Dr. Jessica Saunders is a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and currently teaches applied voice, diction, vocal pedagogy, song literature, and directs the opera scenes program at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa. Saunders is also on faculty at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City and runs Saunders Vocal Studios, a private voice studio, at West Music Conservatory of Music in Coralville, Iowa. While working on her Doctorate at the University of Iowa, Saunders served as the Opera Research Assistant, and performed in many of the Operas. . Saunders offers lessons in Iowa City, Jesup, and the Cedar Valley.
Saunders has been performing since she was seven and teaching privately since 2007. She is comfortable teaching both classical and musical theater styles to students of varying skill levels, from ages 8 to adult, and is also available to conduct masterclasses and workshops. Her students have won awards at the Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing conference, the Bill Riley Talent Search, and have appeared in productions with City Circle Theatre Company, Young Footlighters Theatre Company, and Nolte Academy. As a performer, Saunders is recognized for her ability to emote and sing musically. These are aspects of performance she takes pride in, and strives to foster in her students. As a teacher, Saunders has been allowed to solidify her own view of vocal technique, which is one that calls for a relaxed larynx, free resonance, and abdominal breathing. Saunders believes in building confidence in her students and strives to work with each student to explore their individual skills and talents.