PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Growing up in Weston, Conn., Nichole Peyreigne discovered herself through music. Now, the Port Chester woman is encouraging children find their musical passion.
Peyreigne recently began giving lessons in voice, viola, violin and piano at her Port Chester apartment. At 23, she has a deep and varied background. She was an all-state violist throughout her four years at Weston High School, and has studied classical voice since she was 16.
She now focuses primarily on her career as a mezzo-soprano, and last summer made her operatic debut as Dame Quickly in “Falstaff” at the Kaye Playhouse in New York City. She was pictured and mentioned in an article in The New York Times. She graduated from SUNY Purchase, and studied at The Manhattan School of Music and in other top tier studios.
“I had been thinking about giving lessons for a long time,’’ Peyreigne said. “I had so much musical training with so many aspects that I wanted to start teaching myself. I want to start the inspiration. If I didn’t have people providing the inspiration for me at a young age, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Music can be such a positive influence. I want to inspire people through music because it has done so much for me.”
Peyreigne believes it’s important for children to get an early start to learn different skills and increase confidence. “If you want to perform, you have that experience and you’re not as nervous if you start when you are 9 or 10 years old,’’ she said. “I want to give them an experience they might not have in school. I want to form a personal relationship. At some studios, you’re just a number. I want to form a personal relationship.”
Peyreigne will provide lessons for 30 minutes or an hour. She ihopes to acquire a space for group lessons. “Group lessons are important because when you’re witnessing something, you see things that you wouldn’t notice yourself,’’ she said.
Her own musical journey took an unusual turn when she was 16. She focused in the beginning of her career on piano and viola. Her path took a new direction when she found her voice was a rare instrument that was perfect for opera.
“I heard opera singers on stage, and decided that’s what I wanted to do,’’ she said. “It’s a unique instrument. When I started singing, I felt like this is what I was meant to do. I feel that my outlet is being an opera singer.”
Peyreigne’s own musical career is just beginning to blossom. She had been making ends meet by working at Starbucks, and when the review of “Falstaff” was published in The Times last year she was astonished to see her picture. “Some of my customers recognized me, and I told them that’s what I do on the side,’’ she said.
She’s as excited about teaching as she is about the start of her own career.
“I love teaching children,’’ she said. “I think they’re some of the most perceptive people in society. I’ve always to help them learn, and it’s important to start at a young age. I wanted to make sure I had the credentials so that I could teach them.”