Priya Shah

Toronto Vocal & Singing Teacher

Priya ShahABC Academy of Music2018-11-12T12:46:56-04:00

Project Description

B.Mus (Carleton)
Master of Music Therapy (Laurier)

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!

Latest Homework from Priya

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March 20

Mtabisi
Recommended minutes to practice: 10min/day
What to practice: C major and G major scales
At Long and McQuade, ask for a full (88 keys) weighted keyboard. Also, search for beginner adult piano books.

Ezra
Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15min/day
What to practice: “Hedwig’s Theme”
How to practice it most effectively: practice playing through page 1 & 2, slowly and with lots of repetition. Also practice the first two lines of page 3 (measures 33-40).

Israel
Recommended minutes to practice: 10min/day
What to practice: Singing along with recordings: “A little help from my friends” (The Beatles), “Smile” (Charlie Chaplin), and “Can’t help falling in love” (Elvis Presley)

Kevin
Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20min/day
What to practice: “Twin Peaks theme” & “Reflections”
How to practice it most effectively: for Twin Peaks: play through the entire piece slowly, stop and repeat transitions (between bars) to make them smoother as needed. Challenge yourself to play along with the recording of the song!

Evora
Recommended minutes to practice: 15min/day
What to practice: chord formations for “Love is a losing game”, focusing mainly on Dm7 and C major (try to hold down for 10sec per chord, getting used to applying the right amount of pressure to make each string sound). Also listen to Nina Simone and Valerie June. Continue singing Amy Winehouse songs!

Jennifer
Recommended minutes to practice: 15min/day
What to practice: “She used to be mine”
How to practice it most effectively: Sing along with recording, focus on the part where it changes: “If I’m honest, I know, I would give it all….”
Next week we will continue working on “White butterflies” and I’ll bring a copy of the music.

March 20th, 2019|

March 6

Ezra
Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20min/day
What to practice: “Hedwig’s Theme” last page, and major scales (C, G, D, A, and the new one we learned: E (EF#G#ABC#D#E)

Israel
Recommended minutes to practice: 10min/day
What to practice: 2 warm-ups (‘meow’, ‘brr’) & “What a wonderful world”
How to practice it most effectively: sing along with recording – sing freely and pay attention to how it feels; does it feel tight/constricted/loose/free/in-between? Add the pauses between phrases that we discussed.

Kevin
Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20min/day
What to practice: “Twin peaks” theme (2nd page RH) & “Reflections”
How to practice it most effectively: for “Reflections”, add in the dynamics (mp, mf, crescendos and decresendos) also pay attention to phrasing – try to make each phrase flow, as if it were being ‘sung’ in one breath.

Evora
Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15min/day
What to practice: singing the Amy Winehouse songs we’ve been working on. Also try the chords for “Love is a losing game” on guitar. Lastly, listen to “Black Coffee”, “Corner to corner” and Nina Simone!

Jennifer
Recommended minutes to practice: 10min/day
What to practice: warm-ups (for now)
Choose 1 or 2 musical theatre songs that you may want to work on. I will bring my Grade 6 book next week and a few suggestions for songs to work on!

March 7th, 2019|
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March 21


*REMINDER – there are NO lessons next Thursday March 28th!*


Carol
Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15min/day
What to practice: “She used to be mine”
How to practice most effectively: for the chorus, practice with “na” first before transitioning to words. Try to sustain the power and breath support from “na” to singing the words.

