About Zingora Vocal School


“This is the way growing up should have been.”

About Our School

After forty years of touring globally as a professional singer and violinist, it has become my dream to open a small vocal school in Rhinebeck, NY.

Over the years I have received many invitations to teach. Now I am ready to make this the focus of my work.

Through my experiences offering workshops and mentoring students one on one, I know teaching to be immensely gratifying for both my students and me.

Take a Individual Class!

For many years, I have worked in a range of musical styles, including jazz, rock, folk, classical, and opera. What truly inspires me is total silence and an absolutely positive atmosphere.

I believe in the freedom of the voice, and of using the voice as a tool for expressing our deepest needs and desires.

What means Zingora?

Text of the song no. 868 from the F. Sušil collection.

Zing – sing ora -mouth, border, shores
La Zingara – the gypsy girl
Zingora – Walnut in moravian dialect

Etymology 1
Inflected form of ōs (“mouth”).

Etymology 2

Possibly from Proto-Indo-European *h₄orh₂-on- (“shore, bank, border”), related to Lithuanian oras (“air, weather”), Latvian ara (“border, country limit, boundary”), and Hittite (“boundary, rim, line”).

Also compare Ancient Greek ὅρος (hóros, “border, boundary mark”). Possibly related to urvo (“to plough round, mark out with a plough”).

& Guest Artists

I have worked with children and adults, professional singers and people who have never sung before.

It would be my goal to create a school that welcomes people from all different backgrounds, including families and those who are unable to pay the full tuition.

Individual lessons with adults
and children too

Initially, my curriculum focuses on Moravian, Slovak and Romani folk melodies, which are central to my music. In addition, my teaching emphasizes free expression, improvisation and connection with nature.

I offer private lessons for all ages.


Iva and Timothy will invite world-renowned musical collaborators who have contributed to their decades-long career to lead workshops and create and share their musical experiences together.

Iva Bittová

Teacher & Director of Zingora Vocal School

Iva Bittová grew up in a musical family in northern Moravia in the former Czechoslovakia and today’s Czech Republic. She and her sisters, also musicians, were strongly influenced by their father, who was a multi-instrumentalist with a deep knowledge of Moravian and Slovak folk music. As a child, Iva attended drama school with a focus on violin and ballet, after which she was admitted to the music and drama course at the Brno Conservatory of Music.

During school and after graduation, she worked as an actress and musician at the Husa na provázku Theatre in Brno, which led her to starring roles in radio, television and film productions. After the untimely death of her father, Iva reawakened her love for the violin and decided to follow in his professional footsteps as an instrumentalist and composer.

In 1982 she began studying with Professor Rudolf Št’astný, first violinist of the Moravian String Quartet, and worked hard to develop her unique musical style. Since then, she has released 37 CD recordings, collaborated with world-renowned musicians such as Fred Frith, Bill Frisell, Bang on a Can All Stars and Bobby McFerrin, and performed extensively, including command performances for the Dali Lama and state ceremonies honoring Vaclav Havel, George W. Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl and Margaret Thatcher. In 2018 Iva received her Master’s degree in Early Music/Musicology from Masaryk University in Brno. He currently lives in upstate New York and continues to perform internationally in addition to teaching.

Website: www.bittova.com.

Timothy Hill

Teacher of Zingora Weekend Vocal school

In a uniquely musical synthesis, singer-songwriter Timothy Hill interweaves the natural purity of his voice with threads of ethereal abstract sound that seamlessly blend into a style that defies description. Hill, who has performed with artists as diverse as John Cage, Bill Frisell, Jeff Buckley, Allen Ginsberg, Odetta, Pete Seeger, Pauline Oliveros, Iva Bitt, Madan Gopal Singh and Brooklyn Raga Massive, has explored the genres of folk, jazz, world music, contemporary classical music and improvisation.

As a member of David Hykes and the Harmony Choir, he pioneered the art of harmony singing, prompting The New York Times critic Robert Palmer to praise Hill as “a virtuoso of Tibetan singing technique.” Hill has performed on eight recordings by David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir, including their seminal work Hearing Solar Winds. Hill has released three recordings of his original songs – This Bright World, The Human Place and Spirit’s Body. He contributed to the Grammy-nominated spoken word collection with music by Pete Seeger: The Storm King, Vol. 1 & 2.

Hill has been a guest lecturer in voice at New York University, Dartmouth College, the University of Minnesota, and the Bard College Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program under the direction of Dawn Upshaw.

Website: timothyhillmusic.com.

and other renowned teachers and special guests

Duo Fluttering Wings

The extraordinary singer and violinist Iva Bittová and the distinctive singer and guitarist Timothy Hill will present an evening of songs both real and fictional.

Songs we heard in childhood, in the rustling of leaves,
the flutter of bird wings, the sound of rain.
Songs of our homeland, songs from far away journeys,
songs we wrote a long time ago, songs we made up on the spot.

Happy Students


This workshop allowed me to let go of control and allow space for pure creativity that is within me to come out. The combination of improvisation and nature welcomes the space for the purest form of creativity.

- Chloe P.

Zingora Vocal School

Rhinebeck, New York, USA, CZ, EUROPE


Write to us



Announcing of


Autumn: October 7-13

Voice workshop focused on improvised singing and music. Suitable for all ages, advanced and beginners.

Contact: hello@zingora-vocal-school.com

More info & application