Marisa sustained employment as an award-winning vocalist for 35 years, performing predominantly pop and rock styles. During that time, Marisa entertained audiences at a variety of live venues as a cabaret performer, a support act to international artists, a solo performer and as a lead vocalist for a number of duos, trios and big bands as well as also touring cities and regional areas along the east coast of Australia with a rock band. Marisa performed regularly at corporate events, major national events, awards ceremonies, piano bars in international brand hotels, large auditoriums and clubs. Television performances included a number of local and national television programs featured on major networks. Marisa has also spent time in the recording studio tracking vocals for demonstration products and jingles.
Marisa commenced her teaching career in 1988 when she was asked to start training singers at a stage and television school on the Gold Coast, Queensland. She began passing on the practical knowledge she had gained from her broad range of performance experiences and has continued to teach contemporary commercial music (CCM) styles, including musical theatre, to an eclectic student base within the education system, including higher education, performing arts schools, and in private studio. For seven years, Marisa owned and operated one of the most successful performing arts academies in south east Queensland, Moonlighting Productions Academy of Performing Arts, which boasted over 300 students. Marisa sold her academy to pursue her love of academia and research. Marisa is presently employed as a voice teacher in the Bachelor of Music (Popular Music) at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. Many of Marisa’s students have attained great success nationally and internationally, while others have transitioned into teaching singing and run successful studios all over south east Queensland.
In 2019, Marisa was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, based on her investigation into the emerging field of Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) singing voice pedagogy. As a result of her research, Marisa was able to identify a foundational framework for the training of singers across the broad range of CCM styles. The report from examiner 1 was as follows:
“This study and thesis is outstanding and a most valuable contribution to the field of vocal pedagogy. Her research is impeccable, her findings most intriguing. I heartily approve and endorse that she be awarded a PhD without reservation.”
Recently, Marisa was able to adapt her teaching framework to assist those who have transitioned to training singers on an online teaching platform. Over the last five years, Marisa has travelled nationally and internationally to present the preliminary findings of her research study at ICVT in Stockholm, Sweden The Voice Foundation’s Care of Professional Voice Symposium, in Philadelphia, USA, The Pan European Voice Conference PEVOC, in Florence, Italy and Copenhagen, Denmark, The Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference, Hobart and Leura, Australia and QCGR Conference in Brisbane, Australia.
This year, Marisa was accepted to present the final results of her research work at The Voice Foundation’s Care of Professional Voice Symposium, in Philadelphia, USA and The Association of Popular Music Education, in Detroit, USA.
Marisa has also been actively involved in offering professional development opportunities to the singing teacher and greater voice communities, by delivering workshops, presentations, masterclasses, webinars, and other professional development events. Marisa has co-authored a journal article for the Journal of Singing with Doctor Irene Bartlett which featured in the January/December 2020 publication titled: An Investigation of Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Voice Pedagogy: A Class of its Own.
Marisa has a book in publication for international release in late 2020 that describes her teaching framework for the training of CCM singers. including how that framework can be adapted to online learning.
Currently, Marisa is the Queensland president and a national board member of the Australian National Association of the Teachers of Singing. It is her mission that all professional development within the singing voice community is inclusive and accessible.
Entertainment Industry Mentor
Marisa is extremely passionate about passing on her wealth of industry experience to other professional clients and emerging performing artists in a mentoring role. Marisa helps performers identify their professional goals and works with them to develop a strategic plan for achieving successful outcomes. As a result of Marisa’s guidance, many of her professional clients and emerging artists have attained national and international success on the stages of the Westend, Disney Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong, Universal Studios in Singapore and Japan, Cruiseships, national touring musical theatre productions and cabaret shows and theme parks.
“I believe that singing is a higher form of self-expression & a way for every individual to discover their true voice, not only through song but in life.”