Monday, September 21, 2009

Tech Talk

For those of you who still need a recording device for your lessons, I'm posting a few that have been recommended to me by other students and colleagues. If you're looking for an attachment for your iPod or iPhone, read the description carefully before buying to make sure it will be compatible with your product. If you'd prefer a separate digital recorder, make sure it's compatible with your PC or Mac.

Friends of mine use this little mic with their iPods.

Cori Saunders uses this Griffin attachment with her iPod. She says it only works for the video iPod.

I use this little Sony recorder. You can plug it into your Mac or PC to save your information in a file or on a disk.

Again, remember to check for compatibility before buying. It's really important for your vocal progress that you record your lessons and review them as homework each week. Otherwise, I find myself correcting the same problems lesson after lesson after lesson. Not good. If you made the same mistakes on your other homework every day, your grades would be less than satisfactory. Right?

Progress Reports will go out in October, so start recording!

Friday, September 18, 2009

No Zombies!

The first week of lessons was so wonderful. I saw so much promise, heard so much potential. You all looked so optimistic, like you were looking forward to new classes, new teachers, for some of you a new school. You looked excited about voice lessons and sang with so much energy.

Well, the honeymoon must be over. This week I saw stress oozing out of every pore. All of the enthusiasm from last week - gone. Many of you looked as if you had been drained of your life essence. I felt like I was teaching zombies! Clearly, this must be remedied. If you're that run down in a lesson, how will you ever be able to accomplish anything?

A few pointers for the completely strung out and stressed out amongst you:
  • Time management is key. You have time if you plan well.
  • Include meals in your schedule. You people are so busy that you often forget to eat well-balanced meals on a regular basis. Don't skip meals. Your brain and body don't appreciate it. If your lesson is right after school, pack an energy bar to have on the way. If you have time to run home first, grab a snack.
  • Get enough sleep. You need to get the right amount of sleep for your brain to function properly. Too little sleep results in poor concentration, sluggishness, and can lead to cranky diva syndrome. Boo to cranky divas. Try to plan your projects and studying well enough so that you're not staying up until the wee hours.
I know you've heard it all before, but I'm sayin' it again and you can't stop me. I want to see strong, confident singer people walking into my studio. I want to see concentration, determination, energy, and enthusiasm out of every single one of you. No zombies!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Opening Night Live in Times Square and Lincoln Center Plaza

September 15, 2009

Don’t miss the season-opening performance of Puccini’s Tosca—shown live on giant screens in Times Square and in Lincoln Center Plaza. The Met’s 2009–10 season kicks off Monday, September 21, at 6.30pm, with Karita Mattila starring in the new production premiere. Luc Bondy directs in his Met debut and Music Director James Levine conducts.

Admission to both the Times Square and Lincoln Center screenings is free, but tickets are required for the Lincoln Center plazacast. Three thousand free tickets, limited to two per person, will be available on Sunday, September 20, beginning at noon, at the Met box office only. No tickets are required for the Times Square transmission. Approximately 2,000 seats will be available in the plaza on a first-come, first-served basis, with additional standing room provided. The performance begins at 6.30pm.

The Tosca production premiere will also be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera on SIRIUS channel 78 and XM channel 79. The performance will be streamed live on the Met website at

The Metropolitan Opera thanks Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman for underwriting the public campaign to launch the 2009–10 season.