Cheryl Porter, a Chicago native who studied opera in the NIU School of Music from 1990-1995, went to Italy in 1996 to “further [her] studies in music and opera.”  She tells Public Radio International’s Carol Hills that she had no idea there was “so much love for gospel and jazz and R&B” in Italy.

For more than two decades, Porter has been teaching Italians to sing “American” music in English.  Videos of some of those sessions have gone viral on YouTube.  She currently resides in Vicenza, Italy.

Porter recently did an interview with PRI’s “The World.”

They also ran a feature on her titled, “This American singer teaches Italian kids to sing like Beyonce.”

That piece features videos of her instruction, like this one: