Pat Balder

Hello Opus Music Academy Family! My name is Pat Balder and I’m excited to join the rank of this fine group of teachers. My Bachelor of Arts degree is in Guitar and Voice Performance and my Master’s Degree is in Songwriting. Throughout my music career, I have toured as a national main stage corporate entertainer and been signed to a major label record and publishing company. I’ve produced seven solo albums of original music and many other musical albums and commercials from my home studio in Maple Grove, MN. As well, I taught at St. Thomas University, St. Paul, MN and was previously a church music director and worship leader.

I’m married to my high school sweetheart and we have a son, 23, and two daughters, ages 20 and 18. I love hanging out with my family, watching as many movies as possible, reading, working out, and going on picnics. I also love seeing the light bulb go off in my students’ heads as they make the discovery that they’ve reached a new level and are better than they were at the start of the lesson. Fun fact: I never learned to read music until I went to college because. Until then, I was self-taught and learned everything by ear. It was hard to learn formal theory and to read music, but it was simple to test out of ear training – and their 8:00 am classes!

Pat Bolder has a well established studio in Maple Grove, as well as teaching at our Studio in New Hope. He’s a member of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. From 2003-2009, he was the founder and executive director of the non-profit organization Bigger Than Us Inc. (formerly CW Rocks Inc.). His roles there included being the Head of A&R (signing of songwriter/artists and songs), publishing contracts and artist contracts, ASCAP song registration, publishing and distribution of royalties, and more. Community Activities include performing with SongBlast (a national touring music act of Dueling Guitars as a co-founder of the group). He has credentials in Music Production since 1999.

As a performer, he has been featured as a guitarist sharing the stage with Janet Jackson, Cher, KD Lang, MC Hammer, Whitney Houston, Santana and many many more. His bachelors degree is from St John’s University in Collegeville, MN, in Classical Guitar and Voice Performance. Pat’s masters degree is in Songwriting from Bath Spa University, located in Bath, England.


Q & A with Pat



Geographic areas served

The Opus studios in New Hope and Robbinsdale, in home in a 15 mile radius from Maple Grove, and virtual lessons.


  • $40 / half hour lesson
  • $70 / hour lesson
  • $5 more for in home lessons

Attendance Policy

We all know that life can be unpredictable, but a student must notify me within 24 hours in advance of any absences in order to receive a make-up lesson. Notice given less than 24 hours in advance is not guaranteed a make-up lesson and may not be entitled to a refund. Exceptions due to sudden illness, family emergencies, and weather may be granted at my discretion. If I need to cancel for any reason, the student will receive a make-up lesson.


My Teaching Philosophy

My vocal teaching philosophy is firmly rooted in the Bel Canto school, with a great emphasis on neutral larynx placement. With a basic understanding of the Bel Canto technique, including the constant practice of appoggio (leaning – or placing – the notes on the breath by way of diaphragm support), one can apply this technique to any style of music one wishes to sing.


While the voice must always be protected and diligently cared for, I do not believe in pampering the voice. The voice must be worked and trained, just as an athlete works and trains. In order to build a strong and flexible voice that utilizes the entire chest voice and head voice in a connected and seamless fashion, it is essential to practice exercises which serve that end. Singing is athletics. And athletics is the constant pursuit of improving and strengthening without injuring.


When a singer is relaxed and has proper mental and psychological focus, he or she can begin to sing without a great deal of effort. However, he or she will have to put in many hours of hard effort in order to arrive at that place of ease.


In other words, it takes hard work for singing to become easy. But you can do it.


I can help you become a strong, relaxed singer who enjoys experiencing the sound of your own voice.