Melissa Griffis, Voice and Piano Instructor

 


Melissa Griffis is proud to join the instructional team at the House of Gaia. Melissa feels her background and life experiences have led her directly to Lulu and the House of Gaia.

 

Background:

Melissa began taking piano lessons at an early age, and, while in her early teens, added voice and musical theater to her list of musical interests.

 

As an undergraduate student at Birmingham-Southern College, in Birmingham, Alabama, Melissa served as a soprano soloist for a variety of chamber choirs, including The Cathedral of the Advent Episcopal Church, Canterbury Methodist Church, and Temple Beth-El.

While working towards her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance, Melissa was a vocal coach and piano accompanist for the students of highly acclaimed performers Andrew Gainey and Mildred Allen. Her duties included providing piano accompaniment for other students’ voice lessons, coaching the opera workshop, and serving as accompanist for senior voice recitals.

During her junior and senior years at B-SC, Melissa also taught piano to students at the Birmingham-Southern Conservatory of Music (an extension of the College). 

 

Upon graduating from Birmingham-Southern College, Melissa attended graduate school at San Francisco State University, where she pursued her lifelong strong interest in the music of other cultures. Melissa was teaching assistant to Dr. Sharon Girard, who mentored her throughout her ethnomusicology courses. Melissa completed her Master's degree, with honors, at San Francisco State University, in the area of traditional Irish music. Other areas of interest include the Javanese gamelan music of Southeast Asia and the vocal music of South America.

 

Melissa’s initial background is performance-based, but teaching is where her true passion lies.  Previous engagements include teaching choral music, simultaneously at Happy Valley Elementary School and Stanley Middle School in Lafayette, CA, and at Carondelet High School in Concord, CA. One of Melissa’s favorite teaching roles was that of musical director for the productions of “Annie” and “Wonderland,” for Bay Area Educational Theater Company.

 

Other projects include guest instructor of music (voice and piano) at the Music Instruction Studio in Chattanooga, TN, and piano instructor at Naples Piano Studio.

 

Melissa’s husband, Bob, is a Naples native. The Griffis family, complete with son Rob, two dogs and two cats, is proud to call Naples home.

 

Melissa is excited to offer piano and voice instruction, and also music ensemble classes. Her philosophy is that music should be fun, and that music should enhance all aspects of a person’s life.

 

 

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