NATS Intern Program

The NATS Intern Program is a preeminent offering for early-career voice teachers (both academic and independent) and collaborative pianists. NATS teachers and collaborative pianists with less than 5 years of teaching experience are encouraged to apply. 

Hear all about the program from participants and master teachers.


Dates: May 29 - June 6, 2024
Location: Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Director of the NATS Intern Program: Carole Blankenship, Rhodes College
Local Coordinator: Marcía Porter, Florida State University
Vocal Literature Liaison: Tana Field, Murray State University

Application requirements

Apply now

Applications for the 2024 Intern Program will be due by midnight on December 15, 2023.

2024 Faculty: Master Teachers

2024 master teachers Intern ProgramL to R: Alfonse Anderson, Melissa Foster, Donna Loewy, Mike Ruckles, and Louise Toppin


Alfonse Anderson (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
Melissa Foster (Northwestern University)
Mike Ruckles (Mike Ruckles Voice Studio)
Louise Toppin (University of Michigan)

Collaborative Piano

Donna Loewy (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music)

About the NATS Intern Program

The NATS Intern Program is an innovative and immersive experience that seeks to pair expert and recognized master teachers with 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.

Each voice intern teaches lessons to two students in an intensive, dynamic setting under the supervision of a master teacher and participates in master classes and coaching under the supervision of master teachers. Collaborative piano interns participate in mentored coaching hours, coach students under the supervision of the collaborative piano master teacher, and accompany lessons. All interns perform in master classes, participate in educational sessions, and meet to discuss their daily lessons and coachings with their master teacher. Master teachers, a vocal literature liaison, and selected guests present special lectures and demonstrations.    

The voice master teachers typically include collegiate and independent studio teachers who specialize in varied styles, and who have experience in the needs of the private studio. Independent studio teachers are strongly urged to apply.

NATS and the NATS Endowment provide tuition, housing, and meals. Interns are responsible for their travel expenses. However, through donations from Intern Program’s past master teachers and alumni, travel stipends are available. Interns also may request financial assistance from their NATS chapters or regions as well as from their institutions of employment.


From 2023 interns:

"This was an unforgettable experience and I am forever grateful to NATS and the NATS Intern Program! I will cherish everything I have gained from this experience for the rest of my career. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!"

"I am so grateful to NATS for creating this program. It has been an incredible, heart and soul filling experience. I have made friends and colleagues for life from this event."

From 2022 interns:

“Thank you so much for an amazing teaching experience! I grew more confident as a voice pedagogue and made connections with wonderful teachers and scholars. I was extremely blessed by all of the free resources from Dr. Tana Field and wish every aspiring voice teacher could experience this wonderful program. THANKS AGAIN!”

“It was a wonderful program that has helped me and my teaching in so many ways. I wanted to find a teaching community and I feel like that was achieved as well. Quality people and a quality program!”

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for a special experience that I know is changing the course of my life.  I appreciate all of you!"

From 2021 interns:

"I cannot say it enough - you should apply!!! This program changed my life and my career trajectory. Here are just a few of the things you'll get:

  • Intensive pedagogical study in classical and CCM styles that will fill in any gaps in your education
  • Networking with peers who are coming into the field at the same time as you
  • Mentors who will guide you through the industry, write letters of recommendation for you, and say your name in rooms that you're not currently in
  • Tons of free scores and anthologies to start your personal library
  • Feedback on your teaching
  • Opportunity to perform and collaborate in a nurturing environment
  • Endless encouragement and love to build your self esteem and confidence in teaching"

From 2019 interns:
“It was, indeed, career-shaping, and I will never forget the things I learned and the people who have now become part of my vocal family.”

“The most valuable part was absolutely working with my master teacher…. He went above and beyond for us pianists.”

“This program was exactly what my mentors told me it would be and more: the single most formative experience of my early teaching career…. And more than anything, I am so thankful for the lasting relationships I forged with the other interns.”

From 2018 interns:
"This was really an extraordinary opportunity. Of all the NATS events and programs I have experienced, this one was by far the most helpful for developing my teaching style."

"Our team environment was so inspiring. We would discuss voice teaching, voice science, and various pedagogical approaches almost nonstop throughout the day..."

"The literature/publication was very interesting – I enjoyed seeing the new materials available. I LOVED all of the teacher’s sessions. Seeing what each master teacher brings to their craft was very valuable."

"As a young educator, it might be overwhelming when you jump into the teaching field. It was great to have mentors to ask questions and have other interns to share their experiences on particular issues."

More Testimonials

Hosting a Summer Intern Program
If your school or facility would be interested in coordinating/hosting a future NATS Summer Intern Program, please contact  for details and facility requirements.

Supporting the Summer Intern Program
If you are interested in contributing to the support of the NATS Intern program, please contact the NATS Development Director or call the office at 904-992-9101.

Past NATS Interns