"'You'll never have a harvest unless you water your garden every day.' This quote, among others, sticks with me. Tanya has many traits and practices that make her an incredible teacher. One of which is her ability to teach the student/person, not the lesson/material. I came from a sports background as well as a farm family. Tanya knew I would respond best with metaphors I could personally relate to. She also knew I wasn't afraid of hard work. She would remind me that success does not happen overnight. Nor does it last forever, but with repetitive hard work the standard of success would always rise, and the opportunities might be more consistent. Tanya understands that everyone learns and grows differently. She challenges herself to know the student first, in order to shape her lessons towards their personalities and needs. I love Tanya and owe so much to her. When it comes to her students, her priority is in the person/student." -Cleary Breunig
Biography Cleary Breunig is a 2013 graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Musical Theatre program. Part of his training focused on the importance of being well rounded in the performance business, both with talent and knowledge. This focus has benefited Cleary in ways he never imagined as he has been fortunate enough to be a seasonal Teaching Assistant for The Open Jar Institute, and a Production Assistant for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Show in New York City. Cleary also has an Off-Broadway credit for his performance in a song cycle called "Waiting", at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Still residing in Milwaukee, Cleary has enjoyed performing with a variety of Milwaukee Theaters including, Skylight Theatre, InTandem Theatre, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Florentine Opera, and Windfall Theatre. Upcoming shows include My Fair Lady with Skylight Theatre.
"Until working with Dr. Kruse, I had lived my entire musical life believing that to sing well was to work very hard to emulate a particular sound. Tanya's teaching method using elements of body mapping and full-body awareness allowed me to find an ease and authenticity in my sound and my performing. Tanya is a kind and nurturing teacher, she fully understands and invests herself in her students; Tanya's language is tailored to a students needs and she encourages honest and individual singing from each of her students. I am so grateful for the time I was able to spend under Dr. Kruse's tutelage and have not only cultivated a more healthy instrument, but also a more healthy approach to thinking about my instrument." -Leigh Akin
Biography Leigh Akin recieved her masters from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts in 2014, and was thrilled to have Tanya as her professor. She explored a range of musical styles under Tanya's guidance, in addition to performing the roles of La Tasse Chinoise in "L'enfant et les Sortileges" and Hansel in "Hansel and Gretel", Leigh co-created a chamber trio that performed with the Institute of Chamber Music in Milwaukee. Leigh now lives in New York City where she works as a singer and actress, having performed with Bronx Opera, Heartbeat Opera, the Soho Repertory Theater and most recently finishing a national tour with ArtsPower Children's Theater Company.
"I started taking lessons with Tanya my second year in the Musical BFA program at UW-Milwaukee. By 19, I had already received surgery on my vocal chords to remove a polyp and I was very unsure about my future as a performer. Tanya was very patient with me as my voice recovered. Voice lessons can be a very vulnerable experience and Tanya has always been an extremely supportive teacher. She’s perfected the balance between comfort and tough love, knowing exactly how to challenge her students to bring forth strengths in their voice they didn’t know they had. After working together for 3 years, she not only helped me develop good vocal hygiene, but has helped me build up my voice to be even stronger than it was before the surgery. Her passion as an artist reflects in her teaching and brings out a similar passion in her students. I’ve already seen so much growth in myself as a performer because of our lessons and I cannot wait to see what the future brings as we continue to work together!" -Rachael Zientek
Biography Rachael Zientek has a BFA in Musical Theater from UW-Milwaukee. Since graduating, she has been fortunate enough to work with local theatre companies such as In Tandem Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theatre, And Optimist Theater. She was seen in the Wisconsin Premiere of DOGFIGHT the Musical with All in Productions as Rose Fenny. For the past 2 years she has toured throughout Milwaukee Public Schools with the Skylight Music Theatre’s education group. She spent this last summer up in Door County performing with Northern Sky Theater and will be performing in Madison this fall in Forward Theater's production of 4000 MILES.
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