Voice Faculty


Welcome to Tiny Voice Box! Each of our voice teachers have unique strengths and special qualities that create supportive and encouraging learning environments. To study jazz voice specifically, join our Jazz Academy. For all other genres, Tiny Voice Box has you covered.

Voice teacher Ashley Daneman

Ashley Daneman

Ashley Daneman is a singer and songwriter who goes deep with her blend of jazz and modern folk. Daneman grew up in Toledo, Ohio studying classical voice and performing in musicals before turning to jazz and songwriting. Her latest release, critically acclaimed “Beauty Indestructible,” is available on iTunes and Bandcamp. Selected by DownBeat Magazine as “Editor’s Pick,” her music draws comparisons to Becca Stevens, Laura Nyro, and even Stephen Sondheim. Daneman has been performing around the US for the last 15 years in several large cities, including her old hometown of New York City. She earned her master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Peter Eldridge, Kate McGarry, and Theo Bleckman. Daneman also was a resident artist at The Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter’s JazzAhead and The Banff Centre’s Jazz and Creative Workshop in Alberta, Canada. She's Level II Certified in Somatic Voicework(tm) - The Lovetri Method and has been teaching voice for over 10 years.

Ashley Daneman's vocal and cello (Jordan Hamilton) jazz version of this beautiful song written in the mid-1800's by American songwriter Stephen Foster. Recorded at Overneath Creative Collective in Kalamazoo, MI in June 2018.
Carmen Bell voice teacher

Carmen Bell

Carmen Bell, soprano, is a professional singer and voice teacher based in Battle Creek, Michigan. She received a Master of Music degree in voice from Eastern Michigan University, where she studied with Dr. Emory Stephens. She also received a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Western Michigan University, where her primary instructor was Dr. Carl J. Ratner. She was accepted into and attended the Davidson College Vocal Symposium. Ms. Bell’s operatic experience includes the roles of Miss Todd in Menotti’s Old Maid and the Thief, La Ciesca in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, as well as scene performances in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Tender Land, Cosi fan tutte and La Traviata. She is currently studying the roles of Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Lucy in Menotti’s L'Amour à trois. As a soprano soloist, she has been featured in Handel’s Messiah, among other major works. Ms. Bell has also served as a guest artist and lecturer where she has performed specialized programs of art songs and spirituals associated with well-known African American composers. Carmen’s students have successfully competed at MSVMA District and State Solo and Ensemble competitions receiving high ratings and placing among Michigan’s top ten soloists. Current students have auditioned and were featured in several leading roles in area musical theatre productions. Furthering their passion for music, former students have received music degrees from Western Michigan University, Michigan State University, Grand Valley, and Roosevelt College.

Elizabeth Bayer, voice teacher

Elizabeth Bayer

Elizabeth is earning her second bachelors in music education at Western Michigan University with a focus in vocal performance. She teaches piano and guitar alongside voice lessons.

Voice Teacher Erik Jacobson

Erik Jacobson

Erik Jacobson is excited to join our studio and continue his passion for helping the next generation of singer hone their skills.  Erik spent five years as a high school music teacher, one year as the Executive Artistic Director of the Milwaukee Children's Choir, and now acts as the General Manager of Voces Cantabiles Music, USA. VCM USA supports the work of professional ensembles VOCES8 and Apollo5, runs education workshops all over the country, and boasts its own ensemble, the VOCES8 US Scholars. Through the VOCES8 Scholars, Erik helps professional musicians at the beginning of their young career learn small ensemble rehearsal techniques in order to take the next step in professional choral singing.

With formal training in both classical and jazz music, Erik has had a plethora of professional performance opportunities in both genres.  These include singing on a Grammy-nominated choral album, performing as a headliner at Jazz at Lincoln Center, performing with the national tour of Star Wars in Concert, and singing backup for Charise on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Over the years he has performed with names such as Janis Seigel, Mark Murphy, Kurt Elling, Bob Mintzer, Charise, Bobby McFerrin, Roger Treece, Peter Eldridge, Matt Giraud, and The Velvelettes. Erik received a bachelor of arts in music from Western Michigan University and a master of music in music education from Boston University.

Voice Teacher Sam Schaefer

Sam Schaefer

Samantha Schaefer is a poet, vocalist, yoga instructor, and all around lover of life. Her studies in vocal performance began in musical theater - until she discovered jazz. A former participant in WMU's Gold Company ensemble under Dr. Steve Zegree, she has also studied classical Italian opera under Nora Tabbush and Aaron Carpene in Rome, Italy. She received her MFA in Poetry as a Follett Fellow at Columbia College Chicago and has since been working to integrate the written word with that which is sung. Resulting in numerous collaborative multi-genre composition projects including WMU's Luscombe Project i cut the things with a large knife., electronic soundscape composition with Cassandra Kaczor, and an ongoing 30-second-song project. Sam's teaching philosophy focuses on strengthening the connection between the body, the breath, and the voice. Above all else, her goal is to foster confidence and curiosity in her students. 

Alongside musical endeavors, her writing career includes such credits as having acted as co-editor of Black Tongue Review, Editorial Intern at Yoga International, and Writer in Residence at Brushcreek Foundation for the Arts. Nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, her poetry aims at exploring multi-modal composition, collaboration between artistic genres, and all things uncanny. Her poetry can be found in publications such as TYPO, Columbia Poetry Review, Ghost Town Literary Magazine, and Caesura.