"Ali is the best teacher I’ve ever had! She’s improved my voice so much... Her lessons are at lot of fun and they really help. She has taught me so much and it's like the lessons are fit exactly for me. I think she's an amazing, interesting, and charismatic teacher with incredible vocal skills. I owe my vocal improvement all to her! I highly recommend her if you are looking for a talented teacher who isn't a lifeless bore. "
Saskia, 13 year-old voice student
"High above the F train, overlooking Prospect Park, there lived a nightingale giving lessons to Brooklyn's cool cats. If you want to buzz your larynx into perfect trills and croon long and lengthy rounded phrases, climb the steps to the top and let your lungs take in the breeze of Alibaba's perch on PPSW."
Lisa Narducci, Flamenco voice/dance student and carpenter
"Ali is a powerful singer and a talented teacher. She is a very warm person and this helps her students (me included!) feel comfortable immediately. She helped me improve my vocal technique, and my use of breath to create a fuller sound. I highly recommend her!"
Aram Rubenstein Gillis, Teaching Artist and singer/songwriter
To sing and perform well, we must learn to be present in the moment. This is where good technique and musicianship begin. When we are able to keep our minds clear and focus our attention on practicing the intuitive process that is singing, our ability to communicate and perform authentically with grace, ease, beauty and humor is endless.
One of the first questions I ask my new students is “Why are you taking voice lessons?” I want to know what your goals are and how I can help you achieve them. I have some students who want to prepare for auditions, some with careers as professional musicians, some wanting to train their ears and voice to stay on pitch better, and some who are young and eager to simply learn about music, their voice and to have singing and performing in their lives.
I believe that singing should be enjoyable, fun, playful, freeing. Singing should also be challenging. Challenge helps us to grow, expand and question our experience as we know it in this world. Should it be complicated? No. All to often we let our thoughts and judgments get in the way of the physical, intuitive process of singing. When we engage in the simple act of making the process happen, (in other words, stay present from moment to moment), singing can return to a naturally instinctive experience that we all know how to do. The key is allowing, understanding and trusting that process to happen. In other words, we need to get out of our own way!
Breathing is one of our body’s most instinctive functions. To watch a baby breathe is to watch something so natural, so easy. It is something they don’t have to think about, rather something they simply know how to do. Their bellies and lungs fill with air and move without thought or tension. To hear a baby cry is to hear a sound so primal, so intuitive. They don’t think to themselves, “How do I make a sound to release this feeling inside?” When they want to communicate, their bodies, minds and spirits rely on instinct, and it happens. Understanding and mastering our physical instincts is the gateway to good technique. As singers we must have an understanding of how our instrument works. We must know the difference between good tension and bad tension. We must experiment and explore to discover our authentic, healthy, free voice. We begin to do this by learning to manage our breath.
Ali Gibson is a singer, teacher and performer with a varied musical background including opera, art song, jazz, musical theater, folk, rock and song writing. Located in Bristol, Vermont, Ali teaches both out of her home and as a voice faculty member at the Middlebury Community Music Center (MCMC). Whether you are an experienced singer looking to polish your technique, or a young new performer just starting out on your journey, please explore this site and contact Ali to make an appointment or share any comments. Welcome!
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Ali has traveled far and wide to explore her musical pursuits, and is thrilled to make a home base in Bristol, Vermont with her husband and young son. With a Bachelor’s of Music from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Master’s of Music from the UNC School of the Arts' Fletcher Opera Institute in Opera Performance, Ms. Gibson has performed as an opera singer with companies such as the Aspen Opera Theater Center, Fletcher Opera Institute, Festival Opera and Opera San Jose.
Upon moving to New York City as a Kenan Fellow with the Lincoln Center Institute in 2004, Ali discovered the world of Arts in Education and became a teaching artist. Through this lens of artistry, which encourages and develops one's work both as an artist/musician and as an educator, Ali partnered with organizations such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Institute, The Metropolitan Opera Guild, New York City Opera, and The Dreamyard Project, where she taught and performed in schools throughout NYC.
Ali began teaching private voice lessons in 2000 and has been doing so steadily ever since. Working one on one with students, beginner to advanced, young and old, is a particular joy of hers. "I so enjoy the privilege of watching voice students make discoveries from lesson to lesson as they open up and hone their skills as musicians. These discoveries become practiced skills over time, and what could be better than guiding someone along their journey as music makers and artists?"
But what about Covid?
I have decided NOT to teach Zoom or online lessons at the moment. Many musicians and teachers have found a way to make it work and I applaud them! I, however, have found teaching voice online is not a good fit for me. I am currently offering IN PERSON voice lessons out of my barn at my home in Bristol, Vermont, while the weather is cooperative. There is lots of room, a great air filter and a wood stove to keep the chill off. Come winter, Covid may cut our in person lessons short until Spring, or we may decide that we feel safe following the guidelines for indoor gatherings. It is a very individual choice, and I value each person's needs and decisions.