Meet performing arts teacher Rachel Naughtin. Rachel teaches Musical Theatre Singing & Performance I & II. She is the music director for Billy Elliot.
What is your goal as a teacher?
I am very passionate and enthusiastic about what I do, so the biggest thing for my students is that whether or not they pursue theatre and music, they are encouraged to pursue their own passions through my teaching. I want to inspire my students of all ages to commit fully and passionately to the things they are involved in.
How has musical theatre influenced how you see the world?
I am a glass half full kind of girl, an optimist. I just love being immersed in the world musical theatre creates, both the world of being involved in musical theatre and the world created by shows. It’s a great escape, but at the same time I feel like so many musicals articulate things that I sometimes have trouble expressing. In a song it makes total sense. I can say, ‘oh, these lyrics are exactly what I’m feeling.’
What should your students always remember about singing?
It should be fun. It’s a really personal and special thing to be able to share your voice in that way. It’s the most innate thing within us. When I have older students I talk about chant and how singing has always been a part of our expression. They can use that to better their own communities, families, and selves.
Where did your passion for music stem from?
I’ve always been into music. I started with guitar at age 6. Then I would take my guitar music over to a little keyboard and figure it out, so my parents decided I should take piano, too. From a young age I had VHS copies of My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music that my grandma gave me. I loved everything about it, the performing, the singing, the seamlessness of theatre. It was always something I could see myself doing. I started doing plays similar to the Arts Center in St. Louis and different school shows. After singing my first art song I was hooked on the classical stuff as well.