Instruments: Voice – Pop, R&B, Rock, Jazz/ Bossanova, Ambient, Classical/ Musical Theater, Choral, and many more; Piano – Classical, Contemporary
Ages: Piano – 4+; Voice – 12+
Specialties: Voice: Singing & Performance techniques; Improvisation and scat singing; Jazz theory; Sight singing; Songwriting and Arranging; Audition and Recital prep; Microphone techniques; Interpretation, and many more. Piano: Music Theory; Sight reading; Audition and Recital Prep; Interpretation, and many more.
Vocalist, keyboardist, composer, and educator, Megumi Takeno grew up in the western part of Japan where she began piano lessons at the age of five and vocal lessons at the age of fifteen. She later performed as a singer and pianist in the live music scene in the Kansai area.
Her repertoire ranges from classical to jazz/ bossanova, ambient, pop, rock, R&B, and sparkling up-tempo rhythms to the hushed intensity of sensitive ballads. She has a clever vocal technique, impeccable timing and expertise in telling a story with depth and warmth. She is influenced by many singers for whom she has great respect: Jessye Norman, Dionne Warwick, Luther Vandross, Oleta Adams, India Arie, Sade, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Gretchen Parlato, Luciana Souza, Carolyn Perteete, and Jazmine Sullivan.
She took private vocal lessons from the legendary singing coach Seth Riggs, as well as a vocal coach of American top artists such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Natalie Cole, and the stars from American Idol in Los Angeles and the opportunity led her to a strong desire to move to the United States to improve her musical skills. She performed with numerous jazz ensembles that included several well-known jazz musicians such as Rufus Reid, Adi Yeshaya, and Grammy Award Winner Ralph Lalama. She has performed with the World Vocal Ensemble, as well as in other choirs while pursuing her music degree. After graduation, she has sung as a member of the Minnesota Chorale, ranked among the top professional choruses in the United States and named principal chorus of the Grammy winning Minnesota Orchestra, at various venues, including Orchestra Hall, Ted Mann Concert Hall, Northrop Memorial Auditorium, and Landmark Center in twin cities.
Before coming to the United States, Megumi had her own piano studio in Japan, where she taught classical piano between beginner and advance students. She also maintained a voice studio where she taught both private and group lessons. Currently, she teaches classical piano and voice where she is comfortable in a variety of musical genres including pop, R&B, jazz and classical.
As a keyboadist, she was a member of a pit band for 2012 The Musical!. She also played with Lori Dokken as an accompanist.
Megumi’s singing and musical skills are enriched by formal musical training: she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts focused on classical vocal performance from the classical conservatory, Osaka College of Music in Japan, and a Bachelor of Music focused on contemporary vocal performance with highest honors, summa cum laude, from McNally Smith College of Music in Minnesota, where she received the Diamond Award Scholarship and awarded the President’s List for maintaining a 3.9 GPA and above. She also attended numerous workshops and master classes by internationally known musicians such as Theo Bleckmann, Tower of Power, Antonio Sanchez, Ari Hoenig, and Sean Jones.
She is a current member of Minnesota Chorale and a freelance vocalist in twin cities area.
The process of development of your voice is a journey. The essence of healthy vocal production is the primal sound, which is “true voice.” My role is to help you discover your natural instrument, keeping it healthy, making it stronger as it grows. I want to help you create your original style and develop your own unique voice–teaching you how to be expressive when you sing.
Each student has a different talent, character, personality, musical skills, and experiences. I believe my first job is to know and understand about them and figure out the best way to teach each student. It is not only to strengthen their weaknesses but also to bring out the hidden talent in each of them as we uncover their full potential.
The important thing is improvement for the student. Beyond that, my duty is to guide you in your journey, teach you good practice skills, and lead you toward your goals with confidence.
30 min – $30 (Recommended: children 12 years & younger)
45 min – $40
60 min – $60
Payment is due at the first lesson of the month
24-hour notice required for a make-up lesson via Email
"Megumi is BY FAR one of the BEST Teachers I've EVER had the privilege to learn from. She simplifies complex vocal techniques so they're easily understood, better remembered & enjoyable to practice. She gives great cues & imagery that has greatly improved my singing in just 3 months. Her lessons are fun, friendly, always positive; every time I leave a lesson my mind is buzzing with inspiration, profound discoveries of singing, ideas for songwriting & satisfaction/fulfillment.
