Pollyanna is one of the greatest singing teachers I have ever been taught by. Not only is she an amazing singer and performer herself but she has the gift of creating a very safe and positive atmosphere in every session where I can try out and learn new things and expand my abilities. She never seems to run out of tools to help me and thanks to her I am becoming a better singer, musician, and teacher!
After seeing Pollyanna perform as a singer/songwriter - able to easily play in ornate rhythms along with a supported voice - I knew I had found my teacher. I was ready to do solo shows of my band’s recently released album, but needed to learn how to accompany myself with a real rhythm section in the piano. Pollyanna’s musicality brought my musicianship up 10 notches. In 5 months (with weekly lessons and hourly practice) I was able to do a showcase performance. What I loved about working with Pollyanna is she really challenges me to be honest, real and to conquer the tough parts of the music. There was no hiding behind a great voice or a stage presence - it really was about getting a full performance from rhythm to vocals. I also brought a few songs that I wrote but could use more elaborate arrangements, and found that Pollyanna was able to arrange the piano with hooks in a way that made the song truly sing.
Pollyanna Bush helped me to become a better vocalist and instilled a confidence in me that I never had before and I feel so lucky to have her in my life. With her positive prodding, she helped me grow in my range even though I fought her on many days. She put together a vocal harmony group that really tuned my ear to many different harmonies and gave me the confidence to harmonize with anything all the while coming up with brilliant arrangements of songs that had musical and vocal hooks that excite a singer and their audience. Pollyanna is a superb vocal coach that I would recommend to anyone wanting to sing or voice train for anything.
Pollyanna is a supportive, knowledgeable and wonderful teacher.
I had assumed that I was too old to learn how to sing, but Pollyanna is teaching me how. Not only am I learning techniques, but I’ve become so much more self-confident in my ability to improve. She is both skilled and supportive.I had been told my whole life that I didn’t sing well, but Pollyanna convinced me that I could, indeed, learn to sing. She has taught me strategies and approaches that have helped me make tremendous progress. She is also so kind and supportive that I now have the confidence to sing in front of other people.
Studying with Pollyanna Bush has opened my world in ways that I can hardly begin to describe. I had no idea when I first came to her for voice lessons how my life would be changed. Learning specific, state of the art vocal tools, dealing with the emotional issues that arose for me as I opened my voice, learning how to access authentic confidence, in all these areas and more, Pollyanna was there to support and guide me. Pollyanna is a rare teacher and mentor. Her mastery level vocal and musical gifts along with her relational presence and depth of being create a space in which her students can flourish and bloom. Anyone who has the great fortune to work with her will grow in leaps and bounds.
I have had a fabulous experience with Pollyanna Bush as a voice teacher this last year. I am a classically trained singer and used to sing professionally. As a high soprano, I was trained intensely on singing always with my head voice. I came to Pollyanna because I wanted to learn how to sing other styles of music, and wanted to increase my lower range. Pollyanna is very precise in what she is looking for, and knows how to describe it and listen for it. I’m able to sing much lower now in a deeper chest voice (overdrive) as well as belt low and high (edge). I was never able to do this before! I can still sing in my head voice (neutral) with ease and am having an easier time moving between the different ways of singing. In addition, Pollyanna is a fun, caring person who can play anything on the keyboard. I can’t recommend her highly enough! Both my daughter and son have been taking singing and piano lessons with her and have had wonderful results.
If you want to be able to sing a song to perfection, take lessons from Pollyanna. She helped me grow so much as a singer and as a performer that I was able to get into my top choice for college and get leads in musicals such as Penny in Hairspray and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. Without her, I wouldn’t be the confident singer I am today.With Pollyanna’s help, I was accepted to Ryder, St.Edwards, Loyola Marymount, San Francisco State, and University of Colorado Springs.
After one lesson with Pollyanna Bush, I no longer run out of breath and my range has increased by 5 notes!
My daughter Satya Hawley has had the privilege of studying with Pollyanna Bush for over four years. She is now entering her Junior at Oakland School for the Arts in the Vocal Department and working as a professional artist in the community. During the time that Satya has studied under the direction of Pollyanna she has received optimal coaching and instruction that has supported her audition process for placement and entry into Oakland School for the Arts (OSA.) In addition, Pollyanna has prepared Satya for professional studio sessions working with Grammy awarded engineers and producers. I have seen incredible growth in Satya’s artistic and social/emotional realms of development as a young artist. Pollyanna is a gem and has a true gift as a vocal coach!
