Charlotte Surkin Biography

Charlotte Surkin is a Professional Voice Trainer and Vocologist currently teaching at Marymount Manhattan College in New York; a private voice instructor at the CAP21 Musical Theatre program and their newly created Professional Training Program; Singing Voice Specialist and Outreach Coordinator at The Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School of Lighthouse International (for the visually impaired), coordinating their Master Class Series, administering on-line content for the music school and teaching voice; and the second alto soloist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Ms. Surkin previously taught singing at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, Wagner College in Staten Island and Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

Ms. Surkin presented a vocal workshop at the Voice Foundation Symposium in Philadelphia. There she used a PowerPoint presentation given to voice teachers on “Teaching Singing to Blind or Low Vision Students”, which included the following: How Medication Affects the Singing Voice; Braille Music; Hygiene; and Various Pathologies. A demonstration voice lesson was given to two students, one with low vision and one with only light perception followed. She, also, gave this demonstration lecture at Columbia University through New York Singing Teachers Association (NYSTA) in their Master of Vocal Pedagogy Series. Most recently, the lecture was given for the doctors at Lighthouse International in New York, for their Grand Rounds Demonstration. She has also visited Shenyang, China where she gave a Vocal Master Class to the award winning Liaoning Choir.

Charlotte Surkin successfully completed vocology internships at the Grabscheid Voice Center with Dr. Peak Woo and Dr. Linda Carroll in 2006 at Mt. Sinai Hospital and the Vox Humana Laboratory with Dr. Anat Keidar at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in 2002, both in New York. Ms. Surkin observed Dr. Carroll, Speech Pathologist, treat patients with various speech pathologies from loss of voice through teaching, post surgical therapy, and general misuse. She also observed and used spectrographs for patient analysis. For Dr. Peak Woo, Otolaryngologist, she observed him treating patients with various pathologies including treatment of Spasmodic Dysphonia as well as Vocal Fold Implant Surgery. For Dr. Keidar, Speech Pathologist, she observed her treat patients with various vocal pathologies, and she also, accompanied students on the piano.

Ms. Surkin is also certified in Levels I and II of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method at the Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah Conservatory. There, she attended classes in Vocal Health, Dysfunction/Constriction, Vocal Exercises, Aged-Based Parameters, Problem Solving, Emotions/Intentions, Language and participated in practice Modules. She is on the Board of Directors of the New York Singing Teachers Association (NYSTA) and is a member of the National Association of Singing Teachers. For NYSTA, Ms. Surkin was in the first graduating class of the Core of Knowledge Program. There she studied with master professionals in the areas of Pedagogy, Vocal Health, Anatomy, Acoustical Physics and Repertoire.

Ms. Surkin has performed the alto solos in over 30 major oratorios with orchestra in the Tri-State area, including 2 performances of the Messiah in Carnegie Hall as well as the Kennedy Center. Some of these include performances of all of the great Bach works including the St. John and St. Matthew Passion, the Magnificat; the B Minor the Christmas Oratorio and several cantatas. She has also performed the Choral Fantasy, the Mass in C and the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven, the Brahms Alto Rhapsody, Judas Maccabeus by Handel, the Mass in B Minor and Mass in Time of War by Haydn; King David by Honegger, the Elijah by Mendelssohn, the Coronation Mass; Requiem, Vesperae Solennes de Confessore by Mozart; the Stabat Mater and Messe Solennelle by Rossini, the Verdi Requiem and the Vivaldi Gloria.

Ms. Surkin’s operatic repertoire is quite extensive as well, performing in regional companies as well as locally in everything from Baroque to Contemporary operas.  She had the pleasure of performing the leading role of Fanny in Elie Wiesenthal’s Angel Levine and the First Operator in the world premiere opera Sorry Wrong Number by Jack Beeson, with the Center for Contemporary Opera.

Charlotte Surkin’s CD Uptown, Downtown on Studio 21 label features blues and jazz inspired songs that are written by contemporary American Composers: William Bolcom, John Musto, Jack Gottlieb and Lou Rodgers.

Ms. Surkin holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Temple University, an MA in music from New York University and a certificate in music from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

My Teaching Philosophy

For all of my students, I believe in a free sound which starts with correct body alignment through the Alexander Technique and incorporating the McClosky and Linklater relaxation exercises. The most complete thoracic-epigastric and abdominal breath management would be taught for a thorough muscular event.

For my classical singers, the Italian Chiaroscuro (clear/ dark) balance of sound is taught through a poised larynx; a greater feeling of back space with a frontal resonance.

For my contemporary commercial singers, actors and dancers, I teach all of the various styles from legit, to mix to belt which must be used in order to gain employment as a Broadway performer.

Since I have participated in two internships with speech pathologists in leading hospitals in the New York area, I also work therapeutically with students with vocal pathologies.

my audio and video

Click here for the Audio and Video playlist.

my news and events

Congratulations!

Dr. Leslie Jones, Director, The Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School
at Lighthouse International, had these glowing words following Charlotte’s Grand Rounds presentation on teaching singing to students who are blind and have low vision on February 2, 2012:

“I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you and congratulate you on a superb job this morning at Grand Rounds. You made the Music School proud! I love the fact that you have the ability to speak clinically about music and at the same time, bring humanity and beauty to our art form! When I’ve spoken to a few of my Lighthouse colleagues, they have exclaimed about your knowledge and presentation. Thank you and know how valued you are.”

Congratulations, Charlotte!

Charlotte Surkin solos in Bach Cantata’s #122

Friday, December 16, Ms. Surkin will be singing the alto solo in Bach Cantata’s #122 with a quartet from the St. Lukes Orchestra and Lighthouse International Vocal Ensemble at

The Unitarian Church of All Souls
1157 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY

Friday, December 16, 2011 – 7:30 pm.

Voice Foundation Symposium Workshop

I presented a vocal workshop at the Voice Foundation Symposium in Philadelphia June 3, 2011, at the Academy of Vocal Arts.

Keeping Your Voice Healthy

I recently taught a 4 week seminar in Keeping Your Voice Healthy at Lighthouse International Music School.

Sorry, Wrong Number CD Available

Sorry, Wrong Number album coverA performance called Sorry, Wrong Number by Jack Beeson, in which I played one of the leading roles of the First Operator, has been made into a CD available on the Albany Records label.

Sorry, Wrong Number is a conversational one act opera by Jack Beeson with the libretto by the composer adapted from the play by Lucille Fletcher, performed with the Center for Contemporary Opera (Richard Marshall, General Director and conductor).