the new address for Plainsong Studios is: plainsongstudios.com !!
Out with the old, in with the new!!
the new address for Plainsong Studios is: plainsongstudios.com !!
Out with the old, in with the new!!
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,
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!
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!
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.
Oh! And on the home front, we now have live free range chooks at home, and a chook pen. Eggs aplenty!
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!
Yes, the year begins with a bang in the first week of February. If you’ve checked the Timetable page you’ll notice your name next to a time on either Tuesday or Thursday. Once there is suitable demand I’ll open up again on the Wednesday but for now consider yourself part of a very exclusive group!
Most students have confirmed their lesson time and day and I thank you for your timeliness. Now for those students who are umming and ahhing about their timeslot – you’ve left it a bit late! This semester we are again using the same room at the QLD Con as last year. We are now hiring the space, hence the fee rise, to offset the cost somewhat.
I’d like to add a couple of activities in the first part of the year. These include an acting and performance day for those of you who can’t take the time out to do a complete week of audition preparation. These will take place on a Saturday and I’ll give you lots of notice about the events as they arise.
Also, I’d like to introduce you to the new AMEB syllabus for Musical Theatre. If you are interested in sitting for exams it’s a great way to get “match fit”, but also gives you a goal to strive for throughout the year. For more information on the syllabus, look here.
I hope you all have a great year and success in your endeavours! Good luck everyone.
Happy New Year, folks!
Goodness, the time has gotten away from me this year and already we’re nearly at February. I apologise for the long delay between information about Plainsong Studios: I’ve been working on a few projects and lost track of the time.
(Painting by Kenneth M. Kirsch)
Lessons will recommence in February.
This year my timetable truncates slightly. At present I have 2 days available: Tuesdays and Thursdays. Due to ongoing issues with studio availability and loss of the home studio, I am now renting a studio at the QLD Conservatorium. This sadly means I have been forced to raise my fees to partly offset the cost of renting a space.
Fees for 2016 will rise to $90 per hour for bulk lessons, and $120 an hour for individual one-off lessons. Bulk lessons of 30 minutes will be $45 and individual one-off lessons will be $60.
Bulk lessons are a great way to save money and I offer them in packs of 5 or 10. All fees must be paid in full prior to the commencement of lessons.
Have a look at the Timetable Page for more information on which lesson slot you’d prefer and get back to me if you have any difficulty about the days or times. I am quite flexible this year and look forward to hearing from you!
I’m back from the south of France! (This is actually true. I went to the south of France and northern Spain for a family holiday. Yes, it was wonderful.) Singing lessons recommenced this week and it’s just as well they are in the afternoons as it is morning in Europe. I’m at my most awake, just for a change!
Lesson times are posted in the timetable page. We have had some more students booking singing lessons so I’ve opened up another couple of hours to cover these on Thursdays. Please check your times and days and if you think you might need to change please call me to see what we might arrange.
This week is the last in term 2, as on Thursday my family and I head to Spain and France for a long holiday. We’re very much looking forward to this break and will mostly be out of email or phone contact, so don’t even try to call!
Next term starts a bit awkwardly. I have written that we are beginning on Tuesday 21 July, but I think we will recommence a week earlier as on Tuesday 21 July I have my PhD graduation ceremony at 2pm. I’m not missing the opportunity to wear a funny hat and gown and hold an empty tube (I already have my certificate!) and frogmarch across a stage while my name is flung at me from a distance. Yes, graduation ceremonies at UQ are fun affairs, full of pomp and ceremony. Not. Usually they are very quick and not even my PhD thesis title is read out.
This means that those Tuesday lessons are postponed AGAIN. Please let me know if you would like a lesson on the Monday afternoon instead and I’ll see what I can manage.
So singing lessons recommence on Tuesday July 14, to cut a long story short!
As to all the studio talk, well, the architect has been paid. The builder is doing a detailed costing. I’m not sure but I’m hoping the plans are going in front of council as we speak but information about this is not yet forthcoming.
I DO know that when we finally get started it will all happen very quickly.
So happy holidays folks and see you in July!