Anastasia “An Ya” Yarbrough
Jazz & Improvisation
Ages 7 and up
30 minute lessons, $120/month
45 minute lessons, $170/month
60 minute lessons, $220/month
Anastasia “An Ya” Yarbrough is a violist, singer-songwriter, and music educator based in Asheville, NC. The Memphis native is emerging as an active contribution to the Western North Carolina jazz and R&B scene as one of the few improvising violists-singers. At age 17, she was awarded a grant from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. Anastasia is a graduate of the University of Vermont and UNC School of the Arts, where she studied viola with Sheila Browne and Lila Brown. While studying viola, Anastasia attended the Stanford Jazz Workshop and performed at the 2015 Stanford Jazz Festival. She also participated in the Master Players Festival and several Karen Tuttle Coordination workshops.
As a chamber musician, Anastasia has performed at such venues as the Lincoln Center, the Stevens Center for Performing Arts, and New York Live Arts. In 2017, she was the feature musician for the Asheville Storytelling GrandSlam as part of The Moth Radio Hour. She performs throughout the Western NC region as a singer, guest artist, and bandleader, including regular performances with Michael Jefry Stevens’ Mountain Chamber Jazz Ensemble and Asheville Jazz Orchestra. In the classical realm, Anastasia performs regularly with Pan Harmonia, Asheville Lyric Opera, and symphonies such as Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard, and Western Piedmont. She also teaches music and performance at Carolina Day School.
Lessons with An Ya
An Ya describes her teaching philosophy: “I take a body-oriented approach to teaching music. First and foremost, I begin with what interests and excites the student. I listen to the student sing, play, or improvise. From there, we decide repertoire and lesson goals based on what the student wants out of our time together.
“The repertoire we choose depends in large part on the student’s interests and their level. As a voice teacher, I specialize in jazz, R&B, gospel, and other styles of African American music. As a viola and violin teacher, I pull repertoire from virtually any style or genre.
“My education philosophy is influenced by music and environmental educators such as Sheila Browne, Karen Tuttle, Victor Wooten, David Abrams, and Leesa Fawcett. I apply concepts from Karen Tuttle Coordination to help students tune into their bodies’ natural feedback in order to learn technique and solve problems. I treat music as a language subject to ritual in order to 1) facilitate quicker learning and confidence with music, and 2) reinforce helpful practice habits. In all of my lessons, I emphasize ear training, listening, singing (regardless of instrument), and body awareness.
“Most importantly, I want students to have fun and to associate practice and problem-solving with fun.”