Passionate about music education and the importance of keeping music in the schools, Calabria has made educational outreach part of her career. Working with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and Target Stores as a music director and composer of pedagogical materials, Calabria has enjoyed great success helping LA's youth to learn and appreciate music. "It is so gratifying for me to be able to 'light the spark', to see the excitement in a child's face when he or she has created a sound on an instrument or with their voice for the first time, or to create harmony with their classmates for the first time, and be forever changed from the knowledge that they can now express themselves through music, to use that knowledge to accomplish great things in their lives, because something inside them has been awakened. How can I not be moved by that? As a teacher, I'll never know how the introduction of music to a child will change their life, how it will influence their self-esteem, or how far-reaching it will be. I am so grateful for the opportunity to facilitate the discovery of music in someone, particularly children who might not otherwise have access to the arts, and to see them learn, appreciate, and love music the way I love music."
More recently, Ms. Foti has made guest appearances at universities all over the U.S., lecturing, coaching, and encouraging college students in performance and making a living in music.
Some topics covered in include:
- Making a Song Your Own (interpretation and style)
- Jazz Improvisation/Scat Singing
- Ensemble Coaching/Conducting (vocal and instrumental)
- The Business of Music
- Preparing Your Show – (arrangements, staging, rehearsal techniques, and working with your band)
“It was truly a pleasure for our UNC Vocal Jazz Studies Program to host Calabria as a performer and clinician this past September. The Northern Colorado Voices were absolutely thrilled to work with her!”
- Kelsey Shiba Associate Director of Vocal Jazz, Univ. of Northern Colorado
"… extra special! So often students have convoluted ideas and perceptions about what it is to be a professional musician. Calabria’s “straight ahead” approach to conveying the realities of the career, and her answers to their questions were both refreshing and truthful.”
- Gary Langford Director or Instrumental Jazz, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville
"THANK YOU so much for your insight, advice, and musical direction of our students (and faculty). They were able to experience a healthy vocalist delivering jazz successfully … And thank you for getting EVERYONE to scat . . . they all did wonderful in your clinic setting. Most importantly, I am thankful for your honesty when answering professional music business questions. There were so many positive things our students gained from your visit, I hope we can have you back again!"
- Priscilla Santana Director of Vocal Studies, Temple College, Temple, TX
"I wanted to write this letter in appreciation of the wonderful workshops you did with the Delta Vocal Jazz Choir when you were our guest artist at our May 13, 2013 concert. The students all commented first on the great insights you provided about scatting, working with the combo, writing out good lead sheets, and interpreting jazz standards with flair while honoring the intentions of the composer. Your work with the combo really helped them in a short time, and your coaching of the solo singers truly improved their skills and artistry.
As the director of the choir, I also learned a lot about working with the instrumentalists and new concepts I can teach the singers next year. I picked up some great stylistic ideas from you for my own singing, and enjoyed watching you work with all the members of the ensemble. Lastly, your performance—WOW! What a wonderful addition you were to our concert. In your sound check with our pianist, the students and I sat enraptured watching you work. It felt like a private concert from which we could learn so much. Thank you for adding such a wonderful dimension to our event and for instilling in us so many great concepts. I truly look forward to collaborating with you more in the future!"
- German Aguilar Director of Choral and Vocal Studies,
San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA