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Communication is Key

In any relationship, communication is key.

Whether it’s a marriage (and I’m on my second, so I can verify this is true), a friendship, or a work relationship, it is essential that you communicate.

Something that I’ve noticed much more of since I opened my East Coast studio is that people don’t answer:

      • the phone
      • emails
      • texts

And it’s really frustrating.

I get the phone part. I hate the phone. And I used to talk on the phone all the time.

And emails – I’m so far behind on emails right now after my trip – well, I was behind before I left and now it’s just ridiculous. But they’re all emails in my promotions and forums tabs, not my personal ones. The personal ones I answer right away.

I try to keep my emails clear and focused with a call-to-action so that people know what I’m asking for. I’ll admit my emails used to be much longer-winded, and I’m trying to focus on one call-to-action per email (which means that I have to send multiple emails, and I hate to do that, but it seems to get better response). I try to include “Response Requested” in the subject line and that seems to have some effect.

But people don’t answer them. I’ve been told by young people that they find emails intimidating because they come from authority figures.

I have no idea why other people don’t answer their emails.

I have even less idea why people don’t answer their texts, particularly if they’ve indicated that this is the best way to contact them. And honestly, I can’t text everyone individually, especially if they’re all getting the same message. It’s not efficient.

All I can say is that if I don’t get a response to an email, I don’t know what you want or need.

I don’t know if you’re planning to be somewhere (a rehearsal, for example), so I can’t plan it.

Last Saturday I had a rehearsal planned for our upcoming studio showcase. I set this up before I left for my vacation. Multiple people told me verbally that they intended to come. I brought my keyboard out to the garage and set it up so that we could rehearse out there (I have several cat-allergic folx, plus it’s roomier).

When I got home from my vacation, I was offered a gig for last Saturday afternoon. A paying gig with a 4pm call. I turned it down because I had committed to being there. It wasn’t a great gig, but it would’ve paid for a tank of gas.

Three people came. Two at 1:30. Several people I had planned to see from 2:30-4pm contacted me that morning to tell me they couldn’t come (one had a medical emergency). I saw one other person who was coming from Montgomery County, because she was already on her way when I texted her to tell her that her scene partners weren’t able to make it.

If you have a professional relationship with someone, whether they are paying you or you are paying them, your half of the deal is to communicate. If you do not, you have no relationship.

It shows complete disrespect and makes the person feel completely unvalued.

This may seem like a very personal post, but from what I’ve heard from friends in other fields (not just teaching), this behavior is rampant.

And it can cost you – if you have an email offering you an audition/interview or a job and you don’t answer it in a timely manner – not only will you not get that job but you may be removed from their mailing list. So you’re sabotaging yourself as well as the relationship with a potential employer.

Please check your emails and answer them.
Communication goes both ways.
Respect the person with whom you’re in a relationship.

 

Not too late

On this day 9 years ago, I moved back to the East Coast from Milwaukee.

I moved because I wasn’t performing anywhere, and I wanted to sing somewhere before it was too late.

Because I felt as though a singer’s shelf life varies from person to person (depending on fach, health, and other circumstances) and I wanted to make the most of the shelf life I have left.

Richard Miller told me in 1999 that I would never sound old, which I’ve kept close to my heart. But I have found that, particularly in the last couple of years, it’s not as easy as it used to be.

I think it has a lot to do with the multiple cases of bronchitis that I had in the late 90s/early 00s. I think they sapped my stamina, and I’ve never fully recovered it. I used to be able to sing all day and then go to rehearsal and sing all evening and not show any signs of fatigue, but that is no longer. I really have to manage my singing carefully and know what I have ahead of me for the day.

  • If I’m going to sing something that’s really low (church alto parts), I need to make sure that I don’t sing too high during the day
  • If I’m singing something that sits higher, I can sing higher, but I have to make sure I balance it out
  • If I am preparing for an audition or a recording session (the former of which is this week, the latter next week), I need to put myself on a regular practice schedule (gone are the days where I could just leave the house with a lip trill and walk onto stage, ready to go)

(Ignore the woefully incorrect solfege.)

But even though things have changed somewhat over the last 20 years, I don’t feel that it’s too late for me or for anyone. There may be some things that I can’t do anymore, and not just singing-wise. There may be some things that I don’t want to do anymore, and not just singing-wise.

I saw this post on a friend’s Facebook page this morning and commented, “stealing.”

I still want to perform.

I still want to teach.

I still want to direct.

I might want to do some more choral directing.

I still want to travel, and dance, and go to shows, and be in shows, and enjoy my life.

And these things seem to be more attainable to me than they were before I moved back.

So happy anniversary to me, and a reminder to myself and to you that

It’s not too late.

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It’s not too late to learn to sing either! If you’re interested in trying out a package of voice lessons this summer, find out how to work with me and we can see if we can set something up.

Showcase 2022!

On June 5, I will be hosting a showcase featuring 12 of my current students performing primarily ensembles from musical theater, opera, and nu-folk.

The performance will be at Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson at 3pm and is free to the public.

I have done a few studio programs since I’ve been back in Baltimore which included some ensemble pieces, but not to this extent. This format goes back to the kind of programs I started doing in 2002 in Milwaukee and did annually (except 2012, when the planned performance date conflicted with the Tommy Awards, in which I had multiple students involved) until I left in 2013. I talked about why I first started this format in a blogpost in 2009 called Scratching the Directing Itch.

Most of the years were wildly successful, if I do say so myself. Even the years that weren’t great (2007, I’m looking at you), had great moments, which I have to keep reminding myself of.

Here is an overview of some of the years and pieces that stand out to me:

  • 2003: “He will gather us around,” Dead Man Walking, Heggie
  • 2004: “Unlikely lovers,” Falsettoland, Finn; “Black Swan,” The Medium, Menotti; “Stepsister’s duet,” La Cenerentola, Rossini; “Letter #4,” Passion, Sondheim;”Mama, I’m a big girl now,” Hairspray, Shaiman
  • 2005: “The music still plays on,” A New Brain, Finn; “New Music,” Ragtime, Ahrens & Flaherty; “Everyone hates his parents.” Falsettoland, Finn; “O happy we,” Candide, Bernstein
  • 2006:  “How Glory Goes,” Floyd Collins, Guettel:; “Sailing,”  A New Brain, Finn; “Always look on the bright side of life,” Spamalot, Idle; “Sull’aria,” The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart; “Amor,” Bolcom; “Ballad of Guiteau,” Assassins, Sondheim
  • 2007: “Tripping hither, tripping thither,” Iolanthe, G&S; “Papageno/Papagena,” The Magic Flute, Mozart; Trio, Die Fledermaus, Strauss
  • 2008: “Best of all possible worlds,” Candide, Bernstein; “Kiss me/Ladies in their sensitivities,” Sweeney Todd,  Sondheim; “Salve regina,” Dialogue of the Carmelites, Poulenc; “Ballad of Sweeney Todd,” Sweeney Todd, Sondheim; “Ain’t it a pretty night,” Susannah, Floyd; “Song to the moon,” Rusalka, Dvorak; “Not getting married today,” Company, Sondheim; “I feel so much spring,” A New Brain, Finn; “Graduation,” Die Fledermaus, Strauss [Champagne song with graduation lyrics]
  • 2009: “Stars and the moon,” Songs for a New World, JRB; “Count your blessings instead of sheep,” White Christmas, Berlin; “Look for me in the songs,” Carnelia; “Grateful,” Bucchione
  • 2010: “If we only have love medley,” arr. O’Meally; Then you may take me to the fair, Camelot, Lerner & Loewe; “Climbing over rocky mountains,” Pirates of Penzance, G&S; “Ohio,” Wonderful Town, Bernstein; “Quintet,” The Ballad of Baby Doe, Moore; “Romeo & Juliet,” Reefer Madness, Studney; “Steal me, sweet thief,” The Old Maid and the Thief, Menotti; “How I saved Roosevelt,” Assassins, Sondheim; “Children of Eden,” Children of Eden, Schwartz
  • 2011: “Superboy and the Invisible Girl,” Next to Normal, Kitt; “The more you love someone,” Avenue Q, Lopez; “The fire within me,” Little Women, Howland; “Some things are meant to be,” Little Women, Howland; “The song that goes like this,” Spamalot, Idle; “You could drive a person crazy,” Company, Sondheim; “On the streets of Dublin,” A Man of No Importance, Ahrens & Flaherty
  • 2013 (this was a best of and featured music we’d done before): “Elegance,” Hello Dolly, Herman; “Moon in my window,” Do I hear a waltz?, Rodgers; “I wanna be a producer,” The Producers, Brooks; “Never mind the why and wherefore,” HMS Pinafore, G&S; “Our children,” Ragtime, Ahrens & Flaherty; “Opening scene,” Amahl & the Night Visitors, Menotti; “Forget about the boy,” Thoroughly Modern Millie, Tesori; “Twenty lovesick maidens we,” Patience, G&S; “In his eyes,” Jekyll & Hyde, Wildhorn; “Girl in 14G,” Tesori; “Unworthy of your love,” Assassins, Sondheim; “Will you medley,” arr. O’Meally; “Dear one,” Kiss of the Spider Woman, Kander & Ebb; “Make our garden grow,” Candide, Bernstein

The songs that are bolded will be performed again on the upcoming program; there are a couple of others that are repeats as well (Matchmaker, The I Love You Song). There are only 17 songs in this program, and our forces are roughly 1/3 of what I had on some of the showcases (I streamlined them over the years to only feature high school kids to keep the numbers – and length – more manageable). The 2013 showcase had 30 performers on it.

But for the most part, we’re doing a lot of new material, including a song by Irish nu-folk singer/songwriter Emma Langford, who was one of the artists in last year’s World Voice Weekend. The showcase will open with her song, “Birdsong,” sung by an a cappella ensemble – I transcribed the parts from this recording:

This song is a salute to the women of the Mise Fosta movement in Ireland.

(I’ll be talking more about Emma in a few weeks, because I will be hosting her in a house party in August! More details to come!)

The closing medley, and title of the showcase, comes from a variety of sources – “If we only have love,” by Jacques Brel, from Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in Paris, “When you believe,” by Stephen Schwartz from Prince of Egypt, and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” I arranged these songs for the 2010 recital, and re-arranged them for this program. There are reasons why I put these together in the first place, but the reason we’re doing them now is because there is so much turmoil in the world that I think they express a call for hope, belief, and love.

We’ll start from a place of strength with Emma’s song and close in a place of hope. I think it’ll be fantastic.

If you’re in the area, I hope you can make it!

 

The Music Makers

The first time I ever heard the line “We are the music makers – and we are the dreamers of dreams” was in the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Although the movie came out when I was still a child, I never saw the movie until I was an adult (I can count on one hand the number of movies I went to with my parents).

Honestly, it’s a pretty dark movie, and it could be argued that it’s not really appropriate for children. (There’s an argument that Wonka is actually a child serial killer.) I’ll be curious to see the prequel coming out in December 2023 starring Timothêe Chalamet, which may or may not expound upon that idea.

But as an artist, the movie has always spoken to me, both for its visuals and for the message that we need to embrace our identities as music makers and dreamers, and that we can’t ignore the power of imagination.

(I also love Gene Wilder, who was from my hometown of Milwaukee.)

Since one of my strongest motivators is curiosity and the idea of “what would happen if?”, the idea of harnessing pure imagination is mind-blowing to me – and to the composer/lyricist of the movie, since they made it the theme song:

If you want to go down a rabbit hole of composer Anthony Newley performances, hit up YouTube – he never sings a song the same way twice. Some might call him an acquired taste, but I acquired it when I was very little! This clip is from a variety show in the 1970s and features him and Sammy Davis – can you imagine a nearly 15 minute medley happening on a TV show NOW?

But I’m calling this blogpost “The Music Makers,” so I’d like to reference the original poem which was drawn upon for the line in the movie, and which has been part of my identity for a very long time now.

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:

Yet we are the mover and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
—Ode, Arthur O’Shaughnessy

Arthur O’Shaughnessy (1844-1881) was a British poet of Irish descent (and full-time herpetologist for the British Museum, which I just visited a few weeks ago – worlds collide), and his poem, “Ode” has been set by multiple composers over the years. The above is just the first stanza (there are nine). He died just short of his 36th birthday.

In upcoming posts, I’m going to be talking about the subject of identity and how it should influence your approach to, oh, everything, but specifically, pursuing your path as a singer. I just read Atomic Habits by James Clear, and the whole idea of creating habits based on who you are rather than what you want to get done is mind-blowing to me.

For today, I’m going to embrace my identity as a music maker. And a dreamer of dreams. (And hopefully a mover and shaker as well.)

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In my next post, I’ll be talking about our upcoming
June 5 showcase, past showcases,
and my music makers past and present.
If you’d like to know more about that, stay tuned!

College Bound 2022

It’s that time of year when my students make the decision about where to go for college.

