We’re back with our series on our private instruction faculty. Mr. Dustin is an avid musical director, accompanist, and private instructor. He’s almost booked through September and booking through the rest of the Fall. Now is a great time to get to know a little more about him, and then book some time with him in the private studio.
Introducing Private Voice Instructor Dustin Merrell!
Photo courtesy of THSquared Photos.
- Who do you teach in the studio? I teach students of various ages who are seeking to better their technique. Sometimes we focus on a broad approach, and sometimes there are specific goals in mind. Most of my students concentrate primarily on musical theatre; whether the focus is on establishing healthy technique, building repertoire, developing audition skills, working lyrical interpretation, or preparing for college auditions, there are established end goals for every student who steps into the studio.
- What do you do outside of the private studio? I also work as a musical director, accompanist, and composer (in both educational and professional theatre). I have directed at several Howard County middle schools through DLC’s offsite production program. I have worked as musical director at Howard Community College, Imagination Stage, Atholton High School, and the Carver Center for Arts and Technology. Professionally, I have music directed for Red Branch Theatre Company numerous times, and recently served as musical director at Adventure Theatre.
- What’s your favorite Broadway show and why? Once on This Island by Flaherty and Ahrens. I belive Once on This Island is the perfect example of how effective a piece of theatre can be. The music is beautiful, and is perfectly woven into the story and characters. The show is entertaining, haunting, sad, joyful, and thought-provoking. Choosing a favorite musical is a difficult task; however I believe that few shows are as polished and well-constructed.
- What’s your favorite thing about teaching private voice? Watching students learn to problem-solve independently. One of my goals as a private instructor is to enable students to think critically, and to empower them to reflect on their training when attempting to solve a problem, or clear a hurdle. When I observe this happening in real time, I know that the training is producing results. Furthermore, I cherish every moment in which something “clicks” with a student. Improving upon this craft requires discipline, practice, and plenty of reptition. When I see a student finally understand a concept– or finally “feel” something on which we’ve been focusing – I am filled with immense joy and pride.
- How long have you been teaching? I began music directing and coaching for summer musical theatre camps about twelve years ago. I have been teaching privately for seven years.
Would you like to meet one of our private lesson faculty members before signing up for a lesson? NEW this year, we’re offering a limited number of personalized vocal assessments.
Our talented teaching artists would love to spend a little time one-on-one with you to hear you sing and make recommendations for next steps. Sign up now to be added to the waitlist for a free 15-minute vocal assessment. These are offered as available on a first-come, first-served basis.