About Marie Leatham-Davis
Marie is a vocalist, pianist, cellist, published songwriter and music lover who holds arts degrees in Music Composition (2014) and French (2017) from the College of Southern Nevada. She has been playing piano and singing professionally for twenty years; she has been teaching for fifteen years. Marie is a member of The National Music Teachers Association, The Pan-American Vocology Association, and The National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association
Marie’s own music education began at age seven with private piano lessons. She studied piano and cello until, at the age of sixteen, she fell in love with jazz music and decided to focus on vocal development. She studied voice with Seth Riggs, the creator of the vocal technique Speech Level Singing, and teacher to Grammy-winning musicians like Barbara Streisand and Stevie Wonder. Marie even skipped her own high school graduation to perform at UNLV’s Ham Hall! In college she took courses on music theory, composition, vocal performance, music business and audio engineering. In 2006 she performed in a few cabarets and jazz clubs in New York City. During this time she also provided voice coaching and support for Disney’s The Cheetah Girls on some of their tour stops. In Las Vegas, she met producer Ajay Shah, who has worked under producers Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and David Foster. He produced her 2008 EP, titled Nowhere to Go. One of the songs, co-written with her friend and fellow artist Ashton Zyer, was considered for admission on the sixth season of the television series Grey’s Anatomy—alongside other artists such as The Fray and Brandi Carlisle. In 2009, she married her husband Matsi, gained a stepson, and spent the next three years living in both Las Vegas and Helsinki, Finland.
Marie returned to teaching full-time in 2013. Her teaching philosophy is to help each student build the techniques they need to support their artistry in piano and voice. The fundamental idea: “We are music lovers first, students second.” She tailors programs to support each students individual strengths, weaknesses and goals. Her methods are based in putting ear training, technical skills, and the understanding of music theory fundamentals into practice. Her knowledge of voice science and pedagogy enables her students avoid poor vocal practices and vocal injury—especially at such a crucial point in their physical and musical development. In 2018, she went back to college to study speech-language pathology in order to bring the most current vocal science to her background of performance and songwriting. She plans to complete a master’s degree to become a licensed and certified voice specialist SLP to expand the scope of her teaching to include voice therapy.