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Timothy Hoekman
Vocal Coach – Lieder

Teaching Philosophy
In the lieder studio, we start—as the composers did—with the texts. The singers and pianists work on pronunciation of the German words, of course, but also learn how to read and understand each poem. Next, we study the music, striving to understand the composer’s interpretation of the poem by looking at the rhythm, melody, harmony, and texture of the music, as well as learning about specific style characteristics of each composer and musical era. We ask questions such as “Why did the composer set that word that way?” “What is the shape and direction of each phrase?” “In a strophic song, how can we make each stanza different?” “What can you do with your voice or at the piano to create the various sound colors needed for performing this song?” The singers and pianists must eventually come to an agreement about how they wish to interpret the composer’s interpretation of the poet’s words. My goal is to guide them through that process in a safe, supportive, positive atmosphere. 


BA, Calvin College; MM (piano performance), Peabody Conservatory (student of Leon Fleisher); DMA (piano performance), U of Michigan, where he studied with Theodore Lettvin. Since 1984, he has taught at Florida State U and currently is Prof of Vocal Coaching and Accompanying. He also teaches a variety of language and vocal literature classes for singers and pianists. He has presented master classes for singers and pianists throughout the U.S., has served as adjudicator for vocal, piano, and composition competitions, and presented workshops at NATS and the Florida State Music Teachers Assoc. Hoekman has performed as soloist and collaborative pianist in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe. From 1988 to 2011 he served as pianist, harpsichordist, vocal coach, asst. conductor, preview lecturer, music administrator, and Co-Director of the Young American Artists Program at Glimmerglass Opera (Cooperstown, NY).  He has been a lieder coach at AIMS since 2012.

He was the artistic director of the South Georgia Opera from 1986-1993, and also has served as vocal coach for Florida Grand Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Grand Rapids, and the Peter Harrower Summer Opera Workshop. His publications include articles for the Journal of Singing, the American Music Teacher, and Voices: Opera America Bulletin for Singers.

Hoekman is also a composer, with works published by Theodore Presser, Recital Publications, Colla Voce, Plymouth Music, and Classical Vocal Reprints. In 2002 he was named the MTNA-Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year for his song cycle To Make a Prairie, commissioned by the South Dakota Music Teachers Assoc. Other commissions include the Rawlins Piano Trio, Coastal Carolina Chamber Music Festival, Georgia Southern U, and First Presbyterian Church (Tallahassee). Recordings of his works appear on the Albany, Marks, and Azica labels.  More information can be found at