I strive to empower my students and help them achieve their vocal goals via healthy, free phonation. I teach a science-based vocal technique with a theatrical flair, meaning I use tools such as creative imagery, observation of sensation, and experimentation. Emotional expression helps students grasp and execute concepts. I do my utmost to meet every student where they are and tailor my instructional approach to complement individual learning needs (in my book, one method never fits all). Above all, I aim to elevate the pursuit of joy, levity, and ease in every lesson.
Akela is a classically trained singer, vocal pedagogue, children's music, theatre educator, and arts administrator (among other things). Originally from the California Bay Area, she now lives and works in Boston. She has experience working with a variety of student age groups and musical styles and is passionate about helping all humans fall in love with singing, no matter where one finds themselves on their musical journey.
Akela first became enamored with vocal pedagogy a few years back while completing a bachelor's degree in vocal performance. The human voice is so powerful and complex, and being able to gain a greater understanding of its scientific function is simply exhilarating. Since then, a large part of her career has been devoted to developing creative, exciting ways to impart this knowledge to voice students. In 2016, she moved to Boston to pursue a masters degree in vocal performance at Longy School of Music, continuing to take courses to expand pedagogical knowledge, Akela received a graduate assistantship as a teaching fellow for Boston City Singers, and most importantly, came to understand the importance of prioritizing creativity and joy in all aspects of her artistic life.
Akela has taught with several amazing local arts organizations, including Youth and Family Enrichment Services, Children's Music Center of Jamaica Plain, and First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton (FUUSN). She also teaches at Community Music Center of Boston.
When not singing or teaching voice, Akela is training to be an Alexander Technique teacher at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Other interests include cooking, traveling, experiencing live music and theatre, getting better at playing ukulele, going to museums, whale watching, learning about weird history, listening to true crime podcasts, spending time family and friends or snuggling with kitty Éowyn.
California born soprano Akela Franklin is steadily earning her place as one of New England’s rising classical singers. Blessed with a lush, agile full lyric instrument, she feels equally at home performing opera, art song, and musical theatre. Akela is especially known for her exuberant interpretations of German Romantic repertoire, Spanish art song & zarzuela, and Golden Age musical ballads.
In recent years, Akela has focused her efforts on music education and performing locally. She recently joined the staff at Park Ave Congregational Church in Arlington as the soprano section leader and soloist, and she subs for other congregations and ensembles as much as she can. Previously, she served as the Children's Music Coordinator and frequent soprano soloist and ringer at First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton.
Akela's operatic resume includes Quatrième Esprit and Surintendant des Plaisirs in Cendrillon (Promenade Opera Project), Ghita in Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg (Longy School of Music), Ottilie in von Suppé’s operetta The Finishing School (Longy School of Music), and Alice in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory (University of Puget Sound). In 2014, Akela made her international debut as Second Witch in Dido & Aeneas on the Greek island of Lefkada (8th Annual Lefkas Music Week). She has also appeared in opera scenes as Béatrice (Béatrice et Benedict), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Amy (Little Women), and Cunegonde (Candide) and in opera choruses for productions of Der Zwerg, Les contes d'Hoffmann, Le Comte Ory, and The Pirates of Penzance.
Akela is an avid recitalist of both chamber and solo works. Recent highlights include a collaborative, Halloween themed, dinner-theatre style concert entitled “A Recital You May Not Survive” (2018), as well and her M.M. recital “Queens, Fairytales, & Fantasies” (2018). In 2016, Ms. Franklin performed alongside several of her peers in Longy School of Music’s “Winterreise in a New Light,” a staged, multi-performer production of Schubert’s Winterreise, directed by Jane Struss. The performance was named by WBUR’s Lloyd Schwartz as 2016’s best student vocal recital in Boston.
M.M. Vocal Performance, Longy School of Music of Bard College (2018).
Alexander Technique Teaching Certificate, Boston Conservatory at Berklee (proj. 2024).
B.M. Vocal Performance, University of Puget Sound (2015).