Teaching Philosophy

  1. Establishing a trust between teacher and student so that student knows he/she is supported and teacher has student’s best interest in mind.
  2. Through the distribution of basic skills and Socratic discussion, teacher encourages student to be confident and autonomous.
  3. Students are allowed to take risks knowing what they do is part of the learning process.
  4. Mastery of detail as well as the overall arch of expression is essential in developing a well rounded student.
  5. Feeling confident with the learned skill set, student is self assured and can move forward into the professional arena.


“Congratulations to you and the casts of Katie: The Strongest of the Strong for four great performances. Gordon and LeAnn, your commitment and enthusiasm for this project created an inclusive and positive experienced allowing our MSM students to thrive.”

DR. CARLEEN GRAHAM, Dean Vocal Arts Division, MSM

“LeAnn Overton exceeds every expectation one might have in a coach- she is equally skilled in coaching repertoire that spans many musical periods as well as crossing over to musical theater.  LeAnn is an incredible linguist and always begins by examining the text/ libretto and nuances of each language.  She challenges her singers, displays strong musical and dramatic instincts, listens closely, is consistently honest and is extremely supportive and knowledgable.  I am proud to have collaborated with LeAnn on numerous concerts, recitals, auditions and operatic projects over the last seven years (since working with her as a Masters student at Manhattan School of Music). She is a rare gem and I encourage any rising singer to work with her given the opportunity.”


“LeAnn has been an amazing resource both as a coach and a pianist over the last three years I have worked with her. Together, we have given several recitals and collaborated on many auditions and recording sessions. She is consistently prepared, reliable, and a ray of sunshine every time she walks in the door. The element with which she has helped me the most is breathing. Through her own studies in Alexander technique, body mapping, and the anatomy of the singer’s (human’s) body, she has incredible knowledge to share in terms of how to take a healthy breath, proper air flow, and general relaxation and comfort while singing. For the last several years, she has been the “backbone” and founder of Respiro Opera, NYC, a program held at Opera America’s National Opera Center during the summer to help young singers achieve a healthy singing technique by becoming more comfortable in their bodies and breath. LeAnn also has an excellent command of style and languages, particularly in the French and Italian repertoire. She is bubbling with resources, and if you bring her a bel canto aria by Bellini, Donizetti, or Rossini, for example, she will come back to you within 24 hours with an entire list of cadenzas that are in the “bel canto” style and have been used by legendary singers of the past. She is not only knowledgable and helpful in the practice room, but she is eager to help even outside of “coaching hours” to see that each singer with whom she works is up to date on style, musicality, diction, technique, and artistry. Working with LeAnn for the last three years has been a joy, and anyone who has the opportunity to work with her is extremely lucky to be in the hands of someone so eager to support young singers.”

MELANIE SPECTOR, Manhattan School of Music 2021  

“I was lucky to have LeAnn as my vocal coach while preparing for my Masters Recital at Manhattan School of Music. She is the perfect blend of interpretation and technique along with encouragement and honesty. She has a great ear for both classical and non-classical music which is why she is my first call whether I’m preparing an opera role or a cabaret show. She gives me the confidence I need when I step on the stage. I know she is with me 110%”

ELIZABETH EIEL, MSM, Voices of Women

“Thanks again for everything!! This has been such a wonderfully unforgettable semester. I am so thankful for the great opportunity to work with you as both my director and coach—and to be able to be a part of a production that truly showcased everyone’s performing abilities. Not to mention all the hard work you invested in all the stage preparation and blocking! It has been truly an honor.”

KIMBERLY CHIMENTO, Montclair State University

“LeAnn Overton is a pedagogue with a mission! Her What to Look for in Music is a must for any singer interested in finding and communicating the meaning of an art song or aria.”

GORDON OSTROWSKI, Assistant Dean, Opera Producer, MSM

“Thank you so much for your amazing contributions to this program. I can’t imagine a more gifted, knowledgeable, and dedicated group of colleagues. And you are the MOST FUN! Thanks for the intense work, the beautiful performances, and the laughs. I have nothing but admiration for all of you and it is my honor to work with each of you!”

MARTILE ROWLAND, Director Vocal Arts Symposium, Colorado Springs

“Congratulations on a fine concert last night and what a fabulous audience we had! You always come up with the best programs—so much variety and fun! Brava!!!”

DAUNE MAHY, Director Oberlin in Italy

“Definitely a standing O! Congrats, LeAnn for taking a large, young raw group and shaping them into an evening of theatrical and musical entertainment! There was imagination, character, commitment, energy, thematic unity, musical integrity, fun… you did not pander but instead gave them honest challenges to tackle. Bravissima!

But as good as your kids were, you were the star!! Your positive energy was written all over the evening, from concept to conducting. Thanks so much for a delightful time.”


“I want to thank you once again for your dedication in bringing Monday’s opera scenes performance to fruition. You have an eye for detail and there were many entertaining effects. You got some sparkling performances out of the students!”

JEFFREY GALL, Professor at Montclair State University

“I learned a study discipline and the foundation of classical style with LeAnn and I’m forever grateful for it. Working with LeAnn is a part of my life I will always treasure.”

DERRICK DAVIS, Long Island University Post Campus
Broadway LION KING

“LeAnn Overton is an inspiring and motivating coach. I was extremely fortunate to coach with LeAnn for five years while in undergrad and two years in grad school. Throughout our coachings, LeAnn provided a safe haven to experiment and instilled a confidence and skill set that have prepared me for future engagements. She selflessly gave her time and provided a support system that encouraged and nurtured my soul. Because of LeAnn’s direction, I have performed with many opera companies nationally and internationally. I am truly grateful to her and for her and value her expertise to this day.”

LAUREN HABER, Long Island University, Post; Manhattan School of Music

“LeAnn Overton has been a primary member of our opera outreach team at Manhattan School of Music for many years. We all know that she is a consummate musician. But beyond that, she possesses the true outreach spirit! She is enthusiastic, happy and energetic from the moment we start loading up the outreach van early in the morning! She is a role model for our graduate students who are learning how to perform in non-traditional concert spaces. LeAnn leads them by example that YES, you can perform a Mozart in a school cafeteria at 9:00 a.m.!!”

REBECCA CHARNOW, Director of Community Partnerships at MSM


Contact information for any of the references above available upon request