Practicing for Progress – Your Own Way

Today I wrote to a potential student’s mom about what to expect from voice lessons. And when I wrote about what I expect from my students, I wrote:

Students are expected to practice at home to the extent they need to make progress. I don’t require proof of practice in writing or any journal – if they’re not practicing, I can tell.

That’s not what I’ve said before. I’ve always told people that they should practice a specific amount of time – 30 minutes a day, 5 days minimum, break it up into appropriate increments if you don’t have a 30 minute stretch of time, keep a journal of your practicing, etc., etc., etc.,

I don’t always do that myself. And I listened to my friend Megan Ihnen’s Studio Class podcast awhile back and she admitted that she doesn’t do that either. She practices when she has time for a good chunk of time; more leading up to a gig or audition. And that’s pretty much what I do as well. I have journaled leading up to a specific event (and I still recommend Nancy Bos’s journal highly for those who want to journal).

But if that’s not your thing, and it actually makes you rebel against practicing – “eww I have to write things down” – then don’t. Find your own way to make progress.

Here are some thoughts about practicing:

I started reading Eric Maisel’s The Power of Daily Practice: How Creative and Performing Artists (and Everyone Else) Can Finally Meet their Goals. I haven’t gotten very far because of the Musical Theatre History & Performance Course that I’ve been offering, which finishes up this week. I have made a few notes on things I’ve read so far and they include:

I’m not telling you not to practice. I’m telling you that you need to figure out the best strategy for you. I’m still figuring that out for myself (see book purchase above). Because, ultimately, talent isn’t enough.

Sarah Andersen – Sarah’s Scribbles https://sarahcandersen.com/

I promise I’ll finish the book by the end of 2020 (which will be soon, dank sei Gott) and I will report any new insights in the new year!

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Looking to find your path to progress, vocally and dramatically? Touch base with me to set up a Vocal Discovery Session, observe a current student, or just talk about what your goals are.

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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