For those of you who aren’t Three Stooges fans (which I’m certainly not) or not of a certain age (which I certainly am), you may need to go and research the Three Stooges a bit in order to get this reference. You can start here. Knock yourselves out – nyuk nyuk nyuk (that’s also a bit of Stooges humor).
I’m pleased to announce that the Richard Carsey masterclass on August 14 has ONE MORE SPOT left, which I fully intend to fill by the end of this week. But do not despair! I still have 40 spots open for auditors (which is the point of this blogpost)!
You may ask, “Why should I audit?” [Or, to keep the Three Stooges theme going, “Why oughta I audit?”]
I have audited hundreds of masterclasses over the past 30 years. Auditing is a wonderful way of watching experts in their fields work with aspiring artists and gaining insight and wisdom without having to get up onstage yourself. It may inspire you to do something different in your own performing or teaching. It may give you a new perspective on a piece of repertoire that you have retired because you couldn’t find a way to make it fresh. It might introduce you to brand new-to-you repertoire. It might give you the courage to participate yourself the next time an opportunity becomes available.
This morning I was scanning my old notebooks from the various workshops and conference I’ve attended to see what insights I’ve gained from masterclasses. Here are just a few (see which ones of these you’ve heard me say):
NATS Intern Program, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, June 2000
- Snap your fingers against your cheek to listen to the pitch and determine how much space that pitch demands. (George Shirley, Metropolitan Opera tenor, faculty – UM-Ann Arbor)
- “Resonance cannot make the sound better than it is in the larynx.” (Paul Kiesgen, bass, faculty – Indiana University) (RIP)
- “People who work too hard to lift their soft palates look like dogs eating peanut butter.” (Paul Kiesgen)
- Balancing on one foot to find the coaxial balance point, elongate the spine, and put your head in the right place. (Paul Kiesgen)
- Practice with books in front of your ears when in a small space to perceptually focus your ears. (Paul Kiesgen)
- “The middle voice is a treasure that, if abused, steals from the top.” (Carol Webber, soprano, faculty – Eastman School of Music)
- “When your desire to tell [the story] overrides your fear.” (Carol Webber)
NATS National Conference, Minneapolis, MN, July 2006
- “Don’t try to solve the audience’s problems for them; invite them up on the stage with you to solve it together.“ (Hagan Hagegord, Swedish operatic baritone)
Teaching Men to Sing, Indiana University, June 2007
- “Breath is the raw material that we turn into voice as it passes through the throat.“(Paul Kiesgen)
- “All that one does technically is to build an instrument that can eloquently and hopefully elegantly communicate. Because that’s what we have to do in the end.”￼ (Dr. Robert Harrison, tenor, faculty -IU)
Wisconsin NATS Spring Meeting, March 2009?
- “To sing correctly is to use only the muscles that are contributing and no others.“ (Paul Kiesgen)
NATS National Conference, Louisville, KY, June 2008
- “Anything that seems honest and true is OK, movement wise.“ (Dawn Upshaw, internationally known operatic soprano, faculty – Bard College)
Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA, July 2011
- “￼A song should be performed as though it’s been created on the spot￼.“ (Robert Marks, NYC vocal coach)
MDDC NATS Spring Meeting, Washington, DC, April 2014
- “Walk in and let us know who you are.“ (David Sabella, NYC voice teacher and actor)￼￼
Masterclass, Loyola University, Baltimore, MD, November 2014
- “The second the music starts – the story starts. The story needs to keep being told until the music ends.” (Jeff Blumenkrantz, composer)
(I’ve been to masterclasses since then, but I’ve been taking notes on my iPad so that I don’t have to carry around big notebooks. Which I kind of miss doing. My handwriting has really deteriorated since 2000!)
What notes will you be taking at the Richard Carsey masterclass?
Don’t be a wise guy (more Stooges humor – can’t help it – my dad loved them) – register here,
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