of the arms, wrists, hands, and fingers in order to produce opulent tone without the possibility of fatigue or long term wear.
Being a performing virtuoso harpist for nearly her entire life, Professor Holvick instructs her pupils how to execute the simplest beginner pieces in a professional manner as well as encourages them to envision a future of endless musical possibilities. She also bestows upon her students the joy of instant gratification by guiding them to play well in their first lesson.
Holvick Method for Harp Study
Professor Holvick took decades to develop a superior, unique, and efficient formula for teaching harp that is effective in providing students with a thorough musical education. The result is that students can more quickly play the kinds of music they like with this direct and user-friendly approach because they understand the music and see its construction.
Components of Harp Study
Professor Holvick's superior method for teaching harp generously incorporates elements from the following aspects of music and harp: posture, tuning, replacing strings, technical skill and strength, relaxation, note reading and writing, improvisation, composing, arranging, playing from chord charts, classical & jazz music theory, the reading, writing, and execution of rhythm, glissando and arpeggio techniques, special effects, ear training, dynamics/expression, speed sight-reading, repertoire building, conducting and orchestral practices, amplification, stage presence, costuming, make-up, conquering stage fright.
3 years old - 103 years old (See Suzuki Method below)
Several harps are available to rent if a student does not own a harp.
Positive Harp Practicing
Professor Holvick coaches her pupils how to practice in a positive way so they approach the harp with anticipation because the practice time is entertaining and gratifying. Many pupils record their studio lessons for the convenience of assisting with their practicing at home.
Repertoire at the Harp
Students frequently compose their own music. Piano sheet music is interchangeable with harp music. All genres of music are encouraged. Professor Holvick has an enormous library of the traditional harp music ranging from the Medieval Period to contemporary music for students interested in exploring options. Celtic music is a particular favorite amongst harp students. Additionally, because Professor Holvick has a Masters of Music Degree in Jazz Studies, students pursue her to learn the jazz genre. Those pupils preferring to studying both voice and harp seek her expertise to learn the skill of accompanying themselves on the harp while singing.
Hand Position Technique
If students have no specific hand position technique, Professor Holvick teaches a slightly modified Salzedo Technique. If students already play French, German, or other international technique to effective results, she does not change their techniques, but corrects their alignment taking their techniques into consideration as well as the natural shape of their hands. Professor Holvick was trained in both French and Salzedo Techniques and plays a fusion of both.
Diction for Speaking
Specializing in diction and enunciation instruction, Professor Holvick trains actors, speakers, and media announcers to greatly improve their resonance, clarity, and projection. The outcome is a rich and velvety natural sounding speech that is easily understood.
All Ages, All Levels
Elements of study may include posture alignment, the vocal instrument's anatomical support structures, spacious breathing, clear unimpeded tone, vocal range control, dynamic phrasing, broadened volume, audience-grateful immaculate diction, Queen's English, Cockney & Irish accents, facial expressions, microphone techniques, room acoustic assessment, props usage, podium practices, arm & hand gestures, stage presence, costuming, stage makeup, mastering stage fright.
Lessons are recorded for the convenience of pupils so they can practice at home or while they drive. Pupils recite phrases and words, and sentences that are tailored to their needs and goals. (Think of the Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
Early Childhood Music Education
EXPANDED SUZUKI METHOD
The Suzuki Method was developed in Japan to teach music to children between 2 and 5 years old when their brains were hard wired to acquire languages
Children begin lessons as soon as their arms are strong enough to balance and embrace a small harp or articulate their fingers on a keyboard. This is usually at the age of three or four. The child and parent attend lessons together and are both involved at the daily practice time. Young children learn to play piano or harp by ear, through touching, seeing, singing, and hearing rather than by reading notes on a page, just as children talk long before they learn to read words in a book.
All little ones learn to improvise and compose as well as play the songs they sing at school and at home. The primary difference between the Japanese Suzuki Method in which Professor Holvick was trained and her own expanded Suzuki Method is that she encourages children to choose their favorite songs to learn rather than confining them to the standard international Suzuki repertoire. Additionally, traditional Japanese Suzuki method does not teach children to improvise and compose. These skills are more respected in the American jazz-influenced culture. Young children draw their own pictures. Why would we only let them copy other pictures? If children are not encouraged to create at an early age, they will be afraid to play a single note of music unless someone else wrote it. Professor Holvick nurtured her progeny with the Holvick/Suzuki Method at age 2 or 3. Both are professional musicians today.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell