Welcome everyone to 2011. This year promises to be more serene for the studios than in 2010, when I travelled overseas quite frequently and often had to postpone lessons.
Our timetable in 2011 is slightly different this year: I will be teaching on Mondays from 6 – 9pm, Tuesdays from 6 – 9pm, and Wednesdays all day from 9am – 8.30pm. Those who are first in with their time and day preferences are best dressed, as always!
I look forward to some excellent work from my students. There is a new AMEB classical singing syllabus newly published, which should provide an exciting transition from the old to the new syllabus. The songs in the early grades, which now include Preliminary and Grade 1, are age/experience appropriate and there are some beautiful folk songs included. The scales and exercises have been completely dumped in favour of vocalises. I have my doubts about this change, and I will still teach you all scales that inform you about major, minor and modal scales. I believe this is important for musicianship development. However, it is really good to see the exercises gone, as they were not really doing anything for anyone’s musical development.
Many Queensland eisteddfods are eager for competitors so I urge all of you to consider performing more regularly this year. And while I am still not yet teaching the Trinity syllabus, I keep threatening to do so, so do look out for news on that front.
Fees have increased slightly, the first fee rise since 2007. Please check the terms and conditions page for more information about fees and charges. Importantly, I must stress that students who cancel lessons with less than 24 hours notice will deem to have taken the lesson, so I beg those of you with prior commitments to keep me informed well in advance of your cancellation. Naturally, sickness doesn’t always give plenty of notice, so the best warning will be your own body: if you have a very scratchy throat two days before your lesson, it will probably get worse. Postpone your lesson then and there: don’t hope that it will go away. Singers should never sing on a sore throat. For head colds without scratchy throat, you can still come to your lesson. For other illnesses, breakages, and chronic conditions, use your discretion about your health and inform me about possible changes. Fatigue, I must say, is not really an option – singing is a marvellously healing and energising activity and you will feel better afterward.
All in all, I hope you have had a wonderful and restful holiday and are ready for an exciting and invigorating year.