With over 20 years of intensive training and experience, Maura Sharkey-Pryma, the owner of The Sharkey Voice Studio, gives you the best experience as a voice singing specialist, instructor, mentor, clinician and consultant.
Maura has enjoyed teaching voice and performance artistry to young and mature singers for over 20 years. She holds a position as sessional instructor at MacEwan University Theatre Arts Program, and teaches privately in-person and online from Edmonton, Canada. As a cross-training studio that combines traditional pedagogy with musical theatre singing pedagogy, Maura strives to remove fear by taking risks and making noises, and cultivating greater awareness of physical sensations. She trains and mentors students in musical theatre, classical, contemporary commercial music, song interpretation, breathing and vocal techniques, basic physiology, aspects of voice and speech, and acting training. In addition to helping singers select music and prepare songs for auditions, performance and examinations, her main focus is insuring the voice is functioning as it should for optimal vocal ease, quality and longevity, and advocating for efficient vocal production.
Maura began voice study at the University of Alberta, receiving a Bachelor of Music (1997) and Masters of Music in Vocal Performance (1999). She continued her training at the Salzburg Mozarteum Sommerakademie (1997 & 1999) and with Canadian opera training intensives, Opera NUOVA (1999 & 2000) and The Opera Project (2001 & 2003). In 2019, she earned certification of completion of the Vocal Pedagogy Professional Workshop Course at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. In 2021, Maura successfully completed Level 3 Somatic Voicework™ training with The LoVetri Institute through Baldwin Wallace University. To that end, Maura still studies voice regularly, attends workshops, maintains a physical practice, and works on her own performance in order to best serve her students.
Maura has enjoyed a professional operatic career within Canada as well as the international stage. An enthusiastic critic wrote of Sharkey’s performance as, “an exuberant Canadian mezzo soprano…shows herself comfortable in all the registers, bursting precision and engraves resonance.” She is the 1998 winner of the Western Canadian Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, a two-time award winner of the Johann Strauss Scholarship (1997, 1999), and recipient of the Anne Burrows Foundation Scholarship (2001). She also was proud to represent Canada at the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Belgium in 2004. Her operatic credits include: Carmen in Carmen (Calgary Concert Opera Company); Mercedes in Carmen (Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera); Cinderella in La Cenerentola (Vancouver Opera Touring Ensemble); Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte (The Opera Project); The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors (Opera NUOVA). On the concert stage, Ms. Sharkey-Pryma has appeared with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Chamber Orchestra, the University of Alberta Orchestra in Elgar’s The Music Makers with the late Juno Award winner Malcolm Forsythe, and the Edmonton Youth Orchestra for their 60th Anniversary in a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
In addition to her work as a teacher, soloist, and clinician, Maura was President of The Association of Independent Music Teachers at Alberta College (AIMTAC) from 2020-2022. She proudly served on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Music Education Foundation (AMEF) from 2011 - 2016 and served as the Chair from 2013-2016. During her tenure with AMEF, she was an active planning committee member of Music Conference Alberta (MCA), assisting in developing, producing, facilitating and hosting a yearly technical conference program. As a personal project, Maura co-authored and self-published a book with her husband, Raymond, entitled, The Essential Music Recital Planner, a step-by-step customizable planner to assist music teachers and students in developing a successful recital.
Maura is a proud member of the National Association of Teachers of Music (NATS), the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), the Canadian Actors' Equity Association (CAEA), the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ARMTA), the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association (CMFAA) and the Alberta Music Education Foundation (AMEF).