About Tamis: Singer-Songwriter-Voice Technician-Vocal Coach
I have been teaching music in some form or other since 1987, focused on voice since 1991 when I got my degree in music/vocal. But the education didn't stop there. All that college stuff only taught me classical leaning styles, and I wanted to be a rock star. HA!
So.... off I go to learn contemporary singing, which is SO different. I had to unlearn 13 years of classical training. Advice for you: if you want to sing styles that are NOT classical leaning, don't waste time like I did. It really is not the same and does not carry over and some skills are the opposite. And by the way, raspy sounds are not damaging to your vocal cords...what?!
I put myself through college performing singing telegrams (see pink monkey pic) graduating on the Honor's List with a Vocal/Music Degree in 1991 from Mendocino College. I was also hired as a tutor for students in the Beginning Piano and Music Theory classes. Certainly not the best pianist, but the instructors told me I had a gift for teaching and that I could explain things in a simple way beginners could understand. My current students tell me the same thing.
I come from a musical family and a long line of teachers. Growing up with no radio in the car, I learned how to sing harmony at a young age by singing along with the family. My parents and grandparents were musicians, my maternal grandfather was a music teacher, my paternal grandfather hand-crafted violins. My father and mother were both teachers: father in mathematics and drafting, and mother in arts and crafts. That would make me left-brain/right-brain: analytical but playfully creative, and why my lessons are educational, but far from boring!
I was in many plays and talent shows, starting in grade school. I had my first public singing gig in Kindergarten in our Christmas play singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." In high school I was awarded the Bank of America Award in Theatre Arts. These experiences help me mentor students through their stage fright by having them "become a character" on stage. Lucky for me I also own a wig shop!
Having performed in several different bands and able to sing diverse styles, including folk, pop, country, hard rock, punk, metal, swing and jazz, I have been asked to judge local singing contests. I myself won first place (not in one I was judging, of course) in the Rock Category for the North Bay Karaoke Entertainer Year Semi-Finals.
Songwriting is another passion of mine. From a very young age, I won poem contests and was always making up tunes. I sang no matter what else I was doing (I still do this.) In grade school, I used to sell my poems for 3 cents each to make spending money. I also wrote a song about the school (This Land is Vineland) and they posted the lyrics in the school's display case. It came to me while helping my dad work on the house and I wrote it out on the brown side of a piece of sheet rock with a broken off edge as a chalk.
Another funny story, as we were studying poetry in 8th grade, the teacher said we could get extra credit points for every limerick we turned in. I turned in 103! You should have seen Mr. Hyatt's face when I handed him a pile of papers!
SongTown's Most Wanted List 2022
SongTown is a group run by Nashville hit song writers. Each month, this honor is for members who have shown songwriting excellence and make the list by demonstrating good songwriting skills. Each month SongTown members are chosen by the mentors from the Pro Feedback Forum, mentoring sessions, online classes, real-world success, and SongTown events. I was honored to be on the list for3 months, and earned the "Repeat Offender" award.