What ISN’T a masterclass?

Even before the pandemic, there have been a lot of posts and ads about masterclasses and why you should take them. Famous people have been offering masterclasses on acting, writing, comedy, singing (some with stronger credentials than others) and people have been signing up for them and saying, “TAKE MY MONEY.”

But what isn’t a masterclass? What shouldn’t you expect when you take one?

A masterclass is not a place where:

  1. Someone will teach you the music if you don’t already know it
  2. You’ll show everyone that you’re the best performer there
  3. All your technical problems will be fixed in fifteen minutes
  4. You will be discovered and all your dreams will come true
  5. Your technique (and self-esteem) will be shredded and you’ll be told to rebuild everything from the ground up (and if that happens, that is the sign of a bad clinician)

What you can expect from a masterclass is that:

  1. The clinician will focus on a particular aspect of your piece that could be enhanced or improved
  2. You will hear other performers who are more advanced than you in both technique and career who still have things to learn and are willing to accept direction and change
  3. You will hear other performers who are not at your technical level who are willing to accept direction and change
  4. Even if you’re not the one performing (or you’re not performing at all), you might hear something in another person’s piece that may inspire you to try it in a piece that you’re working on
  5. If the clinician does address a technical issue, it may not be the most obvious one; it might be a lesser one that can be addressed in the allotted time that they have (and one that might, indirectly, contribute to solving a larger technical problem)

All performer slots in the Richard Carsey masterclass this Friday are filled, but there are still auditor opportunities available. Come on and listen to 7 singers, from pre-professional to established artists, sing for Maestro Carsey. You can register here or message me for more information.

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.

What do you think?

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