Daniela B.
Recommended minutes to practice: 10min/day
What to practice: writing songs (using quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes)
How to practice most effectively: Write any sequence of notes (single quarter/half/whole notes, not on any clef) and then clap them and/or play them on the piano.
*Your book is safe in the Lost&Found at ABC -maybe one of your siblings can pick it up for you next Thursday!*

Daksh
Recommended minutes to practice: 10min/day
What to practice: singing and listening to songs that we’ve sung (“A little help from my friends” & “Baby Beluga” & “What a wonderful world”) and come up with different things to say or sound effects for different emotions. E.g. ‘scared’ = “oh no!” (cover face)
Have an amazing time in India! :)

Daniela G-N
Recommended minutes to practice: 15min/day
What to practice: “Impossible” by Shontelle
How to practice most effectively: practice directly along with the Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74KBWGWE4ug
(to get the exact notes – you can speed it up to 1.5)

Sarah
Recommended minutes to practice: 15min/day
What to practice: “Blue Skies” & “I’ll be seeing you”
How to practice most effectively: practice along with the recordings we discussed – try to mimic the ornamentations and scatting-like parts.

*REMINDER – there are NO lessons next Thursday March 28th!*

March 21st, 2019|

March 7

Mtabisi
Recommended minutes to practice: 10min/day
What to practice: Cmajor scale on piano/keyboard (once you have one at home). Also practice improvising (creating your own song) using only the black keys/white keys.

Carol
Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15min/day
What to practice: the full song “She used to be mine”
How to practice it most effectively: focus on the chorus – before singing the words, practice on “na”, pay attention to your breath support – is the diaphragm engaged? Also, exaggerate the vowels (use British accent when necessary).

Daniela B.
Recommended minutes to practice: 10min/day
What to practice: Cmajor scale and ‘Firefly’ from your book. We have been playing through little duets in my book “Step by step piano Couse by Edna Mae Burnam” Book One. The duets are going really well!

Daksh
Recommended minutes to practice: 10min/day
What to practice: “Old MacDonald” using only black keys. Also practicing finding the notes (ABCDEFG) on the piano.
Listen to “I’m a believer” and “What a wonderful world.”

Harlowe
Recommended minutes to practice: 10min/day
What to practice: “Happier” on piano – we started on ‘E’ (different key than the original)
How to practice effectively: sing while playing, to match the words to the melody

Daniela G-N
Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15min/day
What to practice: “I’ll never love again”
How to practice it most effectively: for the high parts, focus on maintaining breath support (standing is most effective) . listen to the recording for help with certain parts – when in doubt, write down the notes and use the piano to match pitch. Keep it up!

Sarah
Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15min/day
What to practice: “Blue Skies”
How to practice it most effectively: listen to 2 (or more) different versions of the song – pick the parts you like. sing along, note what is challenging/interesting. Carry the phrases – breathe where we marked it today.
Listen to “Vienna” by Billy Joel.

March 7th, 2019|
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Preferred Books for Priya Students

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Vocal Books

The Contemporary Singer

The Contemporary Singer

This comprehensive guide based on the curriculum of the Voice Department at Berklee College of Music is a must-have for every vocalist! Covers all the essentials, including: an overview of the singing process, treating voice as an instrument, tips for getting started and overcoming stage fright, proper posture and breathing, tone, discovering resonance, belting, diction, maintaining vocal health, mic techniques, and exercises for all voice ranges and types on the accompanying CD. Includes lead sheets for such standard vocal repertoire pieces as: Yesterday – I’m Beginning to See the Light – and I Heard it Through the Grapevine.

Buy on Amazon

Vocal Workouts

Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer

The vocal workouts in this much-anticipated follow-up to Peckham’s bestselling The Contemporary Singer are based on Berklee College of Music’s highly effective vocal method. This volume will help vocalists develop the voice through good vocal health, warm-up exercises, advanced techniques, stage performance advice and more. Also includes sing-along tracks to support your workout. Audio is accessed online for download or streaming and contains PLAYBACK+, a multi-functional audio player that allows you to slow down audio without changing pitch, set loop points, change keys, and pan left or right.

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Piano Books

Faber & Faber Piano Adventures

Lesson Book Primer Level

Cover of Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book Primer Level

The 2nd Edition Primer Lesson Book introduces the keyboard, note values, and the grand staff. Students play in C 5-finger scale patterns, develop recognition of steps and skips, and learn letter names independent of finger number. Musicianship is built through the use of dynamics and coloristic experimentation with the pedal. The book is organized into units which represent the major concepts and skills. As new units are introduced, earlier concepts and skills are constantly reviewed.

