Term 2, 2012

Well, Term Two has started up and all students are raring to go. Some students are looking forward to the Queensland and Brisbane Vocal competitions, while others are planning their exams and auditions for the year.

MISSING LESSONS. A reminder to all students and parents that while I am happy to postpone one lesson per term due to illness or other events (with 30 hours minimum advance notice), I will charge for remaining lessons in the term that are missed for the same reasons, as I cannot hold the place open for free. That means that those students who regularly miss lessons due to unexpected school events, sudden sickness or “because they can’t get here by the time” will need to rethink the day they have chosen to have lessons and perhaps request another teaching day, when and if a place becomes available. I want to assist all students to achieve something wonderful in their singing, but interruptions to the lessons and a carelessness about the value of my time is not the best way to achieve great results! Remember too that we can work through most minor illnesses, except flu or a laryngeal cold, so if you get sick the night before, think about how you can shape the lesson differently. We can do postural work, breathing work, character work and planning work, all without singing.

We now have a waiting list for lessons, so please be considerate and let me know well in advance when you will be absent so that I can make plans for other students.

THE VOICE. What did you think of The Voice, the new show on a local tv station? Interesting that the older voices weren’t chosen by the judges, and that the younger voices were uniformly not very sound in quality or production. As I remarked to a friend recently, I think the singers are chosen on the basis that they can 1/be improved; 2/aren’t better than the judges, and 3/are a potential saleable commodity. Not hard to see which voices weren’t being chosen on that basis. Some great singers were not chosen on the basis that, frankly, they were too old and just too good. Other singers were chosen on the basis that their sound had a marketable pop quality. You can hear it. And the singers that were chosen who were old and not so great, well – I don’t have an answer there. Some lovely people who really didn’t show much in the way of impressive talent managed to impress the judges somehow. Good luck to them. But as my friend also commented, there are a number of quite good singers who are doing appalling things to their voices through vocal abuse when singing, which is of concern. Loud does not equal better.


About Jessica

Dr Jessica O'Bryan PhD is an educator, researcher, singer and author. Her next book on Musical Theatre Education and Training will be published in 2020 through Routledge. Her last book was Teaching Singing in the 21st Century (2014, Springer). She lives in Brisbane in a semi-renovated 20s Queenslander home with her husband, Dougal the Groodle, and all the single ladies (Poppy the Groodle, Lucy the Cat, and the chooks).
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