Plainsong is finishing early this year – just for a change!

Hi Folks,

As you know, I will be taking a jaunt to New York in mid November with the lovely hubby, and the studio will be closing then. I was intending to reopen throughout December but I’ve had a rethink and instead I will be closing the studio early this year to prepare the plans for the new studio.

This means that to all whose invoices are currently paid up and all lessons have been taken, this is the last week of lessons for you this year. If you would like to continue lessons for a few more weeks I can recommend a few very fine teachers for a change of pace.

For those whose invoices are just beginning or not yet fully taken, I will be teaching out your invoices until our departure date. This means if you have had 7 out of ten lessons, I will teach them out. If you have had 2 or 3 out of 5 lessons, I will teach them out also. Most of you have had all your lessons for the invoice.

This early close coincides with 2 big events: the first is I submitted my thesis this week (it’s big for me!). Second, the studio is due for renovations and the windows will be replaced in the front room, putting that space out of action. So I figured it’s a good time to take time out from teaching, give you all an early break, and prepare the groundwork for next year.

I have really enjoyed teaching all of you and I wish you all the very best in your singing endeavours in future. I look forward to seeing you all next year once the studio is up and running!

Meantime, have a brilliant Halloween, Christmas and New Year, and a lovely summer break and I’ll see you in February 2015. Stay tuned for details about the studio.

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My, is it Halloween already?!!

Well, hasn’t the year flown by? Spooky.

I’m thrilled to announce I will submit the final draft of my PhD dissertation later this week, and I thank everyone very much for their patience and good humour as I’ve taken time out from teaching to complete this important milestone. I hope I will be able to announce my impending doctor-hood some time in the new year.

Because my energies have gone into my writing, I’ve not focussed on singing exams this year. Therefore if you were hoping to sit an AMEB exam this term I’m sorry: the time for lodging submissions has passed. I will be planning for the first round in 2015. Therefore we will do all the preparation for the exam this year but be ready to go early in the first term of next year!

It has been a very busy year at Plainsong. I’ve run a few consultancies, workshops and eisteddfods; student numbers are booming, and I’m getting lots of lovely referrals from satisfied students. Thanks to all who have recommended my services. I try to be as trustworthy and reliable as possible and I am always revising my knowledge about singing teaching, to ensure I am up to date with all the new information.

But the proof of the pudding is in our student results. This year has been a tremendous success for so many of you. I’m very proud of all of your many fantastic achievements and thrilled that I was able to contribute to your success!

New Studio Update

The bank has given us the funds, we’ve spoken to the builders, and we are now off and running to plan and build the new studio, which will hopefully ready by the beginning of Term 1, 2015. At any rate, we are replacing the ugly louvres with lovely casement windows in a month, so that will make a huge difference to the noise in the front room. We are painting the exterior too, so the house and studio will look fresh and pretty.

I thank everyone for their patience as we’ve settled into our house and ‘made do’ with an imperfect studio situation, but 2015 is the year, folks!

The new studio will have a minimum dimension of 4 metres by 5 metres, with a cathedral ceiling and sliding doors opening out to the 1.5 metre verandah. There will be a small bathroom and kitchenette on one end and I am hoping to have a BIG bookcase installed all along the back wall. The appearance of the little cottage will be cute, folks! It will have a gable tin roof with verandah, and the exterior will be clad in wooden siding, much like the main house.

The colours will be the same as the main house: grey and white with dark grey trim. The interior will be white VJ with wood flooring, and there will be a couch for sitting on, plus all my music and office equipment. I’m looking forward to getting some pictures on the walls (we have lots in storage) and buying a glamorous Persian rug for the floor, and putting our rattan chairs on the verandah.

You will get to see the back of our current house, and our rather diabolical yard, but I promise next year we will be ripping up the old weed patch – EVERYTHING in the yard bar the Crepe Myrtle and the palm tree is a weed, wouldn’t you know? We will be planting a brand new garden and laying new turf so that everyone gets to enjoy our new sub tropical paradise!

In the meantime, have a fabulous and scary Halloween!

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No lessons Monday October 6

Hi all,

Next Monday is a public holiday and I am taking the opportunity to have a short break then, as I was teaching all through the school holidays!

Take care and I will see you on the Tuesday instead.

Good luck to everyone who is applying for auditions!

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Plainsong Workshops Saturday September 6!

Hi Everyone,

I’ve finally made good on my threat to host 2 workshops this term! The first workshop is on September 6 at 9.00am at the Musical Theatre Department of Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, at 8 Burke St Woolloongabba. For students aged 16 and over, it’s specifically designed for students aiming for a place in a tertiary Musical Theatre course. For more information check out the Workshops page.

The same afternoon from 1.00pm I will be hosting another Performance preparation workshop for children aged under 16, same place and day. This workshop is designed to get children performing to the best of their ability in Musical Theatre and other genres. Information can found on the Workshops page.

