Read more about our participants' feedback on the program

Payerbach is all I ever wanted in a summer program. The program is built from the idea that voice lessons and technique should be the primary focus for young singers. Where else can you work with experts in the field basically every day? Payerbach reminded me of the "old" school way of teaching; live with your teacher and study. IVAAP is the closest thing there is to that.


All lessons are open (as long as the student/teacher feel an audience is not affecting the progress in the lesson), meaning all students can sit in on other students’ lessons. This allowed me to learn more about the different voice types and how I could work with a range of singers in my own teaching. [...] Learning about the voice was always the priority while I was at Payerbach and I feel that I learned more in the weeks I was there than I did in years of study elsewhere. [...] 


When I first started studying with Vladimir Chernov and Olga Toporkova, I realized that for them the student is everything. In the very first moments of the lessons you realize that their entire being is focused on you and on helping you achieve your honest voice. They are selfless in their giving and they encourage students to help each other in the program.  Students bond over musical endeavors, beautiful hikes along the Austrian mountainside, and communal dinners.


Mr. Chernov and Mrs.Toporkova also bring in some of the world’s best teachers in the fields of acting, body movement, and vocal coaching to supplement the lessons and provide a truly well-rounded experience. I will never forget my summers in Payerbach!"


                                                                                                                                                                                  Sergey Khalikulov (Summers '11, ’12)



My time in Payerbach was life-changing. When in Payerbach, you're surrounded by passionate, incredible mentors, all experts in their fields, who completely alter how you perform while you grow as a person. On top of that, students from all over the world become family over the course of the program. I left Payerbach a better performer, singer, and person than when I arrived. "


                                                                                                                                                                                           Katie Perkins (Summers '13, ’14)

"I have been a student of both Vladimir and Olga for almost 5 years now and have been to Summer in Payerbach 2 times so far. The amount of personal, spiritual, and artistic growth I have experienced at the program has been unparalleled to any other summer music program I have attended. The opportunity to work daily with Vladimir and Olga in such an in-depth technical level fostered the fastest period of vocal growth I had ever experienced. The time I also had working with Anne was invaluable and truly changed my life. She was able to bring me in touch with my physical and spiritual body in a way that I had never been prior to working with her. The holistic approach of the program make it a truly unique experience that cannot be found elsewhere."

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Taj Jegaraj (Summer '13, ’14)


"IVAAP is an absolutely unique program that provides singers with intensive training to succeed in the professional musical field. The program covered all aspects of training -- from stage movement, to acting, to vocal technique, to muscle therapy and musical coaching. Each professor gave students individual attention to meet his or her needs and to allow maximum growth as a performer. Professors also gave students tools to continue growth beyond the program. I highly recommend this summer program to all levels of singers - from amateur to professional. The incredible setting in the Austrian mountains combined with the intense individual and group instruction allowed me to grow not only as a musician and singer, but as an individual."

                                                                                                                                                                    Phoebe Dinga (Summers '11, '12, '13, '14, ’15)


my ability, but it also took the pressure off of the performance side of a voice lesson. I was no longer needing to prove something. Olga could hear the slightest bit of tongue tension or muscle manipulation or imitation and lovingly, didn't let me get away with anything.  Sounding pretty is not the goal. Being vocally free is. 


With these teachers, I needed to explore and remind myself what I already knew, what my body naturally knew. If I wasn't amazing, it was okay. The next day we'd try again because we could. I can not stress enough how invaluable this structure of learning is-- and how rare. 


The determination, desire, compassion and dedication of this faculty is as it should be, but not as you usually find. They live through teaching, what we hope to convey as artists. A passionate honesty that elevates everyday experience. 


If you are thinking about doing a program, you want to know the voice, and you are open, but you aren't sure if this is for you, do it. Just do it. You will learn more about yourself, and how you can affect the world as a performer more than you ever have before. I finally understand technique. I have spent many years crafting and honing this voice of mine, but never have I worked in such a safe, accepting and magnifying environment with teachers that listen, and after listening, really know what to do to strengthen your strengths. Seriously, just do it."


                                                                                                                                                                                           Rachel Payne (Summers '13, ’15


"Studying in Payerbach changed the course of my artistic training and career.  The care with which Mr. Chernov and Mrs. Toporkova teach is extraordinary and working with them opened my eyes to an entirely new level of technical proficiency and artistic expression. They are passionately committed to their craft and students, and are inspiring in every way. 

I am deeply grateful for my time spent in Payerbach and would highly recommend this summer program to any emerging or professional singer."


                                                                                                                                                                                    Briana Gantsweg (Summers '11, ’12)


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