As many of you know, I love singing cabaret with a white-hot passion. And I want to share that love with my students, because I think that the idea of creating personal musical theater should exist in everything you sing, from art song to musical theater songs to opera.
I’ve done some great things at Germano’s Piattini with both Michael Tan and Ryan Cappleman, and they seem to like me. So when I asked Cyd Wolf if I could put together a cabaret show featuring some of my students, she said, “Of course!”
This year is the centenary of women’s suffrage. March is Women’s History Month. So with that in mind, I decided that our program would focus on music by women. Since the studio is mainly comprised of women, that works (there are a few men singing, as well), this works. Tickets will be cheap because I want people to come and eat (because that’s how Germano’s makes their money, and they give us the space and all the proceeds in exchange).
I looked at some art and came across a songbook of the musical Dames at Sea (which was an early starring performance by Bernadette Peters but, unfortunately, written by a man) and thought, “Huh. we could call it … Dames… IN… C… and maybe D… and, oh, other keys.”
So, on March 29, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. Set list still TBD. Personnel still TBD. But here’s the art. And here’s where you can get tickets.
Scattergories is a creative-thinking category-based party game originally published by Parker Brothers.
Why I Sing is a creative-thinking but currently somewhat unfocused blog currently published by Christine Thomas-O’Meally (why, that’s me!).
Recently, I established the Curiously Stronger Performing series, which focuses on specific elements of performance:
- The functional (how to present your music, how to walk into the room, how to talk to the pianist);
- The creative (selecting music, creating themes);
- The expressive (interpreting text, whether in English or another language; developing an inner monologue; physicalizing a song in the most efficient way).
And that’s what this blog needs to do. So a project I’m setting out to do over the next few months is to go through my blogposts and assign them a category.
Blogposts that are specifically about practical things like vocal technique, audition techniques, translating, and diction will go under the area of function.
Blogposts that are about finding new ways to look at things will be about creativity (and possibly about expressivity as well).
Blogposts about interpretation and physicality will be categorized under expressivity.
Announcements will either go under general or will be uncategorized.
Hopefully, this will help organize things so that they’re more easily found.
This will take awhile. Some might go under multiple things. Some of the older blogs might get reworked and updated.
It’s become very trendy to announce that one word is going to set the intention for the year. My word last year was “Release,” and I did release a few things – my job at HCC, my fear of changing up the way I ran my private studio, and relationships that didn’t suit me.
I decided that this year’s word is Recreate. There are two meanings for this (with this spelling), according to Merriam-Webster:
- Transitive verb: to give new life or freshness to: REFRESH
- Intransitive verb: to take recreation (i.e., to play)
or if, you put a hyphen between the re and the create:
- Transitive verb: to create again, to form anew in the imagination
I want to give new life to some things, including the idea of performance, as in the upcoming Curiously Stronger Performing workshops, which will start up on January 8. I want to explore new ways to approach things. And I want to play. Both in my work and away from it.
What’s your word? How did you choose it and how will you implement it?
My choir director at the Cathedral of Mary our Queen is a new daddy, and he’s been reading a lot about parenting. He just read about an author who has written a book called How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results, and the author boils her methods down to the acronym TRICK, which stands for:
He believes that this applies not only to the raising of children to be independent adults, but for teachers with their students (and choir directors for their choristers, which is why we got this lecture). The author believes that this method will allow students to become independent and creative, and that is a higher gauge of what success is than just money. (Which is a good thing in our line of work.)
I’m a big believer that our studio is a community, and one in which we need to support and nurture each other and ourselves. That’s why I ask that we all support each other and collaborate rather than compete with each other. Trust each other, trust yourself, trust me. Respect each other, respect yourself, and respect me. We can work together and we can work on our own. And be kind to yourself, be kind to each other and, above all, be kind to me. 🙂
Not all tricks are magic. Some are just common sense and decency.
This has been an exciting year, filled with lots of opportunities and development for both my students and myself.
Things that I’ve done for the studio this year:
- June 2018: Attended the NATS Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada and learned a ton of stuff!
- June 2018: Bought an iPad Pro and downloaded ForScore to better access sheet music
- July 2018: Subscribed to Appcompanist, an accompanying software that allows you to adjust thousands of professionally recorded accompaniments to the tempo and range of the performer, rather than make the performer fit the dictates of the recorded accompaniment.
- July 2018: Joined the Speakeasy Cooperative, an international organization of independent voice teachers, where we share ideas about how best to serve our students and ourselves as professionals.
- July-August 2018: Tweaked my website!
- August 2018: Redesigned my vocal exercises
- August 2018: Created a logo (see above)
- September 2018: Studio policies!
- November 2018: Upgraded to MusicNotesPlus in order to allow greater flexibility to change keys as needed for individual student needs (as well as my own)
- January 2019: Became a sole proprietorship in the state of Maryland as Mezzoid Voice Studio
- January 2019: Studio swag!!
- February 2019: Started using Acuity as a scheduling software so that students can schedule their lessons at times that work with both our schedules.
- March 2019: Subscribed to musicaltheatresongs.com, a searchable database of songs past and present.
- December 2018/June 2019: Organized and presented the first two studio recitals, the first a holiday program at Bykota Senior Center and the second a studio showcase at Springwell Senior Living!
- May 2019: Quit HCC to focus on the private studio
May 2019: Attended my first Voice Foundation in Philadelphia and learned more stuff!
- June 2019: Moved my blog, “Why I Sing” from Blogger to mezzoid.wordpress.com, where it looks a ton more professional.
- Reorganized the studio to include toys (TOYS!) and other things to serve my students better
- June 2019: Created an interactive studio practice log for my students to keep track of their practicing! (Have you tried it yet?)
What’s next on the horizon? LOTS.
More info coming soon.