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Teaching, Workshops, and Healing Through Music
Now based in the Downeast/Acadia region of Maine, and offering services in person there, and online via Skype!
Danielle is respected as a master voice teacher from Manhattan to Maine, and for good reason. She has forged a powerful, effective method for helping students develop, out of the combination of her broad experience of musical repertoire in performance, technical expertise, pedagogical skills—plus her natural enthusiasm, humor and empathy. As a long-time member of NYSTA (the New York Singing Teachers’ Association in NYC), she has stayed on top of recent developments in her field, kept in touch with colleagues, and constantly augmented her knowledge and skills. She completed NYSTA's Professional Development program in Voice Anatomy and Physiology, Acoustics, Pedagogy, Repertoire (Classical and Musical Theater) and Vocal Health, with experts in each of these fields.
Danielle not only sings and teaches an amazing variety of music—classical and operatic, musical theater, jazz and other improvisational forms, pop, folk and world music—she has delved into the performance practice of many types of singing, from Baroque to the present day.
In 1993, she founded her teaching studio in the mid-Hudson Valley and New York City, originally called Woodlark Studio and then Woodlark Arts, Inc. Its mission was holistic as well as professional: to provide expert teaching to people who want to improve their voices, whether beginners or professionals, and also to include the healing component of music. She became known as one of the premiere voice teachers in the Hudson Valley.
In 2014, she brought the Woodlark Arts mission to DownEast Maine, co-founding with her husband the Sunrise County Arts Institute, Inc., which provides voice training plus musical, theater, writing and visual-arts activities.
When we sing, our bodies are our instruments. Whatever tension or fear we hold in our bodies and energy fields directly affects the singing. Relaxation and physical awareness help to address voice and confidence issues in a supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere, while solid technical knowledge is brought to bear on solving vocal problems. As our own barriers to singing in our free, essential voices dissolve, we not only take more enjoyment in singing and progress toward our goals; we also become “instruments of peace” through the quality of vibration that we now put out into the world when we sing.
Her students have performed leading roles in professional companies around the country, sung cabaret shows in Manhattan clubs like Danny’s Skylight Room, the Duplex and Don’t Tell Mama, and recorded professionally. They have attended college and conservatory programs in vocal performance and teaching at leading schools, and a number of them are now successful performers (in opera, musical theater, jazz and pop) and teachers in their own right.
Danielle has led singing workshops at retreats including the Omega Institute (Rhinebeck, NY), the Discovery Institute and Esoterica (New Paltz, NY), and has given workshops and lecture-demonstrations at schools including Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY), Bates College (Lewiston, ME), Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH), Poughkeepsie Day School (Poughkeepsie, NY), Russell Sage College (Troy, NY), and SUNY Ulster (Stone Ridge, NY). She has presented to professional organizations such as the American Guild of Organists, the Joy in Singing series at Lincoln Center, and the Network for Expressive Arts in Therapy (NEXTh), and has coached conductors in rehearsal with their choirs at numerous colleges and churches.
In the area of arts and mental health, for four years Danielle worked with in-patients at the Mental Health Services at Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, NY. She has been a sought-after presenter at national and regional conferences, given by organizations including NAMH (National Artists for Mental Health) and NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill).
In 1993, Danielle founded the Artist in Residence Program at Holy Cross Church in Kingston, which included a concert series that ran for over a decade, and was the incubators for a celebrated children's chorus, the Hudson Valley Youth Chorale. The HVYC, which continues to delight audiences locally and on its European tours,had as its founding conductor Barbara Pickhardt, and is now conducted by Mathew Camara; Danielle was the Chorale's 2005 Artist in Residence.
In other community service, Danielle has always performed in benefits for arts, educational, environmental and progressive organizations--including joining actor James Earl Jones for a concert in Pawling, NY, at his request-- and she led the choral ensemble Voices for Peace. She has involved her advanced students in many of these benefit activities.
Her own music education began with her singer parents, Charles and Marguerite Woerner, and while still in her teens she studied jazz singing with "cool jazz" great Lennie Tristano. Among her major classical/operatic mentors were Nora Bosler, Martha Gerhart, Richard Getke, Thomas LoMonaco and Bethany Beardslee Winham. Danielle holds a B.A. in music from Bard College, and a Masters Certificate in Song Writing from Berkleemusic (Berklee College of Music). She also attended Barnard and Hunter Colleges and the Université d’Aix-Marseille in Aix-en-Provence, France.