Joni Clare is a music and Alexander Technique teacher and was selected best music instructor in the 2019 Best of Portland Awards. She offers a variety of creative services that involve voice and piano, improvisation, heart and harmony, songwriting and preparing for recording and performing. Through it all she shares the message of unity, authenticity and connection.

She is also a songwriter and recording artist. She has a strong, eclectic sound mixing original soul-singing with classical and experimental training. Her technical control blended with aspects of exploring the unknown gives her a sound that sets her apart from many other voices.

About Joni

Resident Artist at The Wormfarm Institute

Joni Clare graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her early vocal training included classical, jazz, musical theater, and gospel repertoires while performing in the University Choir, Women’s Choir, and Jazz Ensemble. She later specialized in extended vocal techniques, experimental improvisation, composition, and vocal pedagogy with performances in the Contemporary Music Ensemble, Experimental Improvisation Ensemble, and a collaborative vocal-dance piece.

Clare’s early singing and performances took place in church, home and school. She developed a passion and meaning for music, singing with her mom and dad in many positive loving communities that she remains grateful for today. She took every opportunity to sing solos and leads in show choir, musicals, class choir, and solo and ensemble competitions. It is very clear that Clare, early on carried strong passion and very little fear to sing, dance, and play instruments. These observations are carried through her performances and teaching services today.

Joni Clare singing with Fable and the World Flat on Fox 6 Milwaukee
Joni Clare singing with Fable and the World Flat on Fox 6 Milwaukee

Clare began to plug her voice into the Milwaukee, WI music scene in her early 20’s back-up singing with local groups, Soup and Fable and the World Flat. Studying and performing music from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead on weekend nights while singing Classical pieces in college during the week, she quickly advanced her dynamic voice for writing original music. She cultivated something unique and eclectic that struck a balance between her collegiate work, reflective writing, and collaborations with other Milwaukee musicians.

She composed a raw, striped-down collection of songs (Harvest 2015) during an art-in-residency at the Wormfarm Institute. She also recorded a freely improvised album, The Waking Hour (2015) with two other Milwaukee improvising musicians before heading out to Portland. Most of Clare’s writing, recording and performing is now with her band of 5 years, The City Pines in Portland, Oregon.

Voice + Alexander Technique

Music Philosophy:

Studying voice helps improve your sense of self and open that special expression to others. Joni helps you discover and deepen your authentic creative vibration through traditional and nontraditional music education and methods. She holds space for your intentions plus invites you tap into your confidence, whole-self presence and awareness, listening attention, and creative consciousness.

She helps you strengthen your instrument through playful exercises, academic activities and repertoire that interests you. Your time together is constructive while exploring many ideas that music offers. Her aim is to guide you to a free and sustainable sound that can be understood on a simple and clear level.

Joni also teaches Alexander Technique teacher in and outside of music lessons. The Technique is the study of motor control and manner of reaction and is a fantastic sub-skill for music and the arts. The overall framework for the technique is to unlearn harmful habits and retrain specific muscle patterns that are associated with stress. The gentle manual guidance that she provides essentially helps bring your alignment into a different state that better sets up muscle use, respiration and vocalization. And you eventually learn to bring these changes about yourself.

In vocalizing or playing any instrument, the challenge is knowing how much and what kind of work it takes to get a desired sound. A developing skill in the technique sets you up for a more conscious process through any activity of life so that you can have a healthy, happy experience with alertness and awareness in freedom.

The practical skills you learn help aid efficient movement and avoid injury during practice without overriding music time. She highly suggests students take some form of Alexander Technique instruction while studying with her and guides you through 15 minutes of work in with your weekly music lesson. She also offers a full complimentary lesson to first lay down the foundation.

Piano + Alexander Technique

In piano lessons you will achieve musical skills and expression through music fundamentals, improvisation, mindfulness awareness and performance if desired. She uses the Piano Adventures book series as a foundation, but time is also spent off book. She is also open to working on materials that you bring in.

The Alexander technique aids health and well-being for all activities of life and it stimulates coordination to support the demands of piano technique. It helps you unlearn harmful habits and prevent stress and injury through a subtle approach.

The gentle manual guidance that Joni provides plus a student’s developing conscious thought-process essentially helps bring alignment into a different state that better sets up muscle use, respiration and vocalization. These changes can improve how we “perform” activities such as singing, playing piano, or making the bed by influencing how we communicate and regulate our motor control functioning.

Every lessons starts with 15 minutes of Alexander Technique to help the student build skill and awareness for reaction and functioning. This time includes work at the chair, lying down and other various activities that involved movement through space.

Location + Rates

Joni is currently teaching in her home studio located in Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood in SE Portland.

Rates: All lessons are $45/45 or $60/60 minutes paid in full the beginning of the month.

Cancellation Policy:  You are required to pay for all regularly scheduled lessons regardless of cancellations. There are no refunds. If you do cancel with a 24-hour notice, lessons can be made up within the same month of payment. She will always make up a paid lesson that she cancels or will apply the payment to the next month’s payment.

Get in Touch

Joni Clare performing for a Wedding
Joni Clare performing for a Wedding

To inquire about music or Alexander Technique lessons with Joni Clare, email her at joniclared@gmail.com or call her at 503-278-8143 to set up a consultation.

News

Testimonials

“Joni is a wonderful teacher to work with. Her passion for music and her drive and dedication to helping you achieve your goals show up so clearly in every lesson with her.

It also seems clear to me that she comes at this not from any strict tradition or method but as someone who has learned very well the science behind how the voice and singing work. How the body works as a whole. She then uses that knowledge and her skills to pull forward whatever will work best for any particular goal you have. She will not only show you what to do but she will be sure you understand why you are doing it.

I for one feel lucky to have found her and I am confident you would feel the same.”

-Kevin Whitney, Portland OR

“A large part of my job as a teacher is singing with children. I always lacked the confidence and ability I desired to pass the joy of music along to my students. I wanted to improve in these areas and I couldn’t be happier that I found Joni. She didn’t just focus on the voice, but how the body works as a whole to bring out a new sound. She helped bring me out of my shell and even helped me sing on stage in front of others! I would recommend Joni for anyone wanting to improve their voice or is just starting out.”

-Corrine Spencer, Portland OR

I had a wonderful experience working with Joni in both Voice coaching and Alexander Technique. Joni is extremely knowledgeable and has a wonderful way of connecting with students. We all had a lot of fun and gained great experience in our group performance that Joni conducted. I would highly recommend Joni to anyone who wants to develop their voice for fun or performance.”

– Jeff Rose, Portland OR

Joni has helped me improve my understanding of my own voice and, most wonderfully, my control over it. I have found voices in myself through her guidance that I didn’t know I had, and have also discovered with her help how to embrace the process of vocal experimentation to become a better singer. I love my voice now more than I ever have, and I was painfully shy before. If you want a teacher who can help your confidence and musical knowledge as a singer grow (and you’re willing to put in the work), Joni has the knowledge and gentle, intelligent guidance to make that possible!
– Reva FoSho, Portland OR