Twenty years ago, I wrote a song parody about vocal technique, using the tune of a well-known song from a musical we all know. In 2017, I wrote a blogpost about it, which you can find here.
When I decided to put together Back to … Whatever, I thought that the first thing we needed to do was get everyone singing again. I had done a vocal bootcamp at the beginning of the year, to kickstart the new year, and I thought I’d like to do something like that again, only with not just me this time, but with a couple of other teachers. I put the word out within my business coaching group, The Speakeasy Cooperative, that I was looking for a couple of collaborators, and lo and behold, two people stepped right away.
So I’d like you to meet them.
Aimee Woods is the Director of Songwoods Studio in Fort Collins, Colorado, as well as its Master Teacher. She joined the faculty (then called Magnolia Music Studio) in 2009. Aimee took over Songwoods in 2017. She brings a wealth of teaching and performing experience, with more than 15 years of teaching, performing and directing. Aimee participates in educational clinics and masterclasses and is Vice President of the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter of National Association of Teachers of singing. In addition to teaching at Songwoods Studio, Aimee is Music Director and conductor for Fort Collins Children’s Theater. Aimee teaches all ages and styles including classical and contemporary vocal styles. She is sought out as a rock/pop vocal coach, working with several local band singers and singer/songwriters and rock operas. She has performed professional opera and music theater along the front range with her favorites being First Lady/The Magic Flute with Loveland Opera Theater, Mrs Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and Kaye in The Taffetas. Aimee earned her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Colorado State University where she performed leading roles with CSU Opera (Countess/Marriage of Figaro, Susannah/Susannah) and received her BM in Vocal Performance from University of Northern Colorado. She is Vice President of National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a certified CoreSingingTM Teacher, trained by founder Meribeth Dayme. Upcoming projects include LIVE showcases with Songwoods musicians and ELF with Fort Collins Children’s Theater. Aimee and her husband Jeremy live in Loveland, CO with their daughter.
From Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we’re joined by Phyllis Horridge. Phyllis holds a Master’s Degree in Music from George Mason University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, with a minor in theatre, from Lynchburg College in Virginia. She has been performing in theatre professionally for many years, most notably with the Drama Desk Award Winning York Theatre Company in New York City. Phyllis is certified in Somatic Voicework (sm), participated in the Summer Vocology Institute at The National Center for Voice and Speech, and trained in Estill Voice. She has been actively involved in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and Actors Equity Association. She maintains membership in the Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), where she has worked on films including Ted, American Hustle, and Grown Ups 2; was regularly seen on ABC’s hit drama Body of Proof; and appeared in national commercials for Titleist and Popeyes.
Phyllis is an award winning choir director, musical director, and served as adjudicator for many events across the country. She is also active on social media, boasting over 100K followers on TikTok (@phyllis.sings). [Seriously, her Tiktok is amazing!] After many years on the road, she now calls Louisiana home, where she is the owner of Phyllis & Friends Singing Lessons, a boutique studio that offers singing, acting, and audition prep.
And the third clinician is… ME. And if you don’t know me by now…
But hey, if you don’t, you can find out more here.
What I’m particularly excited about is that when the three of us sat down and discussed what we would like to do, my first thought had been that each of us would spend approximately 20-30 minutes presenting our favorite vocalises. But then once we started talking, we decided it would be more fun and more interesting if we did a sort of tag-team approach. Aimee will start and do a set of vocalises around alignment and articulation. Then I’ll take over and do some breathwork. Then Phyllis will focus on registration. But we’ll go back and forth so that it won’t be quite so formal, and shorter durations. And then we’ll apply the technical things we’re doing to a song that we can do in the second half of the class. But what song?
- Aimee wanted to do an American folk song.
- Phyllis wanted to do more contemporary musical theatre.
- I thought we should have a piece that was accessible to all ages.
Finally, we decided on a song that all of us had taught and that we were pretty sure everyone knows. Perhaps you can guess what it is.
Of course, since we’re online, all singing will be done on mute, unless you are one of the volunteers that would like to step up and have one (or all three) of us
use you as a guinea pig work with you on whatever element of vocal technique you feel you need. Is there an ascending line that goes through your break? Are you running out of breath? Is there a diction issue that you’d like to address? We’ll apply what we did in the first part of the session to that song.
A Q&A will follow, as time permits.
All sessions will be from 6:30-8:00pm, August 31-September 2 and will be recorded and available through September 10 for those who opt for the full three-day registration ($90).
Individual sessions are available at $40 each and does not include the video replay option
(save $30, get an extra week of time to watch!).
More information and registration available here.
Accepting new students for 2021-2022. The new term begins September 7 and goes through June 11 of next year.
Find out more about how to work with MVS!