I have always said that I’m not a teacher of small children.
It’s not that I don’t believe that young children should take lessons. I do. I just haven’t been sure that I’ve been the one to teach them. So I’ve focused on reaching students 11 and up.
But I did some thinking and realized that two of the best students I ever had started working with me when they were 7-1/2 and 9 years old, respectively. Both of whom I took on reluctantly because their parents begged me for a chance. One stayed with me for 11 years (!) and, although she didn’t go into music, she has been active in the arts in her new home of Los Angeles, working in the entertainment industry with companies such as ABC and Amazon. The other worked with me for two years till I moved away, and then studied with my good friend and colleague Diane Lane until she graduated from high school. She won first place at the national competition for HS Classical Women at NATS in 2018 and she is studying vocal performance in New York.
So maybe I am the one. Or they were the ones. But either way, I don’t need to limit myself So I’m going to tip a toe into the pool of younger students and offer a 4-day online vocal camp that I’m calling the Summer Singers Society. (Kinda took the idea of The Singing Club from Nikki Loney at Full Voice Music and made it my own.)
From June 21-24, I will work with six students between the ages of 8 and 11 to explore their voices in a supportive, fun, and pragmatic way, and start them on their vocal journey. The format will be the following:
- 10:30am-Noon: Vocal Explorations and Technique
- Noon-1:00: Lunch on your own (there might be a listening party during lunch, still TBD)
- 1:00-2:30pm: Work on individual pre-assigned songs. Singers will work on their solo pieces in class twice: M/W or T/Th, and will learn to listen constructively when others are singing.
Songs will come from age-appropriate musical theater or folk song repertoire. Singers will submit a recording of themselves singing a song to Christine by no later than June 4. Appropriate songs include:
- Happy birthday to you!
- The star-spangled banner
- Amazing Grace
- Any age-appropriate* musical theater or folk song that shows range
*For example, “Defying Gravity” is not age-appropriate.
Singers may also submit a list of songs in which they’re interested. Based on the recording, I will select a song from their list or one of her choosing. Singers will be given a copy of the music and an accompaniment track for them to practice with, if they don’t have their own already. Song selections will be made and sent to the singer by June 7.
On Friday, June 25, students may have the option to book a bonus 30 minute individual lesson (online or in-person, if in the area) with me to work personally on their songs and expand upon the concepts worked on earlier in the week. An evaluation and suggestion for future study will be sent within 72 hours of the bonus lesson. If people want to continue working with me afterwards, that’s up to them!
Registration is $125 through May 24 with the code SSS2021, and $150 afterwards. Registration will close June 4.
A few reasons:
- Although I’m fully vaccinated, the vaccine isn’t available for kids of this age yet, so I want a little more time for us to reach herd immunity before I let people in my house, especially a bunch of people. The individual lessons may be in my garage/driveway or in the studio with the windows open and an air filter running between students.
- I think it would be really cramped to have 6 students in my studio all at the same time, so I’d have to rent a space to hold classes.
- If I did have 6 students in my house, I would need to take the dog to day care.
Either 2 or 3 would be expensive for me and would increase the cost of the Society, which I would rather not do. At least not this time.
I’m convinced it’s going to be a good time! If you have a child or know a child who would benefit, send them my way.