CVMA Director & Voice Instructor
Instruments: Voice – By Audition
Styles: Contemporary, Classical, Rock, Pop, R&B, Jazz, Country, Blues, Musical Theater, Folk
Specialties: Vocal Technique; Songwriting Coach; Recording Producer; Career Guidance; Author: The Vertical Voice Vocal Training Method – Vocal Foundations; building and aligning strong, balanced, healthy voices; song interpretation; exploring one’s unique artistic expression; vocal performance skills; recording techniques; recording production; songwriting coaching; career mentoring; public speaking & voice-over technique, stage presence & performing confidence; audition preparation; voice rehabilitation.
With a rich and varied background in classical vocal technique and a prolific career as a pop/rock/theatrical/classical vocalist, Diana has thousands of recording, performance, production, coaching and teaching credits, providing a unique perspective on the use of the voice in artistic expression.
Through her technique, The Vertical Voice® Vocal Training Method, Diana has helped thousands of vocalists develop breath support, healthy tone production, stamina, creative and connected expression, self-confidence, stage presence, repertoire, performance/audition preparation, proper key-setting, microphone & recording technique, good practice habits and offered valuable and effective career guidance to those seeking a professional career in music and the performing arts.
Having arrived in the Twin Cities by way of New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Miami, Diana Grasselli has lent her shimmery sound to major recording artists such as Dionne Warwick, Luther Vandross, Cher, John Waite, Bonnie Tyler, Alice Cooper, Belinda Carlysle, Phoebe Snow, G.E. Smith, The Smithereens, Chynna Phillips, Bonnie Spector, Paul Stanley, Meatloaf, Desmond Child and Prudence Johnson. Ms. Grasselli recorded two albums for Capitol Records with the popular East Coast recording group, Desmond Child and Rouge. Their Top 50 Single, “Our Love Is Insane”, with its funky bass beat and Diana’s soaring lead vocal rocked the air waves and dance floors throughout the East Coast.
After a successful national tour and appearances on several contemporary television shows including Saturday Night Live!, Diana appeared with Rouge members, Maria Vidal and Myriam Valle in the hit Broadway show, Gilda Radner – Live From New York at the Wintergarden Theatre, where Diana and Rouge sang and performed comedy sketches with Gilda and cast. The show was adapted to film by director, Mike Nichols and titled, Gilda Live!, and is a now a regular on The Comedy Channel. She has appeared as a backing vocalist on Late Night with David Letterman and on several film soundtracks, including Disney Pictures, Sister Act.
Diana has performed with some of the Twin Cities’ top artists including Prudence Johnson, Gary Rue, Michelle Kinney, Jacqueline Ferrier-Ultan, Jelloslave, Tony Axtell, Chris Lomheim and Laura Caviani at the Southern Theatre, Acadia, Nautilus Music Theater, The Fine Line, and many others. She has appeared in the Women of Substance Series at O’Shaunnessy Auditorium with Prudence Johnson, Gary Rue, Laura Caviani, Joan Griffin and Michelle Kinney in A Girl Named Vincent, and at the Southern Theatre in the Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht inspired, The Last Days Of Weimar with Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard and Ari Hauptmann.
Diana is a founding and producing member of Chronofon with Bradley Greenwald, Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard – a Twin Cities’ based theatrical concert ensemble that creates original concert chronicles of influential musicians, composers, time periods and places including: Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht: The Berlin Years; Jacques Brel: When We Have Only Love; ’66: Talkin’ Bout My Generation; Dear Lenny: Bernstein’s Life in Songs & Letters; When The Shark Bites: Hauptmann & Brecht, Lenya & Weill; A Night in Paris: An Evening of Popular French Song; and Viva La Roma!: An Evening of Italian Song.
As a composer of original music, Diana has written hundreds of songs, has collaborated with many talented writers and has had several successes including a gold-selling single in the Far East for Vaze Publishing. Diana has offered songwriting classes and mentoring through her Twin Cities Vocal Studio, Chanson Voice Studios.
Diana has performed and taught many styles of music, including pop, classical, rock, R & B, hip-hop, reggae, blues, Latin, country, folk, ambient, theatrical, new music and jazz in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Norwegian, Hebrew, German and Finnish in recording studios, churches and on stages around the country.
While maintaining her work as a vocalist and songwriter, Diana studied dance and voice with many very fine dance and classical vocal teachers in New York City, and has offered dance and vocal instruction and coaching in Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis through her own Chanson Voice Studios, as well as at Walker West Music Academy in St. Paul and the Minnesota Valley School of Music in Richfield, Minnesota.
Diana has owned and operated Chanson Voice Studios for 20 years, Chanson Voice & Music Academy for 8 years, and has written and produced her own vocal method: The Vertical Voice Vocal Training Method Audio Series – Volume I, available for purchase at CVMA and Amazon.com. She offers Voice Teacher Training to many talented educators around the country.
She also has conducted children’s class seminars through the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s CONNECT Program, Children’s choirs at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Walker West Music Academy and has been on the roster of the COMPAS/WAITS Program (Writer’s and Artists in the Schools), Minnesota. She has served on the review board at the Perpich Center for the Arts High School for prospective students.
She has mentored thousands of young singers, performing artists and voice teachers all over the country, many of whom have gone on to prestigious college programs or professional music, teaching and performing careers. Diana has produced dozens of professional concerts in the Twin Cities for herself, students and colleagues in top Twin Cities’ venues, enlisting the expert talent of the best of the TC’s local musicians and technicians.
Ms. Grasselli reunited with Desmond Child & Rouge to perform in the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in NYC, at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park in a tribute concert for talented songwriting legend, Laura Nyro, Michael Feinstein’s 54 Below and in LA and Nashville for several soon-to-be-released recordings.
Working with Diana is a unique and rewarding experience as her approach is direct, hands-on and completely individualized to each student’s specific needs, goals, gifts and desires. Bringing a life-time of experience and wisdom, there is not a voice she cannot improve, nor a career she cannot assist.
All lessons and packages are paid for in advance, either on line or in person, and are valid for one year after purchase.
As Ms. Grasselli commits 100% to her students, she expects them to be respectful and professional and to recognize their responsibility for our time together. Though exceptions are accommodated for illness or emergencies, cancellations made later than 24 hours before lesson times will be charged.
Please click Book Appointment below to visit the page to Diana’s pricing and online booking options:
Diana is available by audition 11a-5p Mon-Sat at CVMA-Raymond Ave. and on Sundays at CVMA-Semple Mansion. Please contact her to schedule an audition time. Payment for auditions must be made in advance to hold your place.
Viva La Roma!
An Evening of Italian Song
with Dan Chouinard, Diana Grasselli,
Prudence Johnson & Bradley Greenwald
November 3, 2019, 6:00pm
Back by Popular Demand!
with Dean Magraw and Gary Raynor
November 11, 2019, 7:00PM
Wildwood Artist Series Presents
January 4, 2020, 7:30p
Dear Lenny: Bernstein’s Life in Songs & Letters
feat. Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard, Bradley Greenwald, & Diana Grasselli
with Bruce Thornton & Greg Hippen
Capitol Recording Artists,
Desmond Child & Rouge Hit Single
Diana Grasselli – Lead Vocal
Gilda Radner – Honey Touch Me
Featuring – Diana Grasselli, Myriam Valle & Maria Vidal
Desmond Child & Rouge
Laura Nyro Tribute
Beacon Theater, NYC/1997
Featuring Diana Grasselli, Myriam Valle and Maria Vidal
“Diana, in my opinion, is the best voice teacher in the midwest and arguably, one of the best in the country. I had never sung solo in my life before coming to Diana for lessons. I was able to gain enough confidence to learn two songs and perform as a surprise to my wedding guests. The response that I got from our guests was a standing ovation. It was a beautiful perfect day for our wedding in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The day was made more perfect thanks to Diana’s help, knowledge, and coaching. Thank You again Diana!”
