About Our Teachers

Deanna Maio

Founder – Voice Teacher and Certified Professional Coach

Deanna Maio is a Voice, Piano and Ukulele Teacher and Performance Coach specializing in vocal function for singers, speakers, and actors. She teaches private voice instructions, workshops, classes and to kids and adults in Portland, Oregon and with remote students around the world. She is the Founder of Confident Voice Studio.

Ms. Maio has an extensive background in performing on concert, theater, nightclub and event stages. As a versatile Lyric Character Soprano with a 3 octave range, Deanna most often sings solo swing and classic pop and musical theatre repertoire. She is the founder, artistic director and a principal performer at Portland Musical Theater Company. She has also coached countless singers in audition techniques, competition preparation, solo club gigs, working with a big band, and much more. Over the past 39 years, Ms. Maio has been performing on stages, big and small, all over the country, including with the Oregon Symphony.

Click here to Schedule with Deanna

More About Deanna Maio

As a Certified Professional Coach she is skilled at working with client to provide structure, guidance and support so they can:

  • Take a complete look at their current state, including their assumptions and perceptions about their work, themselves and others;
  • Set relevant and realistic goals for themselves, based on their own nature and needs;
  • Take relevant and realistic actions toward reaching their goals; and
  • Learn by continuing to reflect on their actions and sharing feedback with others along the way.

Deanna started dancing at 2 years old and just hasn’t stopped enjoying the stage. She grew up performing and has continued on in that tradition, taking lessons for dance, voice, piano, ukulele, stage presence, and acting. She has also completed a 25 hour course in vocal pedagogy through the NW Institute of Voice where she was certified the Blaylock Vocal Method for teens and adults. She is a Wunderkeys for Preschool Piano teacher. She scored her first professional (aka lived on the salary and didn’t have a side job) singing/acting job in 1998 with American Cabaret Theater after having completed numerous acting roles in middle school, high school and college.

She has taught privately, at summer music camps, afterschool programs in voice and ukulele, and speciality workshops like “Your Knock ‘Em Dead Vocal Audition.” She has performed with several local music groups including The Bureau of Standards Big Band, Girls., Swing Sisters, Tony Moretti and the Ray Sands Orchestra, and her own band, Deanna & the Downbeats and is a sought-after guest artist.

Ms. Maio is a certified associate teacher of the Blaylock Vocal Method. Developed at the Northwest Institute of Voice by Thomas Blaylock, it is a systematic approach to vocal development. This technique is revolutionary. It can teach you how to find and maintain a clear and fully resonant sound every day (for speaking and singing).

She is the Founder and Executive Director of Portland Musical Theater Company (PMTC). She has written and produced 5 original musical shows. She’s completed stage, film, television, and industrial acting roles in Portland since arriving in 1999.

Deanna completed her debut album titled” Deanna & the Downbeats” in 2008. She is a sought after voice over artist with over 100 voice over recordings to her name including the audio book version of Amazon bestseller “The Stolen Twin” by Michele Pariza-Wacek. Her own book, “GPS for Success” with Dr. Steven Covey and Dr. John Gray was published in 2010.

Other than music, Deanna loves to direct, dance and act. When she’s not doing those things she’s probably watching vintage makeup and hair tutorial videos, playing board and card games, or daydreaming of cheesecake.

Christie Quinn

Preschool Piano & Studio Manager

Christie Quinn is a local Portland actress, singer, teacher, and paralegal. She graduated from Presbyterian College with a B.A. in English and holds a secondary education teaching certificate as well. She has taught English to students of all ages in the U.S. and to adults in Prague.

She has also performed in several musicals in the Portland area and in South Carolina. She began learning piano when she was 6. She believes that arts are integral to life.

When not performing or teaching or helping as our studio manager, she runs The Bookmobile Babe, a non-profit that focuses on literacy.

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Western-Li Summerton


Western-Li Summerton is a pianist and teacher based in the Pacific Northwest. He is currently an accompanist at Oregon Ballet Theatre, as well as a music director at Bethesda Christian Church. Summerton has performed in a variety of recitals, festivals, and competitions throughout the region, while studying piano performance at Willamette University.

Summerton’s experience extends past solo piano performance. He has accompanied choral groups such as the Squalicum High School Chamber Choir, the Salem All City Honor Festival Choir, and the Willamette Chamber Choir, as well as numerous vocalists and instrumentalists. Besides accompanying. Summerton has participated in small chamber ensembles, winning the 2014-2015 OMTA Scholarship Competition Small Ensemble Division with a two piano ensemble.

Summerton believes that music is a fundamental part of life, and is passionate about teaching piano to all ages. He believes that lessons should incorporate not only knowledge of the instrument, but theory, history, and overall musicianship behind what one plays. Through the integration of these concepts, students get a well rounded education in order to expand their musical experience.

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Nate Munski

Piano, Voice, Guitar, Ukulele, Trombone

Nathan has over 10 years of professional musical experience as performer, recording musician,  and composer/arranger. Nathan began his music training in Colorado at the University of Northern Colorado and finished his degree at Portland State University.

His main instruments are Guitar, Trombone, and Voice. He also teaches piano to beginners and has great rapport with young students.

Over the past several years he has performed and toured with various acts from the Pacific Northwest. He continues his professional experience by performing in Portland-based bands and recording artist from the region.

His teaching approach to teaching is simple yet impactful. His goal is to have the student feel at ease in order to release tension and find their best possible sound.

He believes lessons can benefit the pupil by instilling greater confidence and building fundamental skill. He teaches fundamentals of music such as rhythm, tone, notation, music theory, and songwriting. He also enjoys recording and helping his students become self-sufficient at recording their own pieces.

His aim is to connect with his students to unlock their full potential. Be prepared to leave the lesson with a better understanding of the way you use your instrument and a renewed sense of assurance in your ability.

Sara Barbee

Enrollment Advisor

Sara has been performing and teaching music for a decade. A native to Florida, she received her Bachelor’s of Music Performance from University of North Florida, her Master’s of Arts from University of Central Florida, and most recently completed her Performer’s Certificate from Northern Illinois University.

As an orchestral bassist, she has performed with numerous orchestras across the nation including: Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra. Sara coaches her students to win competitions and  get accepted into all-county and all-state orchestras.

Igniting confidence through instruction, Sara believes music education should be attainable to all and directly reflects that in her teaching method. She is excited to be in Portland and can’t wait to make a difference through music!