Date changes

Hi folks,

We’re nearly at the end of Term 1 already! Time flies when you’re having fun. Just to have fun for a little longer, please note that end-of-term dates have changed slightly to allow for some Melbourne Wedding Time.

Term 1 will now finish Thursday 6 April.

Term 2 will commence Wednesday 26 April.

Do let me know if you can’t attend lessons in that first week of April and I’ll see what I can do.

Best wishes to all,

Jessica

 

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OMG March already?!

Where has the year gone already?! All my students are now happily settled in their new time slots and I thank everyone for their patience as we organise teaching times around my uni tutoring schedule and the like. As indicated, I AM teaching every alternate week at Uni on Wednesdays, so those students who were able to shift to other days, I thank you! Wednesdays are now being reserved for casual visits and fortnightly students.

Thanks too for your patience as we plan the renovations of our house. I’m enjoying my lounge room to teach in – it’s surprisingly resonant and lovely there. However I AM looking forward to when we can return to the original room for lessons. I’ll keep you posted.

In sadder news, my father was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer, and while his long-term prognosis is very good, I’m going to be travelling back and forth to Melbourne on a regular basis to see my family, so I thank you in advance for your understanding there.

Have a great term everyone, and see you all in your lessons!

Jessica

 

 

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Week One is OVAH!

Hi Folks,

Well, week one is done and dusted. The studio welcomes newbies Ash, Kristie and Courtney, and I look forward to working with you all!

Triona says goodbye to us as she heads for Ballarat and Federation Uni. She was accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Musical Theatre) there, and starts next week. We wish her well!

Clancy is looking mighty fine as he has worked hard to stay fit throughout this hot and steamy summer. He’s looking forward to starting at the Qld Con Bachelor of Musical Theatre in a few weeks.

There are still a few places available as the term begins. Please let other singers know that I am open for business!

See you all as we move into week 2.

Jessica

 

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Welcome to 2017!

Hi Folks,

Welcome to 2017 with Plainsong. I have had a glorious long summer break in cool and elegant Melbourne (and even cooler and more gorgeous Aireys Inlet) and am more than ready to get going again. I hope you are ready for new and exciting things coming your way!

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As indicated in my last message to you all, my daughter Mara is planning to move out shortly (I HAD hoped it would be before January, oh well!), and we will be re-vamping the half-finished studio once she has gone. However, this will take a few weeks. Until then, I will be teaching in my lounge room, which will be a very pleasant and air-conditioned experience. Please be patient while we get the studio back up and running.

I’ve not heard about those possible lecturing opportunities this year, so I’m not sure what will happen yet, but rest assured I will give you plenty of notice should anything occur, and I’ll ensure a smooth transition between teaching days for those who may be affected.

As always, check the timetable page for your preferred time and day, and notify me ASAP. First in best dressed!

With best wishes for a great 2017 (notwithstanding THAT man as US President),

Jessica

 

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NEW WEBSITE ADDRESS!!!

Hi folks,

the new address for Plainsong Studios is: plainsongstudios.com !!

Out with the old, in with the new!!

Jessica

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Final lessons this week!

merry-xmas

Christmas is only 5 weeks away!

This week marks the end of the year for Plainsong singing lessons. It’s a week or two early, as I am doing some Uni tutoring that will impact on lesson times.

What a strange and in some ways terrible year 2016 has been. Some of the world’s great artists have died too soon, including Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Natalie Cole and many others. Others who have died, a little later in life, whose work has touched us all include Glen Frey from the Eagles, Leonard Cohen, and Gene Wilder.

We’ve also seen the years of free-market capitalism, which has led to entrenched poverty and enriched only a few, cause outrage in many first world countries, with Brexit, Trump-as-President and the rise of the conservative right emerging as a result of genuine anger over what people perceive as the unwillingness of governments to listen to their grievances. Of course, fighting and horror continue in the Middle East, with no real end in sight. And the world keeps heating up.

Closer to home, I have personally dealt with some difficult situations that have caused considerable anguish, and I am very much looking forward to 2017 with a renewed sense of purpose and energy. I love that my profession enables me to engage with the world in a joyful, healing way. Art and artistry have counteracted much of the horror of this year.

My students continue to shine brightly, as they always do! We have had some good results this year from various students. Grace is beginning to hit her comic stride with main roles in A Chorus Line and other shows. Fran and Eloise continue their impressive regime of performances in pro-am productions. My now longest-lasting student 15 year-old Charlie was a huge hit as Rizzo in Grease with Somerville and Churchie, and she is in high demand at Somerville for concerts and music events. My second-longest lasting student Clancy was a wonderful Gomez Addams in the Ipswich Grammar production of The Addams Family, opposite new student Bailee as Morticia. Clancy will now be leaving us as he was accepted into the Bachelor of Musical Theatre at the Queensland Conservatorium. I will miss him terribly, but I am SO proud of the hard work he has put in to become the next great Musical Theatre star!

Five of my students have now sat their Musical Theatre Syllabus AMEB exams, and I’m proud to announce Brittany received a High Distinction, while Krystal and Bailee each achieved Credit. We are still waiting on the results of the other exams but I am very proud of the work everyone has put into their studies for this examination. In other news, both Liz and Bailee have accepted a place with ADPI for 2017, and I look forward to them developing many more skills in their quests to become Qld Con ready. Triona has been shortlisted in QUT’s acting degree (no results yet) and has also been accepted into Showfit in Melbourne, which is an acting diploma course.

As to the studio for 2017: I was recently informed that my adult daughter would be moving out of home in the next few months (yay, you go girl!), which will free up space at home in which to house Plainsong Studios. Yes, we are returning to Norman Park! We will be doing some minor renovations to get the room ready, including the purchase and installation of an air-conditioning unit, and some room re-configuration. The room will be quieter than formerly, as we’ve removed the rattly old louvres and put insulation in the walls and ceiling. Parking will be freely available in Katherine Street, and the 210 bus is just 100 metres away on McIlwraith Avenue. Norman Park Station is at the bottom of the hill and even the 214 bus stops nearby on Bennetts Road.

I may be doing some lecturing and tutoring next year at USC at the Gympie and Sippy Downs Campuses, however I’ve not yet received a timetable or indeed contract! For the time being, though, let’s assume that afternoons of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be my studio teaching days.

As with previous years, the first-in-best-dressed applies to lesson days and times, so if you have unavoidable commitments I suggest you get your request in as soon as possible! With the return to Norman Park my access to equipment and music improves, so I look forward to being able to help you with your mic technique and other skills.

May you all have a wonderful Xmas and New Year!

With very best wishes,

Jessica

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Welcome to Term 4!

Hi Folks,

Welcome to Term 4. This term is quite a short one, as I spent a lovely three weeks slumming it in Melbourne during the holiday break. One of the things I love about travelling to Melbourne with my dog is – weirdly – the journey. I love driving along the New England Highway to Tamworth, and exploring the regional areas of NSW on my way to Melbourne. On the way home I discovered a fantastic tourist route along a road called Thunderbolt’s Way, named after a 19th century bushranger called Captain Thunderbolt, who travelled the track between Newcastle and Inverell. I saw some of the most beautiful scenery on that drive, and am looking forward to travelling along it again in future. I am now rested, refreshed and raring to go again for the final push to the end of year.

Students have been preparing hard for auditions and exams and this term should see the fruition of some of those dreams. I’m pleased to announce 2 students have been offered places at ADPI for 2017. Three students made it through 2 rounds of the Griffith University Bachelor of Musical Theatre auditions and one of my newer students achieved a credit for her 4th grade Musical Theatre AMEB exam.

I am pleased to note my students have had a very successful year! Five students have performed as leads in their local school or pro-am musical productions, and all students are noticing the improvement as they tread the boards. There is nothing like performing experience for developing skills even further.

As I plan my teaching strategies for 2017, I’m talking to a local church about hiring some of their space for lessons, so that I am a little closer to home. There is also the potential for holding more group activities in this space. I would prefer to teach from home but plans for the home studio have been put on hold for the moment. Teaching from the Con has always been a short term solution so look out for developments on this front.

I wish everyone a healthy and happy term 4!

Jessica

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Welcome to Term 3

Hi folks,

My how time flies! Term 3 is already here. Several students will be sitting their Musical Theatre exams this term and we are preparing several students for their auditions to the Bachelor of Musical Theatre at the Con, which will take place in September.

I look forward to working with you all to achieve your goals!

 

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Last week of Term 1

Hi folks,

Well, it’s nearly Easter and today is the last day of lessons before a week off over Easter for a short rest and recuperate. This term has gone super fast, but it has also been super short! Next term promises to be a long one, but there is lots of opportunity for targeted work then too. Some of you will be taking the Musical Theatre AMEB exam next term, which should be great fun.

Take a look at the Term 2 timetable and don’t forget that short break in April, where I spirit my husband away for a few days for a little holiday at my folks’ beachhouse in Aireys Inlet. It’s my spiritual home and a great respite from the noise and bustle of everyday life.

In the meantime, have a restful and safe Easter break and I’ll see you on April 5, when lessons recommence.

easter-eggs

Oh! And on the home front, we now have live free range chooks at home, and a chook pen. Eggs aplenty!

eggs

 

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End of term changes

Hi Folks,

Yes, there’s a little change for the end of term 1, or the beginning of term 2. I am teaching the second week of the Queensland school holidays. As many of my students are adults I though it best to teach that week, as I am taking a short break with my husband in mid April.

I’m thrilled to see such interest in the Musical Theatre AMEB syllabus: what a GREAT addition to the AMEB lineup, and finally we can abandon the frustrating and awkward Singing for Leisure syllabus, which had not enough song repertoire to meet the vocal needs of students. The Musical Theatre syllabus is a very interesting and broad-ranging one, with lots of fabulous repertoire, new and old, obscure and well known, to whet the whistle of our young performers.

As for me, I’ve been singing a lot more lately, and it’s fun to get back up on stage and do my “thang”, which is a mix of crossover pop, folk and rock. The more I perform, the easier performing becomes. It’s an odd thing, but it’s backed up by the research! Get thee to a stage and sing out loud like everyone’s listening! Then do it again, and again, and again.

While there are still 2 weeks left of Term 1, Easter is fast approaching, so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you all a very safe and restful Easter, and I’ll see you in early April!

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