In addition to his composition and performance activities, Mr. Balzun is a devoted and enthusiastic teacher. He currently holds the position of Teaching Fellow at Biola University, and has previously taught at Fullerton College and University of Rochester. He is frequently invited to present masterclasses to high schools and universities in Southern California and recently taught at the Young Professional Artists Program at Pittsburgh Festival Opera.
As a graduate student at Eastman School of Music, Mr. Balzun was selected for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship in Applied Voice; he was subsequently nominated for the prestigious Teaching Assistant Prize. His students have consistently been admitted to undergraduate and graduate institutions across the United States, in addition to summer training programs across the continent. They have also been the recipients of awards within and outside of school settings.
Joel is incredibly knowledgeable and well-versed in vocal technique, solo repertoire and performance practice. He always assigned repertoire that challenged me both as a musician and performer. In my time studying with Joel, I found that I gained confidence in my instrument’s abilities and a tremendous amount of growth in my vocal abilities and technique. Joel meets his students where they are, encourages them to believe in their abilities, holds them to high standards, challenges them technically and helps them to become all-around great performers, musicians and colleagues. I can honestly say that I would not be working towards a Master’s in Music without the lessons I had with Joel.
- Kaitie K., Private Student (Now at Chicago College of Performing Arts working toward MM-Performance)