"A soaring songstress, who has yet to realise how good she is"
- Graeme Johnstone, Author/Journalist (formerly The Sun)
The voice is our oldest instrument, I believe that everyone can and should sing. I am also convinced that the world would be a happier place if this happened!
I have become something of a magnet for people who struggle with confidence or have had a traumatic singing experience in the past. I come across a lot of adults who were told to mime in choir as young children...if I ever come across one of those teachers...let's just say I will express my thoughts on this in no uncertain terms.
I was a naturally musical kid, but it has taken me a long time and a lot of time and effort - and money! - to really say I can use my instrument the way I want to (mostly - it will forever be a work in progress). I am a born cheerleader, and nothing is more gratifying to me than to watch it dawn on someone that they're edging closer to their dreams. If you bring the will, I will give you the way.
As far as the official stuff goes, alongside my Bachelor of Music at Melbourne Uni, I also completed a Bachelor of Teaching (secondary) and I hold a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. I have studied Estill Voice Training Systems Levels 1&2, and my vocal pedagogy of choice is Cathrine Sadolin's Complete Vocal Technique (Denmark). I love the science of the voice almost as much as the art and I have found this science-based technique to be the most helpful as both a student and teacher of singing.
I teach all ages and genres, from my studios in Elwood and Elsternwick (Melbourne).
I was born at the wrong time. In the 90s, while my peers were worshipping Nirvana and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I couldn't get enough of the glorious voices of Doris Day, Julie Andrews and Frank Sinatra.
Although I perform contemporary repertoire as well, I fell into seniors entertainment seven years ago when I had to fill in for my mother's vocal quartet, The Hot Flushes (they're amazing, book them - if you can!). Suddenly thrust into a world where the audiences loved the same music and kinds of voices I did, there was no turning back. I'm overjoyed that this has ultimately become my day job!
I love that through the power of music I can take my audience to another time and place - even to a particular moment. But it's not only about remembering the 'good old days'. We laugh and joke together, we dance together (I am always the worst in the room!), we sometimes cry together, we often party together - but mostly we just sing together. Singing together is tonic for the mind, body and soul, everyone can and should sing.
My grandmother-in-law once told me that she was always shocked when she looked in the mirror because she didn't look as young as she felt on the inside. I just want to help people feel the way they are on the inside. It's not just singing a song, it's re-creating memories as vividly as the when they were first made.
I completed a Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice (with additional minors in the clarinet and orchestral percussion) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (University of Melbourne). Singing these songs lets me combine my love of great vocal technique with the immediate emotional and musical joy of pop music. I often pop in an aria for fun too!
I perform for small and large not-for-profit events, at senior citizens clubs, council-run seniors events, aged care facilities, birthday parties and special events for senior citizens (and for anyone astute enough to love vintage music!). I'd be honoured to provide the entertainment for your next seniors event, so please feel free to get in touch.
I am in the middle of a classical/pop fusion project (that I have nicknamed 'Popsical'!), which is essentially the culmination of my life's musical endeavours and loves. In a nutshell, I'm reimagining and reworking classical masterpieces as popular songs. It's really a labour of love. Follow my (very slow!) progress at www.mandyvanzanen.com.
Aside from that, check out the songs from my past original project, Rotterdam, which was a collaboration with punk bassist and producer Scott Armstrong (U.K.) on the 'Music' page.