Style: Pop; Opera; Folk; Classical; Musical Theatre
Bio: Suzanne Schaafsma is a vocal instructor and performer currently based in London, Ontario. She teaches a variety of musical styles with the goal of creating healthy, sustainable technique, while increasing students’ singing confidence and encouraging effective communication through music. She holds a master’s degree in voice performance and pedagogy from the University of Toronto, and a bachelor of fine arts in voice performance from York University. Suzanne also has over a decade of conservatory training in classical piano. Before founding NewSong Academy of Music in London, Suzanne ran a thriving voice and piano studio in downtown Toronto. She was also a private vocal teacher at Cardinal Carter Academy of the Arts, an elite arts high school in Toronto, for five years.
Suzanne maintains a busy schedule as a voice and piano instructor in addition to her private studio teaching and appearances as a guest instructor at various secondary and post-secondary schools. She has been a guest clinician for York University’s vocal program, a teaching assistant for both the vocal pedagogy and lyric diction programs at the University of Toronto, has taught voice lessons at Redeemer University College, and is a vocal health and music rudiments faculty member with the Qatar-Canada Health Partnership in Doha, Qatar. She has also worked with groups and individuals as a music theatre coach. Suzanne is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her success in both the performance and pedagogy fields, having received the Vocal Pedagogy Award at University of Toronto twice, and both the Orpheus and Sterling Beckwith voice awards at York University.
Furthermore, Suzanne is an active performer. Concert performances include works such as Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Graun’s Christmas Oratorio and many art song recitals and sacred music concerts. Suzanne has performed the role of Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Yorkshire Opera Workshop 2014), Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (2012), Vénus in Offenbach’s Orfée aux Enfers(2010), and chorus in Opera Atelier’s production of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio. Suzanne also has a passion for leading classical and contemporary church music, and is involved in both at Knox Presbyterian Church. In her spare time, she enjoys singing in a variety of other styles, including folk and jazz, and writing and arranging music with her husband, guitarist Tim Lemke.
While Suzanne loves performing, she finds no greater joy than helping her students reach their own musical goals.
Voice Type: Soprano
Music Styles Taught: Pop; Opera; Folk; Classical; Musical Theatre
Availability: I am available as a performer; I have a wait-list for private lessons; I am currently accepting private students; I am available as a clinician or presenter