– Tyronne Carter, BS, MPA, Ed
Studying voice with Diana at CVMA has been one of the best decisions I have made. While grounding me in focused, healthy, and specific technique, she has also empowered my artistry. Most importantly, she had helped me to find a beautiful marriage between the two things; by freeing up my voice's potential, I have also found more freedom in how I can use my voice to communicate deep and specific human emotion. She provides a safe environment for her students to go to new places with their work -- I always leave our lessons feeling like I'm ready for whatever comes my way! I find it rare and invaluable to have a mentor that takes care, yet finds a way to challenge you. I'm grateful to have Diana at CVMA. - Ben Lohrberg
“From the moment I walked in to meet Diana at her studio, I knew it was destiny. She blew me away! She is incredibly talented and one of the most uplifting women I have ever met! Her knowledge and wisdom of music and life have carried me to another level. Her passion for working with other talented singers is evident and shines above all other vocal coaches that I have ever worked with throughout my ever-developing music career!
Thanks to Diana for pushing me to reach notes and to achieve vocal skills I never knew were possible! She has not only helped me develop as a solo artist, but has also helped me to open my voice, my heart, and my soul, and to reach well beyond the limitations of the past. Because of her devoted guidance and support, I have grown and continue to grow as an artist. I am so grateful to have found her! She has encouraged me time and time again to keep chasing my dream and to never give up and for all of these reasons, I am so grateful”. – Tahne Stillwell, vocalist, http://www.thisistahne.com/
"Diana is one of the most supportive and giving teachers I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. She tailors each lesson to the specific needs of the individual, and to top it all off her knowledge and expertise in vocal technique and performance are unmatched. She’s helped me to grow immensely in the past few years, while always stressing the importance of vocal health which is essential to the longevity of one’s career. Most important of all, she is a kind person who genuinely invests in each one of her students, and helps to grow their unique abilities to the fullest. Run, do not walk, to study with her. " - Carley Rosefelt, UMN/Guthrie Theatre Actor Training Program
“My voice has found it’s home!”
"My voice was unreliable at gigs, causing a lack of confidence and distraction on stage. My voice felt damaged, tired and was hoarse after every performance. Due to my vocal concerns, I started taking lessons from Diana Grasselli. Within six months of addressing prohibitive speech habits and following Diana’s Vertical Voice practices, I began to notice significant improvements.
I am a natural Contralto. I was forcing my voice to sing songs in keys that did not compliment my voice. She guided me (and my band) to write and choose song material that best suited my voice. I learned to adjust my range. I improved my posture along with my physical and vocal alignment. I learned to blend my chest and head voice. I improved my breathing and learned to use my voice without straining.
Through years of working with Diana, she helped find the right home for my voice. Now, my voice feels authentic, free and resonant. I am confident on stage because I know I can rely on my voice 100%. My voice will not fail me as it once did. Diana and The Vertical Voice techniques transformed my voice. I will continue to follow Diana’s practices for as long as I sing!" - Mae Rukavina – Lead Singer – The Maeflies
“While on a two-month work assignment in the Minneapolis area, I decided to take voice lessons with Diana. It was my first time and I can honestly say that I will never forget the wonderful experience. After each lesson, I found myself literally counting down the days until the next. I learned more about my own voice in two months than I had in my entire life. She is truly a blessing and just an absolute blast to work with, I would recommend her to any singer wanting to learn how to become better at what they do”.
– Richard Harris
“Diana Grasselli is an amazing, knowledgeable and gifted vocal teacher. She gives 200% to all of her students and under her instruction my daughter ‘s vocal range, technique, confidence and stage presence has blossomed. We feel very blessed that our daughter has had the opportunity to work with Diana.”
