Education In Place - Any room is a music classroom.Education In Place - Any room is a music classroom.

Education In Place

Opera Grand Rapids is excited to share Education In Place, a three episode music education series with singer and voice teacher, Rachel Mills. The first episode will be geared toward preschool aged children, that includes singing and guitar accompaniment. The second will be for middle school ages which will include opera arias and some basic technique. The third will be for high school/post high school that will discuss preparing for a role and include some arias.

Episodes will be released on Thursdays for the next three weeks: May 14, 21, and 28. We hope you will join us!

During this time of staying home to stay safe, Opera Grand Rapids is committed to continuing its mission of bringing opera to the West Michigan community. We are so pleased to share Rachel’s talents with you, as we inspire the next generation of opera fans and singers!


Join Rachel Mills, plus several special guests, as she shares the work that goes into getting ready for a role. Spoiler: it’s more than just singing!

Special thanks to Robert Byrens and Brendan Hollins for their accompaniment, and Eve Summer for consulting on the ensemble pieces.


Join Rachel Mills and special guest, Alexandra Galla, for a lesson in the ways music can make us feel certain things, and also how it can help us connect to and process our feelings. Special thanks to Robert Byrens for his accompaniment.


Join Rachel and her son, Theo, as they share some of their favorite storybooks in song.

Meet Rachel Mills

How did you get involved with Opera Grand Rapids?
I grew up in Grand Rapids but moved away after high school and had some adventures around the world. I moved back home, had a baby, and then auditioned for Barbarina in 2017. And then I found a family here. I’m lucky to be a part of this wonderful company that also happens to be home!How long have you been teaching?
My parents were both music/theatre/choir teachers and had me in to help their classes and productions in whatever way I could from the time I was in high school. So ages, really! But I started officially teaching as a graduate assistant at Northwestern University about 8 years ago.

What do you love about teaching?
There are lots of things, but I think the one that motivates me most is seeing the look in a student’s face when they know that they have accomplished something. It makes me feel connected and useful, and it makes me a better artist as well.

Tell us about your family.
I have a nearly 4-year-old named Theo, who is energetic and kind and full of emotions, and my husband is a goofy, creative techie from Newcastle. I also have 3 amazing sisters in Grand Rapids and near Lansing, and a super supportive Dad. My Mom was the glue that made us all close, and she hangs around in spirit now.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actress on Broadway!

What is your full-time profession?
I am very lucky to have a great balance of part time teaching, part time singing, and being a mama all the rest of the time!

Where is your favorite place in Grand Rapids?
I think from the time I was little, my favorite place in GR was Schuler Books and Music. My parents used to take us there in the summer to flip through books, listen to music in the listening station, and go home with a couple of our favorites. We would spend hours there. Now, I like taking my little one to look through their sweet children’s section, and the staff are always so patient and kind with him. And the cafe has some lovely teas!