(I was going to write about past studio showcases, but this is more important.)

This year I have three students who are pursuing arts career tracks and have gone through a rather grueling audition process. They had a multitude of choices, but made their decisions.

Nick Johnson has been working with me since June 2019.

A very fine tenor and actor, Nick had been on a musical theater track but made a sudden switch late last summer to pursue composition (although he intends to keep performing). He was accepted to prestigious programs at Hofstra, Columbia Chicago, Hartt, University of the Arts, and Berklee. And his decision was:

Nick – change his mind? Unheard of!

Sela McMullen is a terrific soprano who I expect to be singing in opera houses all over the world someday.

Her facility with coloratura is impressive and her range is outstanding. She’s worked with me since 8th grade, when she was preparing her audition for Carver Center. She was accepted at multiple colleges, including Susquehanna, Salisbury, Moravian, and Westminster Choir College at Rider University. Her decision was:

(The WCC t-shirt was in the wash)

Juliet Jones began working with me on May 3, 2016, when she was a fresh-faced 6th grader preparing to audition for Leader of the Pack at Roland Park Country School.

I remember the exact date, because later that day, I posted this to FB:

“I’m often nervous when working with a new student in a “trial” lesson because I’m afraid they’ll be scared off by my weirdness/intensity. This kid walked in and said, “It smells like pesto in here,” and I said, “Oh, we’re having an early Cinco de Mayo dinner and my husband is making chili,” and she said, “OH! Today I made up a Cinco de Mayo song for my advisor – it went ‘CinCO de May-O! CinCO de May-O!”

— I’m not worried.”

(My husband wonders why he was using pesto in a chili recipe.)

A force of nature, Juliet was accepted in the BFA Acting programs at Western Michigan University, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, and DePaul University. After touring the two midwest schools, she ultimately went for:

Her kind of town, Chicago is

Congratulations to all three of these students, who are not only Mezzoid Voice Studio members, but also students at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology. I am honored and consider myself so lucky to have had them as members of the studio these past few years, and I wish them the best of luck in their studies!

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Sunday is the deadline for registering for a four pack of summer lessons and getting a bonus lesson to boot! Register HERE or contact me at christine@mezzoidvoicestudio.com if you have any questions.

I’m BACK

I’m back from my trip to the UK, and honestly, I kind of wish I were still there.

Sometimes I go places, and I think, “I could live here.” My husband will say that I always say that, but it’s not true. I definitely could not live in New Orleans (hurricanes!). I love Key West, and wouldn’t mind having a vacation house there, but it’s too far from the mainland – although the mainland is Florida, and right now, the further I can be from there, the better. (Also, hurricanes.) And although I still love many things about my home city of Milwaukee, and think about having a place in the Third Ward to stay for Irish Fest and to rent out as an AirBnB the rest of the year, I couldn’t live there.

I could live in London. It has everything. There’s theater – for about a third of the cost of Broadway shows (I saw Bonnie & Clyde on the West End and Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe). There’s public transportation that can get you anywhere within the city and beyond. It’s a walkable city (I averaged 15.5K steps/day), and, most importantly, I ate cheese off a conveyor belt (something I never did before, even in Wisconsin).

 

We also spent some time in Oxford, where the binge drinking I witnessed rivaled anything I ever saw in Wisconsin, particularly near UW-Whitewater or Madison (I guess a college town is a college town anywhere you go!), and the Cotswolds. The latter involved my husband driving on the left side of the road, because it wasn’t quite as rail-friendly, and we wanted to do some exploring. (Fortunately, he was able to make the transition back to right side driving when we picked up our car from the airport parking lot.) The airline we chose was based in Iceland, so we had a brief stop there both ways, although there was no time for exploration.

But all good things come to an end, and I’m back now. My friends who are living there right now (and were terrific hosts as well as tour guides) will be moving to the states in July. They’re not sure if they’ll stay here long-term or be assigned overseas (hopefully to another great location where we can visit!).

Honestly, we could’ve stayed another month – except for there’s this little thing I’m doing called a studio showcase on June 5, for which I have to prepare. I created rehearsal tracks and distributed music four weeks ago, so everyone (hopefully) has a good start on it, and we have the next four weeks to polish and get people together to work together and collaborate.

The ensemble programs that I did for ten years in Milwaukee were very special to me, and my Milwaukee students, with very few exceptions, performed above and beyond what anyone would expect of middle and high school students.  I’ll write about some of these past programs on Thursday.

