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Bernadette Peters
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Bernadette

February 28 is Bernadette Peters’ birthday. It’s generally considered bad form to tell a lady’s age, but in her case, since she is ageless, timeless really, I think it’s alright to say she’s 72. Let’s celebrate age instead of hide from it. Let’s sing her praises. It’s hard to know where to start in praise …

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My Job as a Voice Teacher

“Seeing ‘what is’ takes very little talent. Seeing ‘what could be’- and helping to make it a reality- takes vision, imagination, skill, and commitment.” –John C. Maxwell This quote perfectly describes what my job is when I listen to a new student for the first time. I must envision ‘what could be’ from ‘what is.’ …

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You have to be carefully taught

I had to take a vocal pedagogy class in graduate school. It was supposed to teach us how to teach a voice lesson. I confess I learned the exact opposite: I discovered what I never, ever wanted to do if I were ever to be a voice teacher, which ironically at the time (1996) I …

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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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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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The Marvelous Ms. Julie Andrews

You could say Julie Andrews was my first voice teacher. No, I have never had the great good fortune to meet the marvelous Ms. Andrews, but I have been listening to her sing since I was a child and subsequently learned vast amounts about singing (and diction and acting) from her immense talent. So in …

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