•Prices = Amazing, seriously doubt I'll find lessons this affordable anywhere else in the Twin cities.
•Flexible Scheduling = One of the most flexible teachers I've encountered when it comes to scheduling, weekly or biweekly!
•Relaxed Inspirational Lessons, patient lessons filled with encouragement, positive constructive feedback
•Simple, easy to follow homework assignments
*Sincere passion for helping students become the best vocalists possible.
Seriously cannot say enough about how amazing Megumi. Taking voice lessons with her has been one of the BEST INVESTMENTS I've EVER made. Without a doubt, I recommend Megumi for top quality voice lessons & unbelievably great prices. If outstanding instruction, easy to remember practice drills, enjoyable lessons & rapid improvement in your singing skills sound appealing ; try lessons Megumi. You will not be disappointed!" - Charles W.
“Megumi is a very talented and dedicated singer. Her approach to music making is careful, logical, and precise but also emotional and artistic. Her dedication to the creative process is unwavering. No matter what else she is doing in life, she will find time to create art. Megumi has a good command of vocal technique, understand the physiology of the vocal mechanism—something I try to impart to all of my students. With this knowledge, she is fully capable of helping others with their development as singers. Megumi also has a broad range of repertoire, including everything from art song, opera, and jazz to current pop. I feel I can recommend her with utmost confidence in her abilities as a musician.” – Tenor in Cantus, Dr. Aaron Humble
"I've been taking lessons with Megumi for over the past year and have just loved the evolution of our sessions. I first found her by doing some research on Google, and though "why not?!". After the first lesson, I knew that I would go back to her for additional lessons. Her style is approachable enough for people who know very little about the technical sides of music (me), but advanced enough to push professionals as well.
I'm mid-20's with a full-time job that often takes up a lot of my creative energy. Since singing/performing isn't my main focus, it's really nice to come to lessons and be inspired by Megumi to *make* singing a part of my daily routine.
I see her being a great teacher for all ages; I've seen young students with their parents coming out of lessons with large smiles on their faces (cliché , but true). Megumi is flexible enough that I would really recommend her to anyone who is looking for lessons. I think she'll be able to help you, whatever your goal or purpose of singing may be!" - Kat Moore
"Megumi is a very patient and professional teacher. I obtained clear and specific instructions during voice training which were very helpful for me to improve singing skills and fix problems. The instructions in emotion are also touched deep and inspired." - Ivy
"Megumi Takeno is a very gifted voice teacher. I worked with her for 2 months on a special song to sing for my mother's memorial celebration. For someone who had not sung for many years, I found that her gentle, intuitive, and encouraging approach helped me progress much more quickly than I expected. Each lesson built upon the last one, with similar and new exercises keeping me interested. Her instructions are crystal clear, and during the lesson she solves vocal difficulties efficiently with thoughtful, effective advice. She is experienced in a wide range of musical genres and is skilled at teaching the different vocal approaches required for each. Megumi also helped me with specific issues related to performing. My voice and I grew so much in the 2 months that I worked with her that I chose to continue taking lessons after my performance at my mother's memorial service. I recommend Megumi without reservation." - MJ
"Megumi is talented pianist and singer, but what makes the lessons great is her personality and her patience. She makes the learning process easy, and I always feel comfortable with her even though I am a beginner student. I would highly recommend Megumi!" - Michael C.
"I am taking a piano lesson with her. Her teaching direction and interpretation of musical pieces are logical, precise, but also greatly artistic!! Whenever I took her lesson, my way to understand / express the musical piece got greatly improved! Also, I was amazed by her great knowledge of physiology as a pianist (not only vocalist!). She saved my fingering problems during the lesson many times!! I am not a vocalist, but I highly recommend her as an instructor. She has a wonderful personality, also she knows how to transmit the image of musical piece to the students." - Mitzi B.
"Megumi is the best vocal/singing coach I've ever had. She cares and she really helps." - Charla Marie Bailey