Success stories!

It has been a momentous week for Plainsong students. Last week, Hannah competed in the Musical Theatre section of the SEQACC 2012, and was one of three finalists, along with one of my first year Con students and another first year Con student. She came first, winning $5000. My Con student, Madison, came second, winning $500.

Then, last Saturday, Riley competed in the Brisbane Eisteddfod in the Musical Theatre section and won first place, awarded $1000. She and her friend also won the Musical Theatre duets section. 9 year old Felix came second in his sections.

I am so excited about these wonderful singers and their success! Hannah has been working with me for nearly four years, and has worked so hard to get her voice to this point. Riley has been with me for nearly 18 months and the hard work and frustration of developing her voice is paying off, finally.

All this success was entirely unexpected. When I heard Hannah was going to compete, I was excited for her, but I did not expect her to make the finals. 25 or more wonderfully talented competitors were in the running, including three of my amazing adult students. As for Riley, we’ve been working on her legit voice, and have only really begun to redevelop her belt sound over the last few months. So when she told me at the end of her singing lesson that she was performing Sara Lee and The Girl in 14G, I was understandably nervous. We hadn’t looked at those songs for a year!

Well. I am blown away. The success of these singers is a great boost to my own self-esteem as a teacher! From time to time even I have doubts about the efficacy of my teaching and I am always thinking about how I can improve. So to have my approach vindicated by these great results shows me I must be on the right path.

In sadder news, Adil has left the X-Factor competition. While his singing was lovely, his unruly behaviour ultimately decided his fate. I look forward to working with him on future endeavours, and hope that he realises his talent and looks will only get him halfway. Once he learns the value of hard work and a responsible attitude, he will be a star for sure!

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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