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NATS Mentoring Initiatives

Building on the success of recent mentoring events, NATS is committed to nurturing and promoting opportunities for mentoring. Several models of mentoring at the Chapter, Region, and National levels have been initiated to foster the benefits and role of mentoring as it relates to teaching voice. It is our intent to foster continued learning for our teachers by promoting these collaborative approaches to mentoring. 

Below is a summary of these initiatives and we anticipate further projects that we can add to the list as additional resources.  We welcome input from the various groups within NATS so that mentoring opportunities can be available at all levels of the association. Share your information with .

NATS is proud to offer many options for mentoring at the national level.  Please click on the links below to choose which option might work best with your needs or watch this video.  If you need further information, please reach out to Jeanne Goffi-Fynn, Chair of the National Committee for Mentoring Initiatives. 

Info about Mentoring





Info about Mentoring


Mentoring strengthens pedagogic practice through open communication and continued learning. The American Academy of Teachers of Singing (AATS) offers models for incorporating mutually beneficial mentoring relationships into vital aspects of our profession, informed in part by principles of Self-Determination Theory. READ MORE


There’s a quick way to make mentorship matches. “Speed mentoring” rotates participants around a room for rapid-fire conversations with potential mentors. How to hack it? You’ve heard of speed dating—but speed mentoring? The Mid-Atlantic chapter of the American Inns of Court says it’s a great way to do some professional matchmaking. READ MORE


Creating a Teacher Mentoring Program
NFIE empowers public education employees to innovate, take risks, and become agents for change to
improve teaching and learning in our society. As the foundation of the National Education Association, NFIE believes
that all students can learn and that quality education begins with teachers. This paper outlines many of the issues and questions that school districts, teacher associations, and universities should consider when developing new or improving existing mentor programs. READ MORE



The NATS National Mentoring Initiative (NNMI) is our first national mentoring opportunity! It is our intent to foster continued learning for our teachers by offering this collaborative approach to mentoring. Any teachers wishing to participate will have an opportunity to observe Mentor Teachers and develop or augment their own teaching pedagogy.


The NATS Intern Program is an exceptional training experience that seeks to pair expert and recognized master teachers with talented early career members of NATS. Within an intensive format designed to promote the dynamic exchange of ideas and techniques, the goal is to improve substantially the studio teaching skills of voice interns and the coaching skills of collaborative piano interns.

Voice interns teach four lessons each to two students (preferably one male and one female) and participate in master classes and coaching under the supervision of master teachers.  Collaborative piano interns accompany lessons, master classes, and other sessions as appropriate, and coach voice interns under the supervision of the collaborative piano master teacher.  In addition, the master teachers, a vocal literature liaison, and selected guests present special lectures and demonstrations.


During the NATS 55th National Conference, an informal mentoring program matched NATS members with one another. This program cost nothing but time, and highlighted the untapped expertise and generosity of our membership. The trial program was organized by NATS member Ian Howell (New England Conservatory). “All the mentors needed was a social context to share what they knew. All the mentees needed was a social context to ask for help,” said Howell.

The informal mentoring program at the 2018 NATS National Conference was based on a similar program run at the Society for Music Perception and Cognition conference in 2017. Overall the response was strong; about 75 NATS members signed up to be mentors, and 64 to be mentees. 95% of mentees were able to match with either their first or second choice. 85% of mentees were matched with two mentors from their preferred list.

Responses to a follow-up survey suggest that NATS should continue to offer this program at future conferences, and several regional NATS chapter are already planning similar programs. Anyone interested in running their own version may feel free to reach out to Ian Howell at for the questionnaire templates. We plan to run this program again in Knoxville in 2020. Registered attendees will receive a request for information a few weeks prior.


  • Are you a private studio voice teacher who wants to strengthen your studio pedagogy?
  • Are you a college/conservatory-level studio voice teacher who wants feedback on your teaching, separate from the teaching evaluations you may already receive?
  • Have you wanted to participate in the NATS Intern Program but do not qualify?
  • Are you looking for a way to re-energize your teaching?

If any of the above applies to you, you are perfect candidate to participate in this NATS initiative that is aimed at providing development opportunities to all NATS members. The NATS Mentored Teaching Experience typically is held during the National Workshops. 



The Mentorship Program for the New England Region of NATS is an opportunity for up and coming students and early career voice teachers and researchers to communicate with established experts in the field to chat informally about shared interests.

​With the creation of this program organizers hope to connect voice teachers in the New England Region regardless of geographic location. Here's a chance to get or lend advice to any teacher in the Region - from New Brunswick, Canada to New Haven, Connecticut and all locations in-between!

Click here for information and online sign-up form.



Purpose and goals for the program

The purpose of the NYC NATS Mentorship Program is to offer young apprentice teachers an opportunity to observe master teachers teaching specific styles of material to develop advanced teaching skills. Experienced teachers may also enroll as a chance to broaden their teaching experience and receive feedback.

Mentor Teachers

  • Christopher Arneson
  • Jan Douglas
  • Robert Edwin
  • Claudia Friedlander
  • Joan Lader
  • Richard Lissemore
  • Josephine Mongiardo
  • Joan Patenaude-Yarnell
  • Janet Pranschke
  • Jan Prokop
  • Mary Saunders-Barton
  • Peter Van Derick
  • Robert White

Click here for complete information, including meeting dates, guidelines, application, and brochure. 


Chicago Chapter NATS
Lead Teachers:
Karen Brunssen (Classical Voice Pedagogy) 
Rebecca Schorsch (Musical Theatre Voice Pedagogy)
W. Stephen Smith  (Classical Voice Pedagogy)

In a unique and first of its kind workshop, CCNATS teachers were offered an opportunity to partner with one of three distinguished vocal pedagogues to offer supportive feedback and input. Karen Brunssen,  Rebecca Schorsch, and  W. Stephen Smith worked with 3 CCNATS participants who taught one of their own students for 25 minutes, followed by 25 minutes of interactive work with the lead teacher. All CCNATS members were encouraged to observe this process and exchange of ideas. This group teaching experience echoes the efforts that the NATS Intern Program provides. 


The Teacher Enrichment Program offers Georgia NATS members an opportunity to strengthen their studio pedagogy by observing and being observed by a Georgia NATS mentor teacher over a period of one academic semester (August-December or January-May). This program is open to any active Georgia NATS member, whether a new teacher looking to solidify her/his studio pedagogy or an experienced teacher looking to re-energize or diversify her/his teaching. READ MORE



In an effort to strengthen the bonds between our members, NYSTA has begun its "NYSTA Night Out" campaign.  These meetings serve to provide individuals a chance to meet other voice professionals in their area, network, exchange ideas, and enjoy each others' company.

The first of these events was held in Montclair, NJ on July 29.  Elizabeth Saunders, Benjamin T. Berman, Jane Seaman, Lori McCann, and Diane Aragona met at La Couronne Restaurant, where they enjoyed dinner, drinks, discussion, and quite a number of laughs.  

"It's so much fun to meet our neighbors, nice people, and most importantly -- fellow singers and voice scientists. It's so exciting to talk with creative people with a shared passion," noted Jane afterwards.

Keep an eye out for upcoming NYSTA Night Out events!  They will be organized in various areas throughout the country, enabling members to congregate in person.  We'd love to get to know you! Read more.


The American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) has been offering this mentoring program since 2014.

The program is open to ACDA Active, Student, and Life members across the country. If you would like to register as a mentor or apply to look for a mentor, please start now by clicking on one of the buttons below.

To learn about how the program works, click here.