Sharon Brook

Lecturer/Staff Accompanist Emeritus

School of Music and Dance

San Jose State University

I had the distinct honor of witnessing Lisa's teaching, as well as her performing, at San Jose State University, for 5 years. As her collaborative pianist, I accompanied both Lisa's studio, as well as herself, in lessons and in recitals. She was a consummate professional who understood the physiology of vocal production, was fluent in the diction of several languages and was conversant with the vast vocal repertoire. 


She had an amazing ability to create a calming atmosphere with every student, thus allowing them to free up their breath, as well as any body tightness. Her sense of serenity, as well as her passion for the music at hand, was infectious. I often played for her late in the afternoon, after a long day of teaching and accompanying. And I always left her lessons recharged, and enthused by her unique, customized vocalises or her interpretation of a Lied.


Listening and watching Lisa perform is a rarefied treat: her satiny, mellow mezzo voice sounds so natural, and rivets her audiences. Her sense of drama and passion - whether it be singing a Brahms' "Zigeunerlieder” in a staged production of "Elijah" - always communicates deeply. Even during voice lessons, when she would illustrate a particular phrase in a song, her timbre was breathtaking.


To top off her prodigious talent, Lisa's nurturing and upbeat personality make her a natural teacher. I witnessed so many success stories among her students - in terms of their vocal development and their stage presence: a true testament to her teaching. All of us in the School of Music and Dance were so saddened by her leaving ...


But California's loss is Indiana's gain! Lisa is a gem.

Lynelle Wiens

Program Director and Professor of Voice, Emerita

Conservatory of Music

University of the Pacific

Lisa van der Ploeg  is an outstanding singer/performer and voice teacher.   She was an exceptional voice student of mine at the University of the Pacific, and was the first person I thought of when I was looking for someone to teach for me when I took my most recent sabbatical.


Lisa creates a positive, supportive and encouraging learning atmosphere in her studio.  She quickly spots technical issues that need to be addressed and comes up with clear, insightful strategies to overcome those problems.  She makes learning fun and is dedicated to the growth of each and every student.  She is a real GEM!!!   

© 2021 by Lisa van der Ploeg. Photos: Isaac Pugh. Site design: Kristina Driskill