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Ellen Trygstad

piano and voice

(406) 582-7624


My primary focus in lessons is to help students develop the foundation skills necessary to successfully explore and create music. Music is fun and meaningful, but also sometimes challenging. I try to provide a guiding and supportive role through explanation, demonstration, and the building of confidence by introducing students to problem solving strategies and the value of seeing mistakes as helpful tools for learning and discovery.


LESSONS are scheduled by the semester.  Single and summer lessons are also available. Lesson length varies (15, 30 45, or 60 minutes) depending on interest and age Combination voice/piano options are available. 



Singing well involves developing a healthy singing technique. Exercises, diction and Classical, lyrical Broadway, and Folksong styles are studied to help develop comfortable, effective breathing, tone, vocal line, pitch accuracy and expressiveness.  Literature is primarily in English, though when ready, students benefit from songs in other languages. Lessons are tailored to individual need, age, voice type and experience.



I work with students to develop a solid, beginning technical foundation, working toward tension-free posture and movement dexterity. Lessons include basic musicianship skills (reading and writing music notation, rhythm, melody, ear-training, sight-singing, accompaniment and basic music theory concepts), exercises/studies, and repertoire, beginning through intermediate levels.  



Students practice how to prepare for performance, and are encouraged to perform in three, fun recitals each year (Dec./holiday, March/student compositions, and May) where they can experience the joy of sharing their music with confidence.


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The Music Arts Center is a wonderful place to study and teach music. I’ve been teaching there since 2009.  My professional music work also includes:


Professional choir, opera chorus and solo vocal performances  

Artist-in-Residence (MT), six years, working with elementary school teachers and children, creating student written and performed early-American history operas

Freelance music editor, New York City, NY.

My formal music education includes a B.A. degree in Music (St. Olaf College, Minnesota), graduate level classes in Vocal Pedagogy and Diction (Montana State University) and private voice, piano and violin studies in New York, Oregon and Italy. 

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