In addition to his performance career, Martin Bakari is a passionate voice teacher and teaching artist. A voice student of Dr. Robert C. White, Jr., Marlena Malas, and James Demler, Mr. Bakari has inherited a fount of vocal, musical, linguistic, and interpretive knowledge from these and the many other extraordinary artists with whom he has had the pleasure of working including Dawn Upshaw, Grace Bumbry, Simon Estes, Phyllis Curtin, Stephanie Blythe, Diana Soviero, Maria Spacagna, George Shirley, Nico Castel, Margo Garrett, Brian Zeger, Ken Noda, Thomas Grubb, Christoph von Dohnányi, Mark Morris, and Wynton Marsalis. It is his great joy and privilege to pass along this knowledge to those who study with him.
A multi-genre vocal artist himself, Mr. Bakari is comfortable teaching singers of all musical styles, ages, and experience levels. Singers who have worked with Mr. Bakari have gone on to achieve notable success in college and performing arts high school admissions (Manhattan School of Music, Westminster Choir College, SUNY Purchase, Ithaca College, Chicago College of Performing Arts, LaGuardia High School, Kaufman Music Center NYC), competitions (Duke Ellington Vocal Competition winner), and solo performances (Jazz at Lincoln Center, Apollo Theater, Birdland NYC, Count Basie Band, national and world tours). As a public speaking coach, he has lent his services to speakers from various professions including pastors, business executives, school teachers, and an internationally-celebrated hip hop artist.
Mr. Bakari has led masterclasses for classical voice and musical theater students at Carnegie Mellon University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of Dayton. As a teaching artist, he has worked with various organizations including the Metropolitan Opera bringing opera to New York City schools, the Simon Estes Foundation singing recitals and teaching vocal masterclasses, and CO/LAB Theater Group offering individuals with developmental disabilities a creative and social outlet through music.
As a master's degree student at Juilliard, Mr. Bakari was a recipient of the Morse Teaching Artist Fellowship during which he taught 4th and 5th grade general music at Manhattan's George Jackson Academy. During this time, Mr. Bakari also participated in the Juilliard Leadership Program which helps to develop and refine leadership skills in students nominated by the Juilliard faculty and staff as potential leaders in the arts.
While earning a bachelor's degree from Boston University in music education, Mr. Bakari worked as a student teacher in various city schools including the prestigious Boston Latin School where he led and coached concert bands, choirs, and jazz ensembles while also teaching music theory and ear training. Additionally, Mr. Bakari has spent three summers on the faculty of Friends Music Camp, where he was once a camper, teaching voice and music theory, conducting vocal ensembles, and directing musical theatre productions.