Holidays are here again!

Hi Folks,

Next week is the last for Term 2 lessons, finishing on Thursday June 28. If you are planning on being away before then, please let me know, as otherwise I will mark you as absent without notice!

It has been, in many ways, an exciting term. All my students are showing good consolidation of their vocal technique, and some are really soaring! I am thrilled by everyone’s commitment and work ethic, and it’s great to work with you all.

I have had the opportunity to see some amazing theatre this year, starting with our trip to Broadway. While there we saw Carousel, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hamilton, Hello Dolly, and Waitress. I really loved most of these shows, but I was most impressed by old favourite Hello Dolly and not-so-new Waitress. The standard of performers was uniformly high – in fact, amazing, and I am still singing the tunes months later (also because I immediately downloaded them all onto my Apple Music app).

Since then I have been to about a dozen shows in South East Queensland. While you all know about the QLD Conservatorium Musical Theatre program, which recently performed Godspell and Carousel, did you also know the Con has an amazing opera program too? And the orchestra is SO good that a few weeks ago they performed Stravinsky’s Petrushka suite, impeccably.And the opera program will be performing a world premier performance of a new Australian work by Paul Dean, called Dry River Run. Wow.

I’ve seen other great shows as well. Beautiful; Oklahoma; Mamma Mia; Aladdin; A one-night-only performance of “Don’t Call me Ishmael”, a home grown musical theatre work still in development (but it was amazing); Bare the Musical with newly-minted Understudy Productions (beautifully performed and directed); Coupling, starring Trevor Jones and Camerata; plus some off-centre shows such as Tafelmusik at QPAC, Madeleine Peyroux, and the Firebird/Carmen with the Queensland Ballet. I feel incredibly fortunate to see all of these shows, and to gauge the talent in Queensland and beyond. This week I get to see Opera Queensland’s Merry Widow, and next week is the wonderful Patti LuPone in concert.

More importantly, though, is the effect this has on my teaching. I hope that I bring to you all kinds of new knowledge from the shows I’ve seen and the things I’ve learned, and incorporated it into my work with you all. Of course, there are the new music books I’ve bought (15 at last count), new books on Musical Theatre training, and all the new technologies I bring into the studio. I want you to be world class performers, with a world class sensibility and work ethic.

I hope to bring you some new performing opportunities towards the end of the year, and to develop my Brisbane’s Broadway Babies series, which will be for performers aged 12-18. In the meantime, though, I hope you’re going to the Musical Theatre audition workshops, and getting every performing opportunity you can to develop your artistry and skill in this challenging, rewarding art form. Some of my students are doing their Musical Theatre AMEB exams, and some more of you are about to embark on Eisteddfod season. I wish you all the very best for the holidays and beyond!

Jessica

Posted in News

We’re back!

Hi folks!

We’re back from our time in NYC and Europe and are really happy to be getting back into the swing of the year. This is the last big break for me for the year, so with any luck the remainder of the year will be uninterrupted in terms of lessons. I am planning on attending the ANATS (singing teaching peak body) conference in October, but apart from that my other work keeps me at home until early 2019.

There have been a couple of timetable changes. Please check your day and times for those changes, and let me know if there are any issues for you.

I’ll post some pics of the trip as my phone uploads them to my cloud storage. In the meantime, I HAVE NEW MUSIC BOOKS! We’ll be going wild.

Cheers,

Jessica

 

Posted in News

Up, up and away!

Qantas plane

I’m about to head OS and I’m travelling on this brand, if not the actual plane. Actually, I think my plane is a tired old 747. Sadly, the 747s are the old workhorses of the plane brigade, so I’ve checked out Seat Guru for more information, and it all looks rather cramped. I hope I get an empty seat next to me where I can at least stretch out a little bit! Otherwise I get to sit very closely next to my new best friend, whom I’ve never met. Love it.

The interviews are shaping up nicely, but the questions are still unwieldy! And it’s looking like a very busy three weeks. We have a lovely little Easter break planned in the Black Forest as we head home, but otherwise it’s go, go, go! There are 11 shows I want to see in New York, plus at least 8 interviews, and a birthday celebration, and then in The Hague I’m examining Masters student performances. It should be very interesting!

Don’t forget that there are a few spaces still available for next term on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but times are still very cramped. If you have trouble attending your lesson on your preferred day, you may not get an opportunity to attend on another!

Once July comes around I’ll be a bit more available again, and who knows, maybe I’ll open another afternoon if there’s interest.

In the meantime, its New York, New York! Ciao for now.

Posted in EVENTS, News

A month goes racing by…

Hi Folks,

It’s a short five weeks since Plainsong opened its doors in 2018, in our brand-new refurbished studio. Well, ok, maybe there are still a few holes to patch. But otherwise, it’s brand spanking new!

Students have noticed how nice it is to sing in a large, cool studio, with its air-conditioning and desk fan keeping the heat down. Of course, I’ve discovered I can’t open the windows because the wetness of the year and fresh paint equals windows stuck fast.

Oops.

We’ve also nearly finished the vestibule. I’ve found a couple of pretty little gouache paintings by Tania Blum, and they’re now hanging in the foyer above the chair. They are in just the right shades of blue, teal, peacock and orange that will make the room pop.

In other news I started my other (research) jobs in February, which makes my time just that little bit less available. I’m still good to go from 3.30pm but there’s very little wiggle-room at the moment. Check the website for up-to-date times and slots, but please be aware that once a time is booked up, it’s gone!

Speaking of research, did you know that Scott and I are writing a book on Musical Theatre training? Well, we got the contract and we’re heading to New York in March, to the hub musical theatre life in Broadway, where we’ll be interviewing some of the greats of the genre. I can’t tell you who they are right now, but it’s a super exciting time for us both! We can’t wait to get started, but there’s a heap of reading and research to be done before we go.

That’s my job for the next few weeks. So, off I go, getting stuck into my reading.

Cheerio!

Jessica

Posted in Uncategorized

We’re open for business!

Hi folks,

Yes, I’m back and raring to go. Please write to me at jessica.obryan@gmail.com to book lessons and to check your lesson time and day. Also continue to check the Timetable page for live updates to lesson time slots and other information.

Just a reminder that this term is a short one because I’m heading overseas in March, but that your 10-lesson invoice just rolls over to the next time you have a lesson. You don’t pay if I’m not around!

I hope this year is a great one for you.

Cheers

Jessica

 

 

Posted in News

Welcome to 2018!

It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good! I hope you’re feeling good too.

Welcome everyone to 2018. We’re starting off the year feeling all the feels. I’ve had a brilliant break and I’m raring to go as of Wednesday 16 January next week, when the studio reopens its doors.

Excitingly, the door is now at the front of the newly-painted house, not at the side as it used to be, and it’s a simple knocker arrangement. When entering for the first time, please knock, push the yellow door open (if you’re not the first student for the afternoon), and take a seat in the vestibule. I’ll greet you shortly. You may also be greeted by Poppy the moody growler (she’ll bark horribly, so don’t touch her – let her come to you), or better yet, Dougal the darling groodle puppy, who loves everyone. If you have allergies, I hope you’ll cope with these two non-shedding dogs. If you are fearful of dogs, just let me know and I’ll ensure they don’t disturb you. We also have a very old cat, Lucy, and 3 crazy chickens, who may or may not be visible.

Make sure you always close the gate and the front door behind you.

We have a little problem with the toilets: we are about to renovate the back of our house and will not have any toilet available while renovating. Please don’t ask to use the loo!

In other news, Scott and I have been contracted to write a new book on musical theatre training – it should be a great experience, and will no doubt teach me lots of new stuff to pass on to you. Don’t wait for the publication date, though: it’s miles off.