SATYA HAWLEY | 16 Years Old
MICHAEL ROBERTSON | 15 Years Old
Pollyanna has a positive attitude and a fun personality and is just an all-around nice person. She is not very strict and doesn’t rush you faster than you can go. Pollyanna is supportive and does not force you to do any pieces you are not ready for, or just don’t want to do. You get to learn what you want to learn.
Michael has been studying with Pollyanna for 6 years. During this time Pollyanna has guided him through many aspects of music. He’s been learning not only to play piano but also to integrate a comprehensive overview of music theory as part of his understanding how what he plays works. Some topics include not just learning notes but understanding major and minor key signatures and how the circle of 5ths works in relation to them. He’s learned about all types of chords and their relationships to each other and how they function in the structure of a song or classical piece. Pollyanna has guided him through time signatures and note values and how rhythm works from jazz and rock/pop through classical and baroque. She has helped him understand that ergonomics and posture can help prevent stress and fatigue in the hands. Musicianship, in the form of recognizing keys, chords, intervals, and scales as well as time signatures by ear, are part of his education with Pollyanna. They are also currently working on advanced techniques in vocal production. As a vocal coach, Pollyanna was instrumental in helping Michael land a role with Marin Baroque in the opera Dido and Aeneas (June 2015) and the lead (Danny) in the YES production of Grease! (March 2016). She also helped him prepare for his successful audition for the California All-State Middle School Honor Choir which performed February 13, 2016, at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in San Jose, CA. More recently Pollyanna has coached Michael to a successful audition for the role of Igor in the Young Frankenstein musical produced by 23 Elephants in July 2017.Pollyanna is open to all musical genres and styles and Michael has learned and performed songs by a wide range of artists and composers including Cold Play, The Beatles, Willie Nelson, Dizzy Gillespie, Bach and Beethoven, and his own compositions. Over the years they’ve become friends while still maintaining the mentor-student relationship. Pollyanna has much to offer as a vocal teacher and coach, piano teacher, and all around music teacher. Michael started studying with Pollyanna at the age of 9 years and continues to this day at the age of 15. I myself have a Degree in Performance of Classical Guitar and have performed with classical, jazz and rock singers as well as in bands in the Bay Area and in Paris, France. Having played with a wide variety of musicians of different levels of skills, I know when someone is the “real deal” and Pollyanna is very real.
I cannot recommend Pollyanna more highly! My daughter began voice training with Pollyanna at 5 years old and now - 11 years later - she is a successful Musical Theater student at The Marin School of the Arts, lead singer in her own rock band and solo artist. Singing is her life and, thanks to Pollyanna’s training and nurturing over the years, she is a confident, happy and well trained performer who knows there is no limit to her vocal accomplishments as she continues to use these skills.
IZEL VAN EPPS | 16 Years Old
LARA JORDAN | 14 Years Old
Working with Pollyanna is great. I am having more and more fun doing music at every step. She teaches me how to belt and overdrive and how to sing loudly with power on high notes and also on lower notes without hurting my voice. I have to learn the different vowels I can use for different modes so I don’t hurt my voice. I can now sing with a big voice without thinking about it too much, depending how high it is. I also learn about rhythm when I’m singing. When the rhythm is really hard we write it out on paper. I also use my fingers to tap 1, 2, 3, 4 or other times 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. I do this so I can know whether the note or even part of the word I am singing is on the 1, the ee, the and, or the ah. I not only learn how to sing well using all of those tools but also how to write songs on my own. I have written songs for about a year now, and it has become my biggest passion. Some of my songs are mainly played with piano, or guitar, or sometimes accompanied by other instruments. I learned how to craft songs and how to edit songs by not making them too long, too boring, repetitive with words and concepts, and while making them rhyme, make sense and have the good format of a song. And trust me, it can be REALLY hard. One last thing I would like to mention is that it’s really fun because we could do practically anything. I don’t have to follow a music book, I can choose my own songs, while also getting suggestions, decide whether I want to do my own thing or a cover, and I don’t have to do a lot of practice by myself at ALL, and still grow immensely as a singer, a songwriter and a musician in general. Lastly, I also get to play at concerts and recitals for Pollyanna fairly often. And when I do, I even see six year olds doing way better than other 12 year old kids I have seen perform in other places! In conclusion, with Pollyanna I learn and grow as a singer, songwriter, musician AND performer.
