artistic freedom through musical competency
Michele Weir is a veteran educator who has made significant contributions to the development of vocal jazz education around the globe. As an arranger / pianist / vocalist, she is known for her versatile skill set and ability to inspire. As one student put it, “Thank you again for being such an amazing mentor. You are truly the person I strive to be.”
Michele’s arrangements have been performed by notable vocal groups including New York Voices and the Swingle Singers, with orchestral works played by various symphonies including the Boston Pops. Michele served as Vocal Producer for the Manhattan Transfer’s 2009 CD release, The Chick Corea Songbook, also contributing two arrangements to the project. Her many arrangements for educational use are distributed widely through a number of different publishers including her own online company, the MichMusic Store.
Currently on faculty at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Michele is an active teacher and clinician, with past workshops in over 20 countries and presentations for some of the world’s most prestigious music conferences including the World Choral Symposium, the Jazz Education Network Conferences, and the ACDA National Conference. She was honored to have been selected as Keynote Speaker for the first-ever International Jazz Voice Conference in Helsinki, 2015.
Michele’s educational book/CD sets, Vocal Improvisation (Advance Music), Jazz Singer's Handbook (Alfred Publishing), and Jazz Piano Handbook (Alfred Publishing) are widely-used internationally, and in 2015 she created the first-ever iOS app for scat singers, ScatAbility. The most recent (and exciting!) project from Michele is the development of her online school for jazz singers and educators, MusicHabit.
Michele is a former vocal member of the Grammy-nominated PM Singers (under the direction of Phil Mattson,) and her duo CD as a vocalist with jazz guitarist Bruce Forman is titled, The Sound of Music. Past credits as a performer include numerous headliner guest artist concerts for educational festivals as well as on-the-road work as pianist for backup singer Bobby Vinton and others. Michele also had the unique opportunity to serve as Music Supervisor for the DreamWorks film, Prince of Egypt, journeying through Europe and Asia to oversee the music production for the film's foreign language dubs.
“These lessons have been the best thing to happen to me in I can’t remember when. I sang with more confidence on Sunday, scatted in several tunes…in front of a listening audience…SCARY…and really had a ball. Thanks for your patience and instruction.”
“I learned more in an hour than I thought possible.”
“It was such a joy to have you in the house! Students reacted extremely positive; without exception: ‘sweet, fantastic, princess from heaven, patient, peaceful, tranquil, understanding, warm, skilled, crystal clear, personal, gentile…….. You’re such a professional and generous person!”
Finding a teacher as effective as Michele feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thank you Michele!”