About 'Music With Ashbell'
'Music With Ashbell' was founded by soprano and singing teacher, Ashley Stapelfeldt, who was born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Ashley holds her Bachelor of Music degree (specializing in Opera voice) from the University of Cape Town, and is currently in the first year of her Master of Music studies in the Netherlands.
In her Matric year, she was awarded the ‘Matrics of 1998 trophy for Dramatic Arts’, the ‘Kenna Trophy for Best Dramatic Arts Practical Learner’ and the ‘Matrics of 1980 Rose Bowl for Oratory’. She also studied alto saxophone at Durban Music School, where she completed her Grade III ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music). During her undergraduate studies Ashley was a member of the Durban Symphonic Choir and the Cape Town Youth Choir; she was also a chorus member in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (staged at the Artscape theatre) and La Clemenza di Tito (staged at the Baxter theatre).
Her favourite of the roles that she has performed is: Paulette (the hairdresser) in the musical Legally Blonde. Stapelfeldt was described as “a crowd-pleaser” and the “star of the production”; the musical was staged at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre and directed by the late Themi Venturas. Ashley's repertoire list includes works by Puccini, Mozart, Handel, Brahms, Lehár and many more; her favourite operas are Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Puccini's La Bohème. Her dream roles include The Queen of the Night and Mimi.
Ashley has worked both in and out of studio as a vocal coach with Suono Celeste (a choir based in Gauteng) on their debut album "I'll Be There", and she currently teaches students in different parts of South Africa, the United States, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany and Namibia.
Links to performances:
One on one singing lessons are offered from age 5 onwards and the lesson duration is based on age and vocal development.
Lessons take place via Zoom, FaceTime or Google Meet (depending on which is most convenient for each student).
Ages 5-10: 15-20 minutes
Ages 11-16: 30 minutes
Age 17+: 60 minutes
Both my son and I have taken lessons with Ashley and I am so happy with our progress.
Ashley shares so many techniques and exercises which you can even do independently. My voice has grown immsensely, and I’ve noticed my son’s general enjoyment in singing outside of class.
Most of all, Ashley is so loving and really makes a massive effort to connect with her students. Thanks for everything, Ash!
It is an honour to work with Ashley, she is such a professional. She knows her craft and is very disciplined.
We had the privilege of working with her when our ensemble was preparing for an album recording in Johannesburg 2021. The vocal coaching lessons she taught the choir contributed to the output of the recording.
Thank you, Ashley, for agreeing to work with us. It has been an honour!!
I really enjoyed my lessons. Ashley made sure to explain concepts in a way that I would understand and helped me grow in terms of my musicality.
She is a very understanding teacher and lessons were always stress-free. She also really motivated me to improve and made sure I was able to track my progress and recognize my own growth.
I absolutely loved taking vocal lessons from Ashley.
I’ve always been a singer, but did not always know the professional ways to sing that protected my voice and gave me clarity. She gave me that and much more! I now have a muscle memory to sing in a way that takes care of my voice and makes me sound like I’ve had professional training for years, when it’s only been months.
She’s a joy to work with and such a patient and kind teacher. I highly recommend working with her as a vocal coach!
I had my first ever one-on-one singing lesson with Ashley and I was extremely nervous, but she managed to calm me down and push me out of my comfort zone. She was extremely patient with me and catered to where I was on my singing journey. Ashley is very professional yet still so warm and welcoming. Her lessons are fun and informative and I would definitely recommend her as a singing teacher. Her passion for music shines though in every encounter you have with her.
I had my first ever one-on-one singing lesson with Ashley and I was extremely nervous, but she managed to calm me down and push me out of my comfort zone. She was extremely patient with me and catered to where I was on my singing journey.
Ashley is very professional yet still so warm and welcoming. Her lessons are fun and informative and I would definitely recommend her as a singing teacher. Her passion for music shines though in every encounter you have with her.
I have been doing lessons with Ashley for a couple of months now and one thing that has struck me the most is just how gentle she is. And that is saying a lot because it means her gentle nature has translated over a whole technological medium.
Her classes are a beautiful and safe landing space. I am very reassured by her knowledge. She is really dedicated to and good at her craft. All this while maintaining an incredible air of humility - she is very generous with her knowledge and breaks it down in a way you can understand because she is as invested in your success as you are. She is patient and just good vibes! Her business is conducted in a very mindful and professional manner.
Highly, highly recommend her!
Thank you so much for helping me harness my voice and develop my singing skills. I truly enjoy our lessons and I enjoy witnessing my voice improve with every session.
I saw a tweet from Ashley about vocal lessons by chance, and decided to try something new. I had sung before (in choirs and in a band), and wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't expect to learn a different and easier way of singing that didn't strain my voice. I didn't expect to expand my vocal range both higher and lower. I definitely didn't expect to laugh so much during lessons!
Ashley is lovely, patient and fun, and I would definitely recommend her!
Ashley is best vocal coach I’ve had. She has such an embodied understanding of the instrument and how our minds and feelings can prevent us from deeper connection with it. She’s willing to learn and study WITH her students which make lessons feel even more personally catered for her students needs.
Since seeing Ashley in the past year, I’ve seen tremendous growth in my skill as a vocalist and growth in my confidence as a singer. Singing can and should be pleasurable and Ashley ensures that she provides the guidance you need to make sure of it!
