For Kiiri Michelsen, music is a passion to be shared, whether on stage or in the teaching studio. She is active in performance, teaching (voice/piano/lyric diction), coaching (lyric diction) and research. Since 1998 (piano) and 2002 (voice), Kiiri has taught both privately and on faculty at various music schools, including the Sidney Community Music School, Brentwood College School, and Con Brio Music School. She has taught in both Victoria and Montreal, and is now pleased to be part of the VCM faculty. Kiiri’s teaching approach focuses on the development of healthy technique through the elimination of tension patterns and mental blocks, and has as its ultimate goal the discovery of each singer’s unique sound. Her wide-ranging musical interests and performance experience in different genres contribute to a flexible teaching style which has lent her success with students aged 6 to 80+ .
In addition to her lesson teaching, Kiiri holds the position of Diction Instructor in the VCM/Camosun Music Diploma program and teaches post-secondary lyric diction courses for English, French, German, and Italian. She also coaches both students and professionals on lyric diction in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish and is frequently engaged as a language coach for various choirs. She holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with Distinction (piano/voice), and has completed various vocal workshops and professional development courses across Canada and abroad, including among others Opera NUOVA, the Vancouver International Song Institute Theatre of Art Song, the North Sea Vocal Academy (Denmark) and the VCM Oratorio Program. Her main vocal teachers have been in Montreal (Jan Simons, Cathérine Sévigny) and Victoria (Nancy Argenta, Benjamin Butterfield,). As a performer, she enjoys singing Baroque music and the various art song repertoires, with forays into other beloved genres such as the American Songbook catalogue, Broadway, and French chansons.
Kiiri performs regularly as a soloist, and in recent seasons has appeared with the Victoria Choral Society (Drums and Voices), Victoria Baroque Players (Music of Trust and Peace; St. John Passion; Jesu, meine Freude), the Pacific Baroque Festival (Storms, Birthdays and other Pleasures; Vespers in Leipzig; The Bright Paths of Song), and the Hornby Island Recital Series (MADDWEve). She has also recently been a guest soloist in concerts featuring, respectively, the music of Edith Piaf and of songwriters from the golden age of American song. She has a particular interest in bringing a greater awareness of the lesser-known Spanish and Scandinavian art song repertoires (and languages) to her students and audiences, and is presently working on a long-term research project to create a resource for singers as an introduction to singing in Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish.