Kari Francis

Kari Francis

Visiting Instructor of Choral Music


M.Ed.Music and Music Education Teachers College Columbia University
M.A.Music Education (Vocal/General)Eastman School of Music

Professional Experience

Dubbed “the next generation of a cappella specialist” by Pitch Perfect vocal producer Deke Sharon, Kari Francis is an avid vocalist, arranger, and choral music educator. She has shared the stage with Taylor Swift, Imogen Heap, and competed on Season 3 of NBC’s The Sing-Off with Kinfolk 9. Kari was additionally featured as a vocal percussionist as part of Total Vocal 2018 in Alice Tully Hall, and co-directed the Sirens of Gotham chorus to a first-place win at the Sweet Adelines International 2019 Harmony Classic.

She is currently a visiting instructor of choral music at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, and has taught at Mannes School of Music, CUNY Hunter College, Teachers College Columbia University, and as a teaching artist in numerous New York City public schools. Recent publications include commentary in Teaching Music Through Performance in Contemporary A Cappella (GIA Music) and the chapter “Vocal Percussion for Everyone” in So You Want to Sing A Cappella: A Guide for Performers published by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Kari is an active lecturer and clinician and frequently leads workshops on arranging, vocal percussion, and vocal painting and improvisation at music festivals and vocal camps across the States.

Teaching Interests

Kari is committed to shifting the traditionally exclusive narrative of Western music practice to incorporate innovative teaching pedagogies to encourage a broader range of audiences to participate in music-making processes. As music teaching methods become more inclusive, interdisciplinary, and multicultural, classically oriented ensemble models must not only change to reflect the values, interests, and goals of their members, but also become more equitable, responsive, and collaborative spaces for musicians of a range of skills, experience levels, and identities.

The aims of such approaches include inviting greater cross-cultural competency, social awareness, and musical reactivity—with the aid of new technologies to create points of access for all. Kari’s research interests include combining popular music, collaborative methods, and project-based learning with choral pedagogy.

Research/Creative Works

Contributor, “Vocal Percussion for Everyone” from So You Want to Sing A Cappella? (Rowman & Littlefield)

Contributor, analysis and commentary of published arrangements for Teaching Music Through Performance in Contemporary A Cappella (GIA Music)