It seems as though music has always been an important part of life for accomplished performer, teacher, and voice coach Kristi Wright. Daughter of our own Dave and Beth Wright and a '98 WCGS grad, she has directed our sixth grade choir since August 2012. Kristi has a solid perspective on how to find talent in students. It's a simple formula: let them sing!
"I have lost count on how many times I have heard, 'I am so bad at singing,' or 'I have a really weak voice,' or even 'I can't sing.' So many students that are afraid to make a peep for fear that they would sound 'bad.' Even as a private teacher, I work with students whose parents are encouraging their child to pursue further singing (I am so appreciative of these parents), and yet, I cannot tell you how much time is spent simply trying to boost a young singer's confidence. It is true that being a voice teacher sometimes feels like being a counselor. With all these Hollywood Award shows (Oscars, Tony's, Emmys, Grammys, AMAs, CMAs, Billboard, MTV...and so many more), not to mention the 'American Idol Effect,' natural talent has been exaggerated and distorted to something that is only 'gifted' to a lucky few, and that only people with a 'certain kind of sound' have any actual value. This is wrong.
"I am always a little sad whenever I hear parents tell me (after they hear that I teach voice) that their young child 'does not have a musical talent,' or 'inherits my bad singing,' or 'is definitely not a singer,' or even that I 'have to put up with their bad singing.'
"I urge parents: do not make any judgment calls on your child's musical ability, especially when they are so young. If you feel like music is not a particular skill of yours, you can still create a healthy musical environment in your household. Listen to music! Listen to what you like, listen to what your child likes, and broaden both of your horizons and try out something new for both of you. It encourages the fact that all styles have value. Musicians with different sounds have value! And parents...Sing! Sing without shame because it teaches your children that singing is not simply for the 'talented few.' God has created us to sing.
"Even those who are actually monotone (which is extremely rare) should sing, even if it's only on one note! It will encourage your child to sing and use their voice to its fullest and not be ashamed of their voice! And guess what? They will probably sing better because of it!"
Kristi Wright is a private voice instructor, music director, head director, and performer. She has performed roles such as the Coloratura role in Argento’s "Postcard from Morocco," lead soloist in Purcell’s "Fairy Queen," and Yum-Yum in Gibert and Sullivan’s "The Mikado." In addition to opera, Kristi has recently performed in many musical theater roles such as Baker’s Wife in "Into the Woods," Mama Noah in "Children of Eden," Joanne in "Godspell," as well as many others. In the last 8 years, Kristi has been involved with more than 20 productions as either the music director or head director with Spotlight Youth Theater, receiving Star Awards for Directing Aurora County’s "Godspell" in 2014 and Vocal Directing Aurora County’s "Disney’s Tarzan" in 2015. Kristi’s private students have won numerous awards, concerto competitions and scholarships including Spotlight Star Awards, ILMEA, IGSMA, IHSA Solo and Ensemble Contest, and Elite Energy Competition. Many of Kristi’s students have held roles of all sizes in shows with their schools, communities, and professional theaters throughout the Chicago area.
In a current survey of WCGS grads who are about to graduate from high school, one respondent referenced their WCGS experience this way: "It started my excitement for music, so I knew that was something I wanted to pursue in high school!" Do you know someone who would benefit from a WCGS education? Encourage them to Drop In and Learn More! >