Singer’s Practice Plan, Log, and Journal – A New Tool for the Studio! (One of many!)

While I was in Las Vegas last week for the NATS Conference, I got a chance to review a planner that a friend of mine, Nancy Bos, has put together. Nancy is a prolific writer and an excellent teacher, and I’ve been looking for something that would help me us focus on our energies more efficiently in the studio. So I bought myself a copy to review it. If I thought it’d be valuable, I’d ask my students to buy it.

And then I went to the national meeting on the last morning of the conference and entered a raffle. Would I win CDs? A t-shirt? Would I win a new iPad? Would I win free registration to the 2020 conference in Knoxville? (That’s what i was hoping for!)

I won 5 copies of the practice planner. In red. And I’m thrilled with the planner I bought (in blue), so I’m giving them out to people. You can do with it what you wish. There’s a section on writing down when and how long you practiced, a section on setting goals, a place to take notes, staff paper to write out exercises (or have me write them in your book), a place to keep track of your repertoire (both things we’re working on and dream pieces), and a journal section that you can fill out as you’d like. I’ve given out 2 copies so far, and I’m planning to give out the rest this week.

If you’re interested in the book and you didn’t get a copy (for example, you didn’t have a lesson last week and aren’t having one this week), then you can purchase a copy on Amazon. More info is here. If enough people are interested, I can contact Nancy and buy in bulk (10 copies or more).

I am using the book for my own goal setting, journaling, and record-keeping.

I also purchased iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to take notes at the conference and have started keeping lesson records on it, which is life-changing. Plus I’m moving a lot of my sheet music to it, and that is also life-changing.

Other things that I came across at the workshop and recommend:

Appcompanist: This is MINDBLOWING. We’ll be using it in the studio, but if you want to use it at home, you’ll have to get your own. IOS only for now. Android coming later. Free download and demo. Not cheap but incredible.

Voxercise: Free download (both IOS and Android) will give you 3 free vocalises (glides on a hum, on a vowel, and on a trill) and 3 breathing exercises. Additional exercises are $4.99 for a pack or $13.99 for all 5 packs. I just accidentally bought one pack while I was writing this (oops). They’re pretty basic. But if you need to warm up somewhere, they’ll do the trick. It also tells you if you’re sharp or flat!

Things I hope to accomplish this summer:

  1. Updating my own vocalises to be given out (this was last summer’s goal, but I ran into a glitch with the software)
  2. Possibly putting vocalises onto a YouTube channel that would be available to my own students
  3. Actually creating official studio policies. I had very specific policies when I had my Milwaukee studio. I haven’t done the same thing here yet because I haven’t has any many students, my needs are different (I’m performing more, so I need to adapt some things to allow for that), and my client base is somewhat different. In Milwaukee, all my students were ages 11-18, with the occasional college kid coming back in the summer for a touch-up. Now, I range from 11-70, and I have to take some things into account. But I definitely need to set some policies in place – I can’t expect people to read my mind. I’m pretty reasonable, though.
It’s going to be a great summer!

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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