Takeaways from the NATS Conference – July 4, 2022

NATS logo with Chicago skyline graphic, fourth of July rocket and red white and blue heart. Mezzoid logo and curiously strong logo. Text: Takeaways NATS Conference 2022 July 4 2022

🎵 On the fourth day of July, NATS gave to me…. 🎵

July 4, 2022

  • “The Non-Binary Songbook” presented by Liz Jackson Hearns and Alexandra Plattos Sulack
    Rather than providing an actual songbook (which is kind of what I wanted),this was based on exploring gender expansion via classical repertoire for the AFAB/non-binary singer from the perspective of:

    • Story
    • Person
    • Industry/Perception
      It’s okay to change pronouns and keys, even in classical repertoire
      I admit that I really want a repertoire list from this presentation, but there was some interesting work done here.
  • “A Systematic Approach to Voice Studio Application” presented by Kari Ragan

    • Evidence-based teaching involves:
      • What I hear
      • What I know
      • Anecdotal
      • Kinesthetic tools
    • Worked with three different students and focused on different aspects of technique with each
      • Articulation – used tongue root massage for laryngeal flexibility
      • Respiration – MOVT
      • Breathwork – flow ball
        I first became familiar with the flow ball at Kari Ragan’s 2018 presentation in Las Vegas, and bought one at that time. However, I’ve lost a crucial piece to it. I did purchase some cheap knockoffs on Amazon this year for the studio, and they are not NEARLY as effective. 
  • “Singing and Speaking Salvation” presented by Dr. H. Steven Sims
    Focus on gospel singers/preachers and factors in voice care for these underserved populations
      • Stay focused on worship (or the story, if you’re not involved in church)
      • Don’t overcomplicate things – “We don’t always have to choose the hardest way”
      • “Showing up for rehearsals is a reasonable expectation”
      • “There is a time to rest”
      • “Check your attitude”
      • Gospel singing is a gift” [Isn’t all singing a gift?]
      • “Any inhaled chemical [cannabis, tobacco, even medication] has the possibility to inflame your VFs”
        Even though I don’t do gospel singing or currently have any gospel singers in the studio right now, the things I gained from this session are applicable throughout various genres.
  • “John Holiday Master Class
    • “You have to know the bones first, then you can add all the other stuff” (ornaments)
    • “Everything, even the songs you don’t like, has to mean something to you before it can mean anything to anyone else.” [Sometimes you’re assigned things that you don’t want to sing – make it work!]
      Not that familiar with John Holiday (I haven’t watched The Voice), but this masterclass, to which I came late, and his concert the following evening were both absolutely wonderful.

  • “The Effects of Virtual Reality Training in Reducing Performance Anxiety” presented by Bobbie Ticknor and Mark McQuade

    • Interesting overviews of the causes of and treatments for Music Performance Anxiety (MPA)
    • Students with high levels of anxiety in life and in performance benefit from using virtual reality (VR) equipment and scenarios (studio class, juries) to prepare for the real thing
    • Students with only mild or moderate anxiety had less after using the VR but still found it beneficial
      I have no idea why I went to this session – but it was interesting. I don’t think I can apply any of it to my studio, but it was still interesting.

On Thursday, I’ll post about the last full day of the conference – there was one particular topic that I really want to delve into further going forward. Stay tuned!

NATS logo with Chicago skyline graphic, fourth of July rocket and red white and blue heart. Mezzoid logo and curiously strong logo. Text: Takeaways NATS Conference 2022 July 4 2022

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?

This site uses cookies 🍪 (but never oatmeal raisin)

Continuing to use this site means that you are cool with cookies

%d bloggers like this: