SINGER, EDUCATOR, & SELF-IMPROVEMENT FANATIC
Before finding the right training, I struggled a great deal with my own voice. I had a frustrating break in the middle of my range that I was constantly trying to hide and my voice would embarrassingly crack during performances. EEK! It was heartbreaking, and I was determined to get to the bottom of it.
My experience sent me on an unshakable quest to free my voice and now I want to share that freedom with others.
FREE YOUR VOICE!
You might know me as that girl from the Kindle ads. I starred in, co-wrote and recorded the songs that appeared in that whimsical, stop-motion campaign that launched the Amazon Kindle. I've also had a publishing deal as a songwriter, released albums, and had songs licensed for film, TV, and commercials. In addition, I've guest starred on numerous hit TV shows, had a supporting role in an Academy Award winning Best Picture film, and have appeared in over 50 national TV commercials as an actress and/or singer.
FUN FACT: Annie's first film role was with mega-star Chris Pratt in an indie horror film directed by Rae Dawn Chong. According to Annie, "Chris is a goofball and will always be a sweetheart no matter how famous he is."
Q & A with Annie
+ What's your musical background?
My mom has been a piano teacher and performer my entire life. I remember sitting underneath our baby grand during her lessons and then trying to plunk out what I heard her students playing after she finished teaching. So, I started piano at a very early age and studied well into high school. I also started singing in choir starting in Jr. High and that went on through college when I also sang with a professional choir, The Utah Chamber Artist's. I think choral singing gave me a great ear for harmony as well as a lot of practice sight singing.
+ WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS?
I'm a certified teacher of the Institute for Vocal Advancement. Through IVA, I receive a world-class education in vocal pedagogy, and I am rigorously tested on an annual basis for certification. I study with masterful teachers such as Jeffrey Skouson (Brandon Flowers – The Killers, Dan Reynolds – Imagine Dragons), Guy Babusek, and Linda Tomkinson (Bradley Quinn Lever – GENTRI, Fletcher). I've also worked with other top-notch vocal coaches including Seth Riggs (Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Kelly Clarkson), Darlene Koldenhoven, and Gerald White (Chris Mann – "The Voice").
I participate in vocal conferences where I learn from experts in various fields of vocal performance and health such as Ken Bozeman (author of Practical Vocal Acoustics: Pedagogic Applications for Teachers and Singers), Jeffrey McEvoy, DMA ("Teaching the Classical Voice"), Broadway"s School of Rock vocal coach Chelsea Wilson Calder ("Musical Theatre Application"), speech and language pathologists, and physicians who specialize in the vocal therapy.
+ Any other musical training?
I attended the University of Utah on a full scholarship for Vocal Performance.
I also gained experience when, after the Amazon Kindle campaign, I signed a songwriting publishing deal with Razor & Tie Music Publishing along with my husband as our indie-pop duo Little & Ashley. We had to write and record songs on a regular deadline, so I had to get really good at producing high-quality work at a fast pace. I use Protools and I recorded and edited all of our vocals in my home studio. We released three Little & Ashley EP’s and a full-length album as well as played live gigs in LA. Our songs have been licensed to major TV shows, film trailers including "Teen Wolf", The English Teacher starring Julianne Moore, and advertising campaigns for Banana Republic, Leon's, and Balanced Body.
I also play piano, guitar, and ukulele.
+ WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT TEACHING VOICE?
I love seeing my students light up when they notice improvements or have breakthrough moments with their voices. I get as excited as they do! I am incredibly passionate about singing and how the voice works, so I really enjoy sharing that with others.
+ WHAT MUSIC STYLES DO YOU FEEL MOST AT HOME?
I grew up around a lot of classical music and sang classically in college, so I'm very at home there, but I also love singing pop, musical theatre, and jazz.
+ WHAT HAVE YOU STRUGGLED WITH IN YOUR OWN VOICE?
As I mentioned above, I had a break in the middle of my range and my voice would crack during performances. I have a high soprano voice and really developed that part of my voice in high school and college, but when I started trying to sing anything outside of classical, I had a really hard time finding a balanced chest voice (the bottom part of my voice). It was either too light, or I would grip onto it, which created a lot of tension, thus the cracking. It wasn't until I found the IVA technique that I was able to sing through the bottom and middle parts of my voice with an even tone, without squeezing or going the other direction and losing all my power. I learned to "mix" my upper and lower registers so I could sing through my whole range with a smooth even tone. I cried tears of joy when it started to come together for me! Singing became so much more joyful. I felt like I finally had access to styles of music I'd been struggling with for so long. I finally felt like my voice was free!
+ DO YOU STILL PERFORM THESE DAYS?
I recently did a very special concert in Utah with my mom in April, where we performed together, and we are planning one for next year as well. I've performed on my own or with my duo Little & Ashley at various places in LA such as The Hotel Cafe, Rainbow Room, Cat Club, and Genghis Khan. I also sing with the Metropolitan Master Chorale and we have a few concerts a year here in LA.
+ WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO BESIDES MUSIC?
I have a five year old daughter, Lake, so she keeps me very busy, but when I'm not making slime, I love hiking in the local hills, reading, cooking, and spending quality time with my family and friends.
Want more info about lessons?
DOWNLOAD MY VOICE COACHING HANDBOOK THAT INCLUDES:
How It Works
Required Lesson Materials