Vocals, Bass, Theory
Jasmin has a master’s degree in voice from Cincinnati Conservatory, and bachelor’s degree from USC Thornton School of Music. She is a two-time winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council: Oregon District, and won second place at the 2017 M.O.N.C. Seattle Regionals. In Portland, she plays bass with her band, Talk Mouth. Jasmin helps her students find new avenues of creative expression, and transform their lives through the magic of music.
What age were you when you first started taking music lessons?
I started taking piano lessons when I was six, and when I was old enough, around 12, I began voice lessons and have been taking them every month since then.
Tell us about an early music lessons experience that helped shape you as a musician or teacher:
Well, as boring as this may sound, my first 8 years of lessons (all of middle school and high school) were all conducted in the same manner: we’d warm up with breath development, vocalize for one half-hour, then spend the rest of the time working on repertoire. I took two one-hour lessons each week, and through every hardship in my life, I could always count on those 2 hours a week where I could just focus on my favorite thing in the world: music. I was blessed by the universe to have a teacher that had always directed me towards musicians & composers whose skill never ceased to thrill me. Music has always been my biggest passion, so I studied it throughout school, university, and conservatory studies. I have not stopped taking lessons since I began formally training in middle school.
What are your favorite bands or musicians?
The most influential musicians in my life have been mostly great jazz & opera giants: Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Corea, Charles Mingus, Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne, to name a few favorites. I also am very inspired by a lot of modern musicians like Christian Scott Atunde, Thundercat, Buika, Alabama Shakes, Vulfpeck, Kamasi Washington, & Hiatus Kaiyote.
Do you have a highlight of your music career so far that you would like to share?
The highlight of my career so far was performing Strawberry Woman in Porgy & Bess and covering Atalanta in Xerxes at The Glimmerglass Festival in New York. I worked with some absurdly talented people that summer and was really able to elevate my craft and my confidence in my artwork.
Describe your ideal student.
My ideal student comes to their lessons with an open mind, always analyzing sensations and familiarizing their bodies with their voices during their practice time at home, while also allowing themselves the freedom to release inhibitions while they’re singing with me. They come to lessons with their assigned music prepared so we can dive deeper into that connection between technique and expression, finding ways to bridge the gap between passionate expression and great technique. My ideal student understands that the voice, like the body, is always growing and evolving, and that lessons are just one tool on their journey of exploring music for themselves. The most important expectation I have of students is that they practice often at home and are ready to advance their skills every time they come to a lesson. Practice is the only way to improvement!
Describe what your students should expect in their first few music lessons.
My voice students should always expect to focus at first on proper breathing, posture, basic vocalizes, and aural skills (ear training) for their first few lessons. I like to begin repertoire and adding tougher vocalizes after the basics have been established and practiced for a few weeks. Vocalists in my studio can always expect half of their lesson to eventually be dedicated to technique, and half for repertoire preparation. For bass students, we will focus on basics by working through technical exercises (scales, arpeggios, and variations) and a few common progressions in which we’ll discuss theory, technique, and how to practice. Over time, we will advance our song repertoire and begin to focus on improvisation and writing bass lines & solos.
Why did you want to become a music teacher?
I have always dreamed of being a full-time musician, but being a full-time performer often meant leaving my home for months or years at a time for festivals and schools. So, I decided to teach a friend as a first step towards something new, and it wasn’t more than a few weeks into his lessons before I realized that helping people reveal and grow into their inner musician is a true calling of mine. I just love to hear people find or reinvest in their passion and to be able to help them find their confidence to keep growing in this incredible language of music. Art is a necessity of a fulfilling life!
Want to see Jasmin on stage? Check out Talk mouth on Facebook!
Want to book a lesson with Jasmin? Get Started!