My 11-year old daughter has been studying with Pollyanna for about 18 months now, and I’m so glad that we found her. Pollyanna treats her students of all ages with a lot of respect and understands that they are developing musicians with their own preferences and tastes. She lets my daughter pick all her own songs, which works well for us. I’m sure that if Izzi needed more support around choosing songs, Pollyanna would help her with that as well. She is patient with Izzi but also challenges her at a level that Izzi can handle. Pollyanna is teaching Izzi to be a clear, powerful singer, which will stand her in good stead both in vocal-only settings and for musical theater. I also appreciate that Pollyanna has her private students perform in an ensemble context, which simultaneously gives them solo experience and the harmonizing sensitivity of working in a small group. This also gives them great experience in the dynamic process of developing arrangements. Another of Pollyanna’s strengths is that she is skillful at teaching students how to accompany themselves on the piano, which is not an easy thing. Many music teachers teach piano or voice, but not many do both together. If that’s what your child wants, Pollyanna is great! She also works in a good dose of theory, chord structure, and sight singing, which I think is critical. Pollyanna also helped Izzi prepare for her successful vocal audition to the Oakland School for the Arts. I feel confident that Izzi will be well prepared to go to OSA, both in terms of singing skills and ensemble sensitivity, but also in terms of theory and sight reading.Overall, I’m so glad that we’re working with Pollyanna!
IZZI GREYSON | 11 Years Old
FIONA FIREPINE | 12 Years Old
Pollyanna is very good at teaching because she supports whatever things her students want to practice.
Our daughter began studying voice with Pollyanna a couple years ago and relatively soon after starting wanted to learn to accompany herself on piano. Pollyanna stepped right up and seamlessly wove in teaching piano along with voice. Her lessons are focused, yet allow for flexibility, as is so important in nurturing our children’s love of music. She not only has incredible knowledge of vocal technique, phrasing, and dynamics but also can impart these pearls to her students with creativity and grace. Any student of the voice would be so fortunate to be exposed to Pollyanna, her wisdom, and her genuine soul. She has helped our daughter not only with her voice and piano abilities but most importantly contributed to her confidence and ability to be out sharing her voice in the world.
I found Pollyanna when looking for a piano teacher for my 10-year-old daughter. My daughter had had piano lessons before where she learned in a classical style. She was not interested and never practicing. Pollyanna offered a way to learn piano by ear and using music theory. Once my daughter started with Pollyanna she began practicing all the time every day. My daughter is very shy, but Pollyanna was able to motivate her to learn to sing as well. Now my daughter learns songs and plays them on the piano while singing. She is 12 now and has played with bands with friends and in recital. She has auditioned for and gotten into choirs that are advanced for her age. I am so proud of the musician she has become. I am so grateful to Pollyanna for the incredible experience my daughter is having, and for all the wonderful things she has taught her.
KENZA BOUAYAD | 14 Years Old
XOCHITL REIMANN | 11 Years Old
Pollyanna Bush is a very talented artist. Her ability to teach her craft is impressive. In fact, I was in awe after my daughter, Xochitl’s first lesson with Pollyanna. She was completely engaged, excited and left Pollyanna’s classroom feeling empowered, and a stronger singer. I, too, felt inspired after observing Pollyanna teach, thinking I also have the ability to sing! Pollyanna has inspired Xochitl to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer by way of hard work, dedication, and not giving up. Xochitl is now a more confident student, skilled music reader, vocalist and performer. She has picked up solid technical vocal and sight reading skills in such a very short time. This speaks volumes to Pollyanna’s incredible technical background and quality teaching ability. Xochitl has come a long way with her stage presence, she’s less shy thanks to the confidence that Pollyanna has instilled in my little girl. Pollyanna prepared Xochitl for the audition process at the Oakland School of the Arts to which she has been accepted and will begin attending in the Fall of 2017.