Now that I’m back in town, I also need to remember that there are things about Baltimore that are equal to (or, in some cases, better than) things found in the UK. Unfortunately, I missed this year’s Kinetic Sculpture Race at the AVAM. But I’ll put up their exciting and creative exhibits against the dragon at the British Museum any day – both are fun and inventive. And no, I didn’t try the pie and mash with eels (shudder). Give me a Maryland crab cake any day!

picture of English pie with eels, Maryland crab cakes, dragon at the British museum, sculpture at the American Visionary Arts Museum, logos for Mezzoid Voice Studio in the middle, text "I'm Back!"
Pie & mash with eel vs. Maryland crab cakes – you be the judge

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Summer registration is now open!
For new students who register before May 15, pay for four (4) 50-minute lessons and receive a bonus lesson. All lessons must be taken between June 20 and August 16 (I will be off 6/30-7/10 for the NATS Conference).(I am on vacation through 5/8, but will answer emails as available)
Register at Summer Session 2022 – Early Bird!

 

Ringing vs. Wringing (in Singing and Business)

Here’s a 2018 blogpost about resonance. For more cool stuff about resonance, check out this video I just found:

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I receive daily email updates from marketing guru Seth Godin, which have been inspiring me to make some changes in the way I approach my studio management. This morning’s advice resonated with me in a way that transcended business. It was:

Ringing vs wringing

Ringing is resonant. A small force causes sympathetic vibrations, and magic happens.
Wringing requires significant effort and can even destroy the object it is applied to.
When you ring a bell for your clients, you’ve delivered with care and empathy.
But when you seek to wring every dollar out of a transaction, you’ve probably engaged for the last time.

Of course, we talk about resonance in singing, which is frequently called “ring” (or “ping” or “edge” or “focus,” but I like ring).

Ringing, in singing, is resonant. And when you engage things properly to cause sympathetic vibrations, magic happens.

Wringing, in singing, is manipulation and artificiality. You’re doing something contrived and unnatural and it will, ultimately, affect your technique negatively.

When you sing in a ringing tone for your audience, you are delivering your message with clarity and in a way that is pleasing and moving.

But when you seek to wring every last overtone out of a note, you are singing with too much pressure and force, and you are not engaging your audience.

So when we work on a resonant sound, work on finding balance and freedom to create clarity and magic. I’m working on new vocalise sheets, which I will distribute at the beginning of the fall semester (post-Labor Day), and we can go over any exercises with which you’re not familiar.

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Summer registration is now open!
For new students who register before May 15, pay for four (4) 50-minute lessons and receive a bonus lesson. All lessons must be taken between June 20 and August 16 (I will be off 6/30-7/10 for the NATS Conference).(I am on vacation through 5/8, but will answer emails as available)
Register at Summer Session 2022 – Early Bird!

This Small Room

If I ever do a podcast or a book, this will be its title…..

When I was growing up, I lived in a small 3 bedroom ranch house. We had one bathroom, two good sized bedrooms (although neither was particularly large) and a third bedroom which we called the small room.

Until I went to college, I had one of the bigger bedrooms and my sister (who was 8 years younger) had the small room. I commuted to college the first year and then moved to the dorms for my second and third year, coming home most weekends to work, since school was only five miles down the road.

One day during summer break, I came home from the Wisconsin State Fair with my friends to find that my sister had moved into my room and that all my things had been put into the small room. I wasn’t informed this would be happening, even though I still had three more weeks before school started, and as much as I protested, I was relegated to the small room for the remainder of the time I would be a resident of that house. Even when I moved back home for my senior year of college. With my stuff crammed into a small dresser that wasn’t mine, my clothes crammed into a too-small closet, and my body up against a wall in a too-small bed.

And for much of my life, I felt contained by my surroundings. I felt that I was too much for my space, for those I grew up with, and even for my family.

Once, long after I’d moved out, I had learned a new aria and was eager to sing it for my mother. After I finished it, she said, “I don’t know. Maybe it’s too loud for this small room.

She didn’t like opera. But I don’t think any room would have been big enough for her to enjoy my singing.

So many of us feel or have felt constrained by rooms that have been too small, whether it’s the actual physical space or the room in our heads, whether it’s through our own perception or that of another person. I haven’t felt that way for a long time now, thank goodness. And if you feel that way ….

Blow off the doors. Knock down the walls.

