Priya Shah is a Calgary-born and Toronto-based vocalist, instrumentalist, improviser, music therapist, and contemporary composer. In Calgary, she sang in the Mount Royal Children’s Choir and had the opportunity to perform with Amy Grant and at various festivals across the city. She joined a vocal jazz group in high-school and soon developed a love for scatting and improvisation.
Holding a Bachelor of Music with Honors in Vocal Performance from Carleton University, and a Master of Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Priya has combined her love of performance with engaging in music with people of all ages and abilities. Since moving to Ontario, Priya has performed in bands and as a solo singer-songwriter and vocalist/improviser in Christine Duncan’s ‘Element Choir’ (Ottawa Chamber Music Festival), Kultrun World Music Festival (Waterloo), and Between the Ears Festival of Music and Sound (Kitchener-Waterloo). Priya is a member of two new music groups ‘On the Spot Collective’ and ‘Thelectric Breeze,’ the latter of which received a grant from the City of Ottawa to create an interactive outdoor concert leading up the Canada 150 Celebrations. Priya is an organizer of the Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions, a festival for emerging and early career composers, performers, and improvisers.
Priya uses a person-centered approach to teaching. She believes in teaching the fundamentals of singing and focusing on proper technique while striving to identify and build on students strengths. Priya teaches a variety of styles including jazz, pop, rock, folk, soul, RnB, and musical theatre. In addition to voice, she plays the piano, guitar, ukulele, and accordion.
When Priya is not teaching, she works as a music therapist, performer, festival organizer, contemporary composer, and yoga instructor. She continues to write and compose original music. Priya is currently working on an EP to be released in late 2018.
Get to know Priya…Beyond the Bio!
Hobbies: Reading, going on adventures in the woods, and spending time with friends and family
Musical influences: Bjork, Sade, Michael Jackson, Portishead, and everything I hear around me!
Favourite food: Chocolate
Least favourite food: N/A
Favourite music: Mood-dependent, or Disney J
Favourite song: “Vienna” by Billy Joel, “Thank you for the music” by ABBA
Favourite movie: Alice in Wonderland
Favouirite movie music: Harry Potter
Favourite musical theatre/opera: Thoroughly Modern Millie
Best quote from your teacher: “imagine who you are singing to”
Favourite quote: “It’s not the note you play that’s the wrong note – it’s the note you play afterwards that makes it right or wrong.” – Miles Davis
Favourite book: Selected Short Stories by Mulk Raj Anand
Best thing about teaching at ABC: Getting to share my passion for singing!