Plainsong students are performing particularly well this year. Recently at the Enoggera Eisteddfod Connor, Zoe and Will received most of the first place prizes, or were placed second or third in each section entered. With up to nine competitors in each section this is a great result! Also at the Brisbane Eisteddfod Connor also performed well, and Ellie also competed fantastically well, taking out first prizes in all her sections. A brilliant result from all of them! Clancy continues to sing brilliantly and won the Boy’s Championship at the Ipswich Eisteddfod a couple of months ago. Also Charlie won her school competition with the following awesome performance of At Last, despite a rather horrid case of tonsillitis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbgyEBzNO_0&feature=youtu.be

Another performance well worth watching is Clancy in Theatre and Dance’s recently posted performance of Two By Two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pjvs6Z3kN6w . He’s playing Elder Cunningham. And finally, Felix is performing in The Sound of Music in New Zealand this September. Well done to all students for a really great year of performing success!

In other news, Matilda the Musical is coming to Australia! Auditions are being held in the January Holidays. Watch out for more information about that.

 

 

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How about that Audition Workshop?!

Hi folks,

I just finished an immensely rewarding but exhausting week being course leader of the Queensland Conservatorium Winter Audition Workshops. Wow, what a week!

65 eager young things all wanting to know more about Musical Theatre auditions trooped in on Monday morning to be educated in all things Musical Theatre. We sang, we acted and we danced. 65 eager young things left at the end of the week knowing that they either wanted to do this gig for a living or that they were a bit lacking in a few core skills and needed to develop further.

Some of the Plainsong cohort went along and I’m told they found it immensely rewarding. It’s a great experience for people who might be terrified about auditions, to see that we’re not as scary as you might think!

It was a wonderful week, but truly exhausting. And, of course, I was unable to study for the whole week as I knew I would be too tired. So tomorrow I head off to Noosa for a five-day writing retreat to continue the last bits of my PhD. I am contactable by phone, though.

Keep your eyes peeled for a couple of workshops I’ll be running for performance development in Terms 3 and 4. These are designed to give students the best possible start to their performance career and develop those elusive performance skills in acting and singing that often elude us when we get up on stage. One workshop will be geared to students up to age 13. The other workshop will be for students looking to hone auditioning skills, age 14 to adult. Dates and times are to follow.

PLUS A reminder that the studio will be closed on August 11, 12 and 13 as I will be in Maryborough adjudicating at their annual Eisteddfod.

I’m missing all my wonderful students very much and looking forward to getting back into my teaching! Have a great few weeks everyone and see you in July.

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And now, for the LONG BREAK!

Hi folks,

Term 2 is already over – doesn’t it seem short when it’s only 6 weeks long! For most students you will be sent the invoice for any lesson payments remaining outstanding.

I am now taking a long hiatus to finish off my PhD and submit it. I plan to do this by the end of July, so I thank you in advance for your patience as I do the required edits to complete the work that has taken over my life over the last 5 years.

In other news I have recently published a book: Teaching Singing in the 21st Century FlyerWhile you won’t want to personally pay the sort of enormous fees Springer are charging for this, please let your schools know and encourage them to purchase a copy for their singing teachers. There’s lots of great information for all kinds of singing, from classical to country music and everything in between, plus information on how to teach Musical Theatre, popular music and how to put on a show.

In the meantime, I am running the Audition workshop at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University again this year. I encourage all young people who are in years 10, 11 and 12 who wish to pursue a life in the theatre to take part in the workshop, and to learn how to audition for our programs. We are nearly full up already, but do check out our information on the Griffith University website for more information. Plus, in January 2015, we are putting on our very first Musical Theatre Summer School! All is revealed on the website but do email musical.theatre@griffith.edu.au with any queries.

Another exciting Masterclass I invite you all to attend is the John Bucchino masterclass being held at the Con on Monday 23rd June:

Picture 3

 

A reminder that lessons recommence on Monday JULY 28. Happy holidays, all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to Term 2!

Hi folks,

Welcome back to the studio! I hope your holidays have been relaxing and that you are ready to go, fresh into Term 2.

NEWS

As my PhD submission date draws ever closer, I am taking a few weeks off Terms 2 and 3 so that I can get my thesis prepared for its imminent send off. I do apologise to this interruption to the teaching program in 2014, but it’s imperative I finish my PhD this year, and the powers that be (the university) are starting to get nervous about when I’ll submit!

Therefore, please take note of the TERM 2 and TERM 3 start and end dates:

Term 2 commences Monday 28 April and finishes Thursday 5 June. (6 week term)

Term 3 commences Monday 28 July – Thursday 19 September. (8 week term)

I will be submitting my thesis in late July and after that my timetable will look a lot more normal!

EISTEDDFODS

There are a few eisteddfods to prepare for in the middle of term 2 and 3: please be aware that if you intend to enter we will need all available resources set up before I finish the term so that I am confident you will perform to the best of your ability.

These eisteddfods include: Wynnum Manly, Enoggera, Brisbane Eisteddfod, Ipswich Eisteddfod, One Sunday in May (MTAQ), Queensland Eisteddfod.

EXAMS

Exams will take place as normal in late November and our annual concert will also take place earlier in the year. Be aware all of term 4 will be spent in preparation for these 2 main events.

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Change is good, m’kay?!

Hi Folks,

Well, now that the studio has been reshaped, I must say how pleased I am with the result. It’s been weirdly better than I expected! I hope you are enjoying the new studio shape too. I still dream of the day when we don’t have rattly old louvre windows interrupting our lessons