Let me know, too, what YOU want from Plainsong Studios. Would you like performance opportunities, or audition technique classes? Would you like the occasional VERY GOOD pianist to accompany you during your lesson for a small fee? Would you like to perform in a mid-year concert, or are you just happy with one-to-one singing lessons? Would you like some more sight singing sessions, or some acting/singing workshops? Let me know. I know just the people to join me for your benefit.

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

 

 

Posted in News

Europe was amazing! PLUS: the studio is now open to students aged 13+!!

Hi folks,

I’m back from Europe, which was a combination conference trip and whirlwind get-to-know-you city visit to Oslo, Prague, Vienna and Zagreb. There were a number of highlights from the trip: Oslo is quietly beautiful, Prague is full of old wonders, Vienna is – well – amazing, and Zagreb in Croatia is a lovely old town, easy to navigate in a couple of days. It was so much fun to get to know these cities, and guess what? All of them had trams. Trams are the bomb.

Of all the places we visited, I think Vienna spoke the most to me, with my background in classical music. I’ve hardly scratched the surface of that city, and can’t wait to get back. I could EASILY live there for a few months on a study trip, and see all the sights, and hear all the music. But Oslo. I could live in Oslo. What a beautiful city, great humans, and a real sense of hygge. Even though it’s cold. There. I said it. I love the cold.

Onto the studio. Well, it’s all finished bar the plantation shutters, some picture hanging and desk organising. The air-conditioning is in, and we’re all set! Here’s a taster:

2017-11-13 16.25.05

In other news: I’m opening the studio to students aged 13+!!

I’ve opened my studio to include students aged 13 and over, because I want to ensure that keen wanna-be musical theatre performers have the right vocal education from an early age. It’s no good me being a finishing-off teacher if the vocal technique of the student needs fixing after they get to me! We have several places opening up since I added Monday lessons to the mix, so please let any young potential musical theatre performers know that I am available for lessons, particularly from 2018, when the studio will open from mid-January.

Best wishes to all for a very productive end-of-year, and I look forward to seeing you all in 2018, in my brand new studio.

Jessica

 

Posted in News

Did I hear “next week for the studio”?

Why yes, yes I did. You heard it here first, folks. The studio is going to be refurbished and set up and will be ready to go by October this year (pretty sure it’s only 3 years since I wrote this for the first time). WOWOWOWOWEEEE!!!

There may some some bangs and crashes while the room is being gutted and re-lined, but it should not interfere too badly with our lessons in the lounge room. The main issue will be me getting my butt into gear and painting the re-lined section so we’re ready to go by the time I come back in November. Gah.

I hope you’re all going well for auditions and the like! Best wishes and chookas to all my students this week.

Jessica

Posted in News

Term 4 news

Hi folks,

Well, nothing much has happened yet on the studio front, but we are getting there with builders’ quotes and the like. Term 4 begins next Monday October 2, and I’ll be taking a short break between October 30 and November 12. I’m heading to an overseas conference in OSLO, so don’t call me: I won’t answer the phone; but I can be contacted via Facebook if necessary.

Students are auditioning this week for various schools at QUT, Qld Con and the like. I wish them all well, and chookas! See you all next week.

Jessica

Posted in News

September already?

Hi folks,

Welcome to Spring! Just a quick note to let you know that students have settled well into the Monday time slot, and that Thursday 14 September is the last time I’ll be lecturing on the Gold Coast, so that time opens up weekly from the 21st.

As of now, I’m welcoming students to Mondays from 3pm, Tuesdays from 3pm, Wednesdays from 12pm and Thursdays from 3pm.

Please let me know if you’re interested in changing times, or if you want an earlier slot in the day, because I’m sure we can work something out!

Have a great Spring, and remember, holidays begin in 2 weeks. I’m hoping we can start the renovations to the teaching studio by then so that when I reopen in October the room will be complete. (Yes, you heard me. Finally.)

Cheers!

Jessica

 

Posted in News