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Faber & Faber Piano Adventures

Popular Repertoire Book Primer Level

Cover of Faber Piano Adventures Popular Repertoire Book Primer Level

Contents include: Catch a Falling Star * Happy Birthday to You * I Got Rhythm * I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing * Lean on Me * The Lion Sleeps Tonight * The Planets, from Animaniacs * The Rose * and Star Wars (Main Theme).

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Faber & Faber Pre-Time Popular

Cover of Faber Pre-Time Popular Piano

Arrangements of popular songs that beginning players will love to learn, including: The Candy Man * I Just Can’t Wait to Be King * If I Only Had a Brain * Scooby Doo Main Title * and more.

Buy on Amazon

First 50 Classical Pieces

Cover of First 50 Classical Pieces for Piano

A great collection of must-know classics for all pianists. Each arrangement is simple and streamlined, yet still captures the essence of the music.

Buy on Amazon

Faber Piano Adventures

Lesson Book 1

Cover of Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book 1

The 2nd Edition Level 1 Lesson Book introduces all the notes of the grand staff, elementary chord playing, and the concept of tonic and dominant notes. Students play in varied positions, reinforcing reading skills and recognizing intervals through the 5th. Musicianship is built with the introduction of legato and staccato touches. This level continues the interval orientation to reading across the full range of the Grand Staff. The 5-finger approach is presented here in a fresh, musically appealing way.

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Faber & Faber Piano Adventures

Theory Book Level 1

Cover of Piano Adventures Theory Book Level 1

The 2nd Edition Theory Book provides instruction, reinforcement, and creative applications of basic theory concepts. Students will enjoy note-naming with StoryRhymes, explore improvisation, and engage with eye-training and ear-training activities all within a fun-filled context tied thematically to the Level 1 Lesson Book pieces.

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Faber & Faber Piano Adventures

Lesson Book Level 2A

Cover of Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book 2A

The 2nd Edition Level 2A Lesson Book follows Piano Adventures Level 1. The book opens with a Note Reading Guide and an introduction to eighth note rhythm patterns. Students work with 5-finger transposition, functional harmony, and musical phrases. Exploration of C, G, D and A major and minor 5-finger positions builds on intervallic reading skills that were introduced in the earlier level. Appealing repertoire reinforces key concepts and encourages students to explore musical expression through varied dynamics and tempos. Selections include well-known classics from the great composers and original compositions.

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Faber & Faber Piano Adventures

Theory Book Level 2A

Cover of Faber & Faber Piano Adventures Theory Book Level 2A

The 2nd Edition Level 2A Theory Book has thematic tie-in with the Level 2A Lesson Book, inviting students into the pages for deeper understanding. A wide variety of theory activities engage students with eighth notes, phrases, transposition, and 5-finger scales. Composer biographies provide valuable context for Lesson Book pieces while helping students review key concepts.

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Faber & Faber Piano Adventures

Performance Book Level 2A

Cover of Faber & Faber Performance Book Level 2A

The 2nd Edition Level 2A Performance Book offers an array of colorful elementary pieces that reinforce the concepts presented in the Lesson Book. The selections range from arrangements of classical compositions to American folk songs and imaginative originals. Students and teachers will enjoy the wide variety of sounds and musical textures in this collection.

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Faber & Faber Piano Adventures

Lesson Book Level 2B

Cover of Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book 2B

The 2nd Edition Level 2B Lesson Book offers a systematic approach to scales, primary chords (I, IV, V7), and transposition for the keys of C, G, and F major. This new edition features nine new songs, plus enhanced arrangements of favorite pieces from the first edition. The new “Scale and Chord Adventures” appendix offers teachers the flexibility to explore major and minor scale and chord patterns in all twelve keys.

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