Rachel Velarde

Certified Private Instructor

I grew up attending the Indiana University Children's Choir, the Indiana University Young Pianists program, and the Indiana University Young Dancer's Ballet Program. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree with a music major from Smith College. I have two Master of Music degrees from Arizona State University—one in Vocal Performance, and one in Vocal Pedagogy (the science of teaching the voice), as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in Vocal Performance. I have completed both the Wicklund Certified Singing Voice Specialist (SVS), working with singers with vocal disorders and the CoreSinging (TM) teacher certification. I am Associate Professor of Music at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. I continue to study, perform, practice, and improve both my own voice and my teaching skills, performing annual faculty recitals and attending conferences and workshops. My students regularly place in the Arizona NATS Student Auditions & in the Arizona NATS Music Theater Student Auditions. My high school students are successful annually at the Regional Honor Choir Auditions and many make it into the Arizona All-State Choir. I have former students who have attended all three of the major Arizona universities (Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, University of Arizona) as music majors or minors, as well as several who have attended out-of-state schools as music majors or minors. Former students regularly return to me for lessons, most recently a student who now takes virtual lessons from Boston. Current students have performed in regional theater as Edgar Allan Poe (Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe), Nellie (South Pacific), Maggie (42nd Street), Marian Paroo (The Music Man), Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), Sid Sorokin (The Pajama Game), and Snowboy (West Side Story).


Singing is a fundamental right of all human beings. My goal is to give my students a “toolbox” of vocalises and techniques for their voice, so that they can work towards a healthy, consistent, stylistically appropriate, free and easy production. With the knowledge of their personal toolbox, my students are enabled to practice specifically and successfully on their own. Each student becomes aware of his/her own voice and is able to allow it to develop into the instrument that it was made to be. Through practice, listening to their lesson, attention to detail, and individual guidance, my students realize their vocal abilities. I believe my students should be able to sing for a lifetime of enjoyment, so I strive to provide them with a firm foundation of knowledge in how their own voice works.

Professional Affiliations

Music Teacher's Helper