We had the good fortune of connecting with Oscar Diaz, Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Oscar, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
When asking myself what the most important factor(s) behind my success as a vocal instructor/coach and what sets me apart from others in my field I immediately hear the voices of my students’ online “REVIEWS & Endorsements” of my teaching: http://www.performersmusic.com/pdf_download.html#main-content . They express (better than I myself can) many of the things -about my singing studio- of which I am most proud of. Several of them mention “ARTISTIC INTEGRITY as being the heart and soul of the entire operation, making him (me) one of the best voice teachers in South Florida”. Others speak of how although I am often demanding that “my passion (for the art-form) is almost contagious”. Lastly, a long-term student, Jose Vazquez (who is an awarded Baritone and received rave critical reviews for performances both here in South Florida and in New York City) wrote the following: “Oscar Diaz of the Performer’s Music Institute is easily one of the most qualified and learned teachers in South Florida. I have studied with him for approximately 6 years and I have seen many of his students (some who have studied with him for 20+ years) in concert. Oscar’s grasp of the vocal instrument and his understanding of vocal technique, and his ability to drill that very same understanding into your own head with regular vocalizations and very specific repertoire work is incredible. He focuses on quality over quantity, making sure that all the rep you learn, every phrase, note, and syllable sits somewhere comfortably in your voice, where you can be heard without straining, and you can sing notes and feel like you never need to stop singing…”

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As the Director/Voice Instructor of Performer’s Music Institute-MIAMI I hold a Bachelor’s degree of Music and Languages from the University of Texas at Arlington and have also completed graduate courses at Florida Atlantic University. Professional singing engagements have included twelve years with the Florida Grand Opera, the Dallas Opera, and the Fort Worth Opera and I have been featured as a soloist in leading roles with the Arlington Opera and Coral Gables Opera. As an instructor of voice I have built a reputation for achieving the highest musical standards possible in each of my students.

My students have performed in operas throughout the world and have also been a part of “TEAM CHRISTINA (Aguilera)” on NBC’s Season 5 of THE VOICE! -Link below to hear LINA GAUDENZI (who trained classically for 6 years here at PMI) singing “Landslide” on NBC’s Season 5 of THE VOICE- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG21JlLcur0 OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsHLSmZQtJs&feature=youtu.be

“Best vocal teacher in Miami! I studied with Oscar from when I was 15 until I was 21 and the strides I made as a vocalist, musician and performer were tremendous. I cannot speak highly enough of Oscar as a teacher, mentor and person and South Florida is truly lucky to have the Performer’s Music Institute! If any of you are interested in or know of someone who is interested in starting vocal lessons, this is the place”


I also am well known for my successful work with the guidance of young voices and for the success rate of students accepted into leading conservatories. Including such notable schools of music as the Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, Cleveland Institute of Music, and New England Conservatory amongst others. My professional affiliations include: National Association of Teachers of Singing (South Florida chapter past president), National Guild of Piano Teachers, American College of Musicians, New World School, Florida Opera, and Music Teachers National Association. Accomplishments also include having been listed in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA and WHO’S WHO IN THE WORLD. 

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Miami is full of fun kitschy and artistic areas to explore. There are neighborhoods such as Wynwood, the Miami Design District which are well known for their eclectic galleries & shops. Also, if the person has never tried latin-flavours there are places in Little Havana which offer great Cuban food, or if they should want they can also check-out Doral which offers great Columbian and Venezuelan fare. The tried and true South Beach nightlife of Ocean Drive and of course spending the daytime actually swimming in the Atlantic ocean -this can’t be beat. Miami also includes the fine arts district complete with an opera/ballet & symphonic hall and also lush suburbs such as Coral Gables & Coconut Grove.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Since 1988 I have been the Director of Performer’s Music Institute in MIAMI, Florida. PMI is a small select private music school which has built a reputation for achieving the highest musical standards possible in each of its students. We specialize in the teaching of VOICE and Piano and offer PRIVATE (one teacher to one student) lessons which are taught at the PMI STUDIO. In as far as there being a mentor (or a mentoring philosophy) which has influenced my artistry & my approach to teaching voice I do find the teaching methods and “bel canto” style of Professor Gerald Tate, whom I studied with at the University of Texas at Arlington, a great influence. A term which is oftentimes considered important in the art of teaching voice is “LINEAGE”. For us singers and voice teachers the so-called father of voice pedagogy (the teaching of private voice & it’s physiological aspects) was a Spaniard by the name of Manuel Garcia. There was during the 1800s a point in time where just about everyone in the ENTIRE world who was having a major singing career had studied either with Manuel Garcia -or with someone who had studied directly with him. Therefore this dedication to the memory of Gerald Tate. It is this particular singing method -based directly on Manuel Garcia’s LINEAGE- simply referred to as “bel canto” (which means “beautiful singing”)- that I humbly attempt to pass down to my past, present & future students. Mr. Tate received his Masters Degree/Diploma in vocal performance from the Paris Conservatory where he studied with H. Maurice Jacquet who was considered a French Master of Singing. H. Maurice Jacquet accompanied students/and also studied voice with Mathilde Marchesi. Marchesi had been a direct student of Manuel Garcia and was the “PRIMARY heir-apparent” to passing-down Garcia’s teaching methods. I thank Mr. Tate for this LINEAGE and for sharing his knowledge with someone who had only a burning desire to learn the mechanics of the art of bel canto.

Website: http://www.performersmusic.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pmimusic_odjr/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/oscar-diaz-jr-5b4684102/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/performersmusicinstitute/?ref=settings
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/performers-music-institute-miami
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uXTia1AQjY
Other: JOUVANCA JEAN-BAPTISTE (Lyric-Spinto Soprano) singing “Si, mi chiamano Mimi” from LA BOHEME by Puccini (Opera San Jose/2011) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rm9BTGkfns OPERA SAN JOSE video clip Lyric-Spinto Soprano JOUVANCA JEAN-BAPTISTE singing the leading role of Violetta in LA TRAVIATA (Verdi) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNNArUqyVtw Haitian diva Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste breaks opera stereotypes https://www.mercurynews.com/2011/04/13/haitian-diva-jouvanca-jean-baptiste-breaks-opera-stereotypes/

Image Credits
Opera San Jose, ishoot305

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