– Sophie Fawcett Peters
“Well how do I sum up a review for a woman who has literally changed the course of my daughters life! There are so many layers to what Chanson Voice Studios has done for my daughter. It has taught confidence, collaboration, technique, performance and so many others things that go in to taking your craft and making it all that it can be. Diana’s talent and patience is bar none. If it were not for Diana, Chelsea would have never made it to Germany, NY, Texas and half of the East Coast doing what she loves most, singing! We are very grateful that she continues to work with Chanson Voice Studios under the guidance of Diana Grasselli and we hope to continue well into the future”! – Sue
"As a professional touring singer-songwriter, Diana has been invaluable to my career. Years of improper use of my voice had taken a toll. After working with Diana, my voice is stronger than ever. I’ve discovered a whole other vocal resonance and tonal quality I can access, my range has increased by half an octave, and my fans and listeners are noticing. Diana was also a great asset as vocal producer of my last CD, assisting me in finding my best voice in the studio environment and contributing creatively to the project with her own vocal harmonies. She’s a gifted teacher and vocalist! I could also add that she is a hell of a lot of fun, immensely supportive and a good friend". – Barb Ryman, Singer-songwriter
"Ms. Grasselli’s focus on the fundamentals of singing yields exceedingly positive results. She has an uncanny ability to zero in on specific areas of tension and helps the singer find their true, free voice. While some methods try to force the singer into the same style of learning as the teacher, Ms. Grasselli finds a way to connect with her students individually and help them find their voice". – Jonathan Ten Brink, bass/baritone
"Diana Grasselli is an accomplished and caring vocal artist, master teacher and producer. The vocalist experiences singing first as inner self-talk as facilitated by Diana through vocalizations, then resonating invitation from the heart, then vibrational waves that inspire an audience. Diana weaves her experiences together with exceptional diagnostics, fundamentals of The Vertical Voice technique that she developed, respected compositions and multiple languages to help each student grow. Students at any vocal level can expect a strength-oriented, positive and personal collaboration with Diana. In each lesson and performance, Diana mentors by example, carefully demonstrating for each student how they can best lift their gift to the next level. And between each lesson, Diana encourages and demonstrates the values of discipline, confidence, responsibility and perseverance, and of course the pleasure principle! We are blessed to have a teacher of her caliber in the Minnesota area." – Steve T.
"Diana has helped me regain confidence in my singing. She helps me select pieces that I enjoy while being appropriate to my voice and goals. Her encouraging and nurturing style has challenged me to focus not only on producing a quality sound, but also a quality delivery. Diana has gone above and beyond to provide venues for me (and other students) to perform publicly, something I haven’t found with other studios. I appreciate and have grown due to her genuine enthusiasm for my success and continued development."– Paige Silver
"I would highly recommend Diana Grasselli as a vocal coach at Chanson Voice Studios to anyone who is serious about singing! Her method is rooted in classical technique and she caters to and nurtures singers’ needs on any given day. Diana helped me grow as a musician, artist and performer. She introduced me to every genre of music, expanding my stylistic capabilities, as well as teaching me about individual artists and musical history. Diana took my interest in singing and turned it into a passion and I intend to make music my career. She has taught me exactly what to do to sing correctly and how to take care of my voice. If you are interested in taking voice lessons in the Twin Cities, Diana Grasselli is the best choice.” – Miranda Wood, http://talent.colum.edu/profile/index/367a1/
"The last time I had lessons with you, we worked on the song “Snow” which I sang at The New Standards Holiday Show. Your coaching helped me so much! It went well, I got some career-high compliments for the performance. As time goes on, more and more of what you taught me is sinking in. I feel very fortunate to have your guidance." – Allison LaBonne
"During the 4 years I took lessons with Diana, we sang everything from Italian opera to pop songs. Through her passionate love of music and teaching Diana taught me confidence in my singing voice. As part of the training, I performed in two memorable concerts by her students. My experiences with Diana as a singing coach will stay with me as a life-long love of singing." – Welsa Stone, College of Visual Arts
"Diana and her Vertical Voice technique are amazing. By following her guidance, I went from being unable to sing at all, to hitting notes with ease while releasing a lot of bad habits. The best part is that Diana teaches a technique that will save your voice from strain, stress and aggravation. Using a holistic approach, She focuses on making sure the instrument (read: your body) is in the best condition it can be when you get up to sing. She works with you to find and naturally bring it out. Without her flexible but effective approach I wouldn’t get anywhere near the enjoyment I get out of singing that I do today." – Jordan Sandvig, aka: Vision the Kid