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Summer registration is now open!
For new students who register before May 15, pay for four (4) 50-minute lessons and receive a bonus lesson. All lessons must be taken between June 20 and August 16 (I will be off 6/30-7/10 for the NATS Conference).(I am on vacation through 5/8, but will answer emails as available)
Register at Summer Session 2022 – Early Bird!

Borle & Hicks – Together Again!

Last year, Mezzoid Voice Studio hosted actors Christian Borle and Adrianna Hicks as the master clinicians for World Voice Weekend.

Their master classes were incredible, and they offered terrific insight for their singers. We were fortunate enough to get them, in large part because Broadway was shut down. Now that the Great White Way has reopened, getting artists of this calibre will be more difficult – and probably even more expensive.

I was thrilled the other day when I read that not only are both of them working on new projects, they are working on the same project! Marc Shaiman & Scott Witman (Hairspray, Catch Me if You Can) have written a new music, Some Like It Hot, which will be opening this fall. It will be directed by Casey Nicholaw, who also directed The Book of Mormon.

This is based on the movie of the same name, which starred Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Marilyn Monroe as members of an all-female band (yes, cross-dressing is involved). It’s a fantastic classic. The Tony Curtis role will be played by Mr. Borle, and the Marilyn Monroe role will be played by Miss Hicks. (The Jack Lemmon role will be played by J. Harrison Ghee, who was in Kinky Boots.)

Tickets will go on sale on April 27 to American Express cardholders and on May 2 for everyone else.

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If you would like the opportunity to get into a studio that hosts clinicians of this caliber (and others), summer registration is now open.

For new students who register before May 15, pay for four (4) 50-minute lessons and receive a bonus lesson. All lessons must be taken between June 20 and August 16 (I will be off 6/30-7/10 for the NATS Conference).
(I am on vacation through 5/8, but will answer emails as available)

Register at Summer Session 2022 – Early Bird!

 

The Unwitting Personal Trainer/Emulating vs. Imitating (Again)

While I’m in England, enjoy this post from 2020 (I have an even greater appreciation of Billie Eilish since this post was written):

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About 7 years ago, I was at Zumba at the Wisconsin Athletic Club, and I was not feeling all that motivated. I had a move coming up, I was packing, and I was lonely, since both my dogs and my husband were out in Maryland.

I noticed a young woman in the row ahead of me who was really into it – her energy was on fire, her moves were smooth, and she seemed to be having a great time. Her t-shirt said, “Tosa East Senior Powder Puff Football 2007.” I did the math and realized that would make her 23. I decided that I was going to follow her and match my energy to hers. I joked later that she was my “unwitting personal trainer.”

Earlier this year, I started doing Zumba again at Brick Bodies and was really enjoying myself At the end of class, a woman (about my age) came up to me and said, “you’re really good! I was following you!” and I thought, “Oh my gosh, I’m someone’s unwitting personal trainer!” It felt good.

The reason I bring this up is that I follow a blog called Bulletproof Musician, written by a violinist and performance psychologist named Noa Kageyama. His most recent blog was on the topic of motivating yourself to practice by “copycatting a friend.”

EC089BBC-7BE7-4376-A6AF-60B4FE366309Generally, being a copycat is frowned upon (just ask Billie Eilish) in terms of finding your creative voice. But in this case, Dr. Kageyama is talking about finding someone who inspires you and looking at what they do that makes them successful. Do they get up earlier? Do they set a specific practice time daily and stick to it? What artists do they listen to?

Emulate, not imitate.

What does that mean?

According to Professor Paul Brians of Washington University, “emulate” is a more specialized term, meaning that you are striving to achieve something that someone else did (or surpass, as some definitions say). “Thus[,] if you try to climb the same mountain your big brother did, you’re emulating him; but if you copy his habit of sticking peas up his nose, you’re just imitating him.”

I emulated Miss Powder Puff Football 2007.

I imitate Julie Andrews.

Who is your “unwitting personal trainer?” Are you emulating them or imitating them? Do you know the difference?

(By the way, this song gave me a new appreciation for Billie Eilish.)

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For new students who register before May 15, pay for four (4) 50-minute lessons and receive a bonus lesson. All lessons must be taken between June 20 and August 16 (I will be off 6/30-7/10 for the NATS Conference).
(I am on vacation through 5/8, but will answer emails as available)

Register at Summer Session 2022 – Early Bird!