Nancy Andersen is chair of Vocal Studies at The Hartt Community Division and co-founder of the Hartt Summer Musical Theatre Intensive. She has been a member of the faculty in the Vocal Studies Division and the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at The Hartt School, and Hillyer College at the University of Hartford.
Prior to her positions at the University of Hartford, she was on the faculty at Southern Connecticut State University, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, and the Devereux Foundation. She was the Collaborative Arts/Concert Coordinator at First Church of Christ in Wethersfield, Connecticut for eighteen years and served as Manager of the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival/USA for nine years.
Andersen earned her Bachelor of Science in Music Education and completed her teaching certification with 24 graduate credits in music and psychology at West Chester University;earned Kodaly Certification at The Hartt School and did further graduate work at The Hartt School in Vocal Performance and Early Music Performance Practice. She has studied voice with Jane Sheppard, Julianne Baird (early music), Mary Mack, Jerome Pruett, and Zehava Gal; voice care and vocology studies with Dr. Linda Carroll, Jean Westermann Gregg, Starr Cookman, Dr. Anat Keidar; and Peak Performance Training with Rae Tattenbaum.
Andersen is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda.
My primary purpose, mission, and goal in life is to help people. One of the most important ways I carry out this mission is through teaching music. I believe that music is an important component in the lives of human beings. It is important for everyone to have the opportunity to express themselves in a creative way and experience the creativity of others. One exciting aspect of my job is facilitating the creative process.
My vocal students use their voices as one of their modes of expression. Music moves them deeply and they want to be able to use their voices fully and freely as they sing in a choir, on a stage, at karaoke night, at home, or in the car. As their voice teacher, I guide and train my students in ways to develop the skills and technique needed to use their voices in a healthy manner so that they can enjoy using their vocal instruments for a lifetime of singing.
In addition to developing their voices, many students want to develop their musical skills and understanding of notation, music theory, music history, and musical style. I provide materials and create fun ways for each student to develop these musical skills and then apply them to their repertoire.
In summary, I believe that everyone’s life is enhanced by singing. Singing requires physical flexibility and develops physical endurance and stamina. The deep breathing needed for singing has been proven to be a key component of overall physical health. Learning to read musical notation, listen, focus on text, and coordinate singing the notes with the correct rhythms and lyrics engages and develops communication between many parts of the human brain and improves cognitive function. Singing is a wonderful way to express emotions, views, and beliefs. Singing in the company of others or with others develops a real life community, personal relationships, and the ability to work as a team. I enjoy working with students of all ages, levels, and experience because each lesson is an opportunity for growth and enjoyment.