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Singing is serious fun

Let’s face facts: I am a serious teacher for serious students. I was trained by serious teachers to be a serious singer, and I was a serious student. I sometimes shy away from owning this, wanting to appear fun and lighthearted, easy-going and cool. And I am  fun, lighthearted, and easy-going (cool, unfortunately impossible), but …

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An American in Paris

Once upon a time, I gave a solo recital in Paris. France. This is that story. It all started in 2000, when my dear friend, Bettina Matthias, professor of German extraordinaire (specializing in music and theatre), asked me to come to Middlebury College to give a German Lieder recital with her at the piano, in …

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It’s A Family Affair

I used to joke with my parents that there was no way I could have been adopted (besides the fact that I am a dead ringer for my mother) because I had inherited all their faults and flaws: bad eyesight, allergies, slow metabolism, terrible temper… But of course my parents gave me much more than …

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Those were the good old days

I just realized that 25 (!) years ago this month, I started graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle. I went to get my master’s degree in vocal performance right after college because what did I know at 21? Exactly nothing. Ok, not nothing, but I certainly wasn’t ready to enter the real …

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A Heart Full of Love

I’ve been a hopeless romantic since birth. Let me curl up with a good romantic novel and I’m happy (hello, Pride and Prejudice!).  I love romantic comedies: I know every word of When Harry Met Sally. And naturally, I love love songs; a good one will reduce me to tears. (I dare you to listen …

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A Cautionary Tale

In my very first group of students at AMDA NY was a young woman, “Martha”, with a huge, high belt voice. Not surprisingly, she had no real head voice to speak of and unfortunately, as I discovered over our time together, she had no interest whatsoever in developing it. Being a teenager and seemingly vocally …

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Sing out, Louise!

In 1998, my very first semester of teaching at AMDA NY, I had a student I’ll call Jane. She was a very sweet girl with a very soft speaking voice and an even softer singing voice. Much to my surprise, her Musical Theatre teacher assigned her only big, belty songs. We would work on them …

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Fortune favors the brave

I frequently talk with my students (and frankly, myself) about having the courage to believe in themselves and their talent enough to audition. Interestingly, I have noticed that most of the people I have this conversation with are above average, definitively talented students/singers who, for a multitude of reasons (both known and unknown), feel unequal …

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Let it go!

I have a fabulous new high school student who is preparing to audition for her high school musical, a show she is very passionate about. As we were finishing up her lesson she said, “Now all I need to do is get in my directors’ heads and find out exactly what they are looking for.” …