Hi! I’m Natalie Eastman, owner and principle educator at A Higher Note LLC. I teach music lessons online and in my home studio, currently located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The three instruments I teach are voice, guitar, and piano. My primary instrument is voice; so if singing lessons or vocal coaching is your desire or need, I’d love to meet you and see how we might work together.
As for my vocal qualifications, training, and experience, I have been involved in music and musicals at church and in schools; wedding and special-events; dinner theater in D.C.; entertainment on a dinner cruise ship; choral societies, a Gilbert & Sullivan society, community chorus, local theater, university choruses, a cappella groups, select choirs, bands, and worship bands and teams; early childhood music education (I trained with both Kindermusik and Music Together and owned a Kindermusik studio for several years). I’ve sung for hundreds of weddings, receptions, and other events and been involved in all manner of meaningful, enjoyable, and/or fun singing from early childhood up to now.
Who’s Taught and Influenced My Vocal Performance and Teaching?
I’ve been blessed to sing and/or study under the late Earle and Norma Lowder, Gary Bradberry, Morris Beachy, Bonnie Bradley, David Troupe, and the late Jeannie Deva. I’ve studied many instructors’ materials and several methods in-depth, and thus teach an amalgamation of the best I’ve learned and that has worked for myself and my students over 20+ years. You’ll almost certainly hear me mention Margaret Riddleberger, Estelle Liebling’s vocal courses, Seth Riggs, and Jeanie Deva.
You’ll also hear some bits from me about John Upledger’s work with various manual physical therapies, along with integrative medicine, because caring for our bodies at deep levels is so important for vocal success, not to mention optimal health in general! So I incorporate what I’ve studied, learned, and experienced regarding our bodies’ health, movement, and structure into my teaching and coaching.
I also teach beginning guitar and beginning piano and, although I love them madly, honestly my primary love is singing. I love to sing and perform and love teaching others to sing. I’ve worked with all levels of singers across a very broad age range, both professionals and hobbyists, with all styles of music and am happy to say I’ve helped them improve their voice, vocal health, and performance presence. But the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, isn’t it? If you’d like, please read some of testimonials on the site, here.
My Love for and Story with Guitar and Piano
I’ve played acoustic guitar for about thirty years or so and love to help beginners get started, so I pretty much stick with beginner and advanced-beginner guitar lessons. My guitar story is that I began playing as a freshman in college, when I wanted to play the worship songs on the worship team in my church’s college class. Since then, I’ve probably taught a few hundred people of all ages to play the basics and all of them (so far as many of them have told me, anyways) came to love playing, too.
Like many people, I took piano lessons for several years as a kid and practiced perfunctorily, but never truly enjoyed it and really didn’t excel at it. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I discovered I really enjoyed playing by ear. After that, I took a theory course and began to learn to read music – believe it or not, it was actually my first time to (really) read music! In fact, some day ask me about the time I wanted to learn to play the drum kit like Neal Peart and took a percussion class at UT (Austin). Epic. Fail. Now, I make all of my students to learn fundamentals of reading and understanding music (called music theory), which is totally not rocket science, is quite logical, explains “so many things,” and can truly be fun!
If you are looking for music lessons via internet or in Chattanooga, TN, please do take a look around the A Higher Note LLC site. Read the testimonials and look through our policies. See if it all looks like a good fit for you. Then, take a minute to drop me a line at either 740-513-1427 or email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you and discuss your singing, vocal performance, guitar, or piano dreams and goals and how I can help you achieve them.
Music I Love
Throughout my life, I’ve loved all sorts of music genres:
- Music theater. Les Miserables is my all-time favorite stage production. It changed my life, really, because it was the first enormous production I’d seen and it’s, well, exquisite and capture all the hardest and best life-themes). But I’m also happy with slapstick Gilbert & Sullivan.
- Sacred. It’s hard to top Handel’s Messiah, but there are too many favorites in this genre to name. Actually, I could say that for just about any genre.
- Opera (puh-leez, give me more of Maria Callas and Dame Kiri te Kanawa <– heck, I just want her name!)
- Folk. Carol King, James Taylor, John Denver, and so many more. The list is ridiculous, because this isn’t even scratching the surface of folk singers, names known and unknown, who have impacted me.
- Country. I am from Texas, after all! Love country music, old and new, and its predecessor-genres, too, like bluegrass and such. Just pinch your nose and sing all up in there, baby. And I love me some (real) two-steppin’ music, but it’s hard to find a good partner these days who can two-step for real! Way too many to name here.
- Jazz. Billie Holiday, Eva Cassidy, Ella Fitzgerald, and how about
- Irish/Keltic. OK, I’m a bit of a sucker for those etherial-sounding female Irish singers and violins, but you can also give me some Riverdance any time of day, any day of the week and I’m up on my feet.
- Christian music. Contemporary (Third Day, Hawk Nelson, Nicole Nordeman, Natalie Grant, and the “originals”: Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Twila Paris, Steven Curtis Chapman, Wayne – amiright?), alternative (POD, OC Supertones, and anyone remember One Bad Pig?), and rock (another throwback: Petra, plus too many others to name). Too. Many.
- Rock. Where to start? Rush, Yes, Journey, Elvis, Beatles, and I don’t know who-all. Too many. Again.
- Classical. Da fellas: Mozart, Beethoven, Bach… Just… can’t list ’em.
- Oh. So. Many. Others.
I’ll have to continue this later, because I haven’t even scratched the surface!! Haven’t even mentioned my Barbara Streisand, Johnny Cash, or Leslie/Sam Phillips. What??
Actually, this was an excellent exercise for me, because I rarely have (or take) time these days to reflect on something like which music genres and artists have most impacted me. But I’ve truly enjoyed the hour I’ve spent just thinking about these artists – so many creatives! – and their songs through the years that have blessed, enriched, enlightened, challenged, surprised, and made me dance.
All right, your turn!
What artists, genres, and/or specific pieces have impacted you throughout your life. They don’t even have to be “favorites,” just ones you’ve loved or which have changed your life. Put in your quarter and take a minute to walk down memory lane. Then list your selections in the comments section below. Thanks for playing!