I signed up my little sister, Omphile, for singing lessons because since she started talking she has LOVED music. Ashley is really such an incredible teacher, she's so patient has really helped Omphile with building up her confidence, the feedback after her lessons is also really great because we know where her strengths are & where we can help her improve.
Omphile enjoys her singing lessons so much & enjoys making up songs even more. I would definitely recommend Ashley to anyone who needs singing lessons.
I first encountered Ashley in mid 2020 through a tweet about her offering virtual singing lessons. As we were in the middle of a pandemic & I had been trying to strike a balance between working from and living at home. By no coincidence with my love for music and singing, it felt like it was exactly what I needed to create that balance.
Our weekly lessons have made such a huge impact in my life - both personally and musically. This is because Ashley has been and continues to be a fantastic teacher, with a gentle yet firm sense of understanding towards me. She has allowed me to learn at my own pace and encourages me to always try again. Her wealth of knowledge shines through during our lessons and I love how generous she is about it. We have had the best laughs in between our lessons and that is because of the kind of person she is - kind, warm, patient, fun(ny) & simply just brilliant.
It’s been over a year now of lessons and I see no end in sight… well, until she becomes a mega star & can no longer fit in FaceTimes while flying all around the world doing what she does best. :)
My experience of having classes with Ashley, have been wonderful. The vocal exercises are simple and enjoyable. You can review classes and practice in between sessions. Ashley is wholesome and caring and adaptable and patient. She will adjust anything in your session to the best of her ability to make sure you are getting the most out of each session and really reaching your own personal goal with her assistance.
She’s my first vocal coach and I’m very honored to have her.
I saw a tweet for singing lessons available and I decided to book my first lesson. I was very nervous but Ashley got me comfortable and I looked forward to lessons. I honestly have no voice at all BUT after lessons with Ashley I learnt how to breathe properly and I could actually hit some notes. I surprised myself. I unfortunately had to stop due to medical reasons but once I'm in the clear I am going to work on my voice with her once again.
At the beginning of March 2020, my partner came across Ashley’s offer for voice lessons on Twitter. He always wanted to sing and I wanted to take my singing ability to the next level. I have taken lessons with her for a little under a year and wow.
Her teaching, understanding of the voice as an instrument is unmatched. She is gentle but works your body top to bottom. She gives you exercises that are simple but challenging to facilitate great vocal technique! She loves to learn with you and takes feedback very seriously, and most of all honest and fun! Even in 6 months I could already hear a major difference in the quality of my voice as far as resonance, ease of sound production, and smoothing of my vocal breaks and register changes that has helped me feel more confident in my ability as a singer and musician.
All in all, Ashley is a force and I recommend to anyone! Invest in your gift and you can trust her to bring the best out of you!
I was quite nervous when I started taking the vocal lessons because I didn't know what to expect, having only been part of a band and I had no professional training. It has been such a pleasant experience and it has only been a few months. I have seen so much improvement in my voice and the vocal exercises have been the best resource to further work on that.
Ashley is very warm and encouraging. She shares her knowledge with so much passion and dedication to the craft. She also goes through the learning journey with you, not only teaching you, but making new discoveries about your voice just as much as you are. I always look forward to my lessons with Ashley. After a long day, I get ready to learn and discover more things about my voice through my lessons with her. It's always so refreshing and more than anything, just loads of fun!
Ashley has a very non-invasive, gentle approach to teaching. She is a fine listener and will quietly steer your voice in the right direction. Because she moves so slowly and patiently, you almost don’t feel the effort of your progress.
Ashley is an exceptional teacher. Her astute understanding of the voice and clear and precise communication skills make her a wonderful teacher. My voice has grown tremendously as a result of Ashley’s guidance. Ashley’s lessons are engaging, challenging, insightful and exciting. I recommend her highly!
My six year old is a busy little boy, and it is amazing to see how he willingly (and excitedly) sits down and participates in his music lessons with Ashley.
For myself, Ashley's experience has provided her with the tools to turn, what would otherwise be very technical lessons, into fun and enjoyable music lessons.
Enrolling my daughter for singing lessons with Ashley was a step in the right direction. It is more than singing; it is encouraging and instilling confidence in her. Thank you Ashley for all you do for the next generation.
I started singing classes because I felt I had lost my confidence to speak and I knew that I might have a cute voice, so I decided to try my chances with Ashley. I explained to her that whilst I wanted to train my singing voice , what I hoped to achieve was to open my throat chakra and regain my confidence to speak and express myself.
Learning to sing is helping me to remove self doubt, to trust my ear and trust myself. Most importantly, that you can always start again. Lessons with Ashley have transcended music and have helped me connect with myself. Her quirky style of teaching will ease you and make you feel comfortable. She truly is a safe space! I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher.
Ashley is very fun to learn with and a great singing teacher!
I got the first four singing lessons with Ashley as a gift from my girlfriend (who is also taking classes with her), and I have continued to take singing lessons since then.
What I enjoy about the classes is the audible progress of my singing, the breathing exercises that I find quite relaxing, the convenience of having the classes online, and the good laughters I have with Ashley during my lessons.
Despite taking the classes in the evenings, I always end the classes energised and in a good mood. I can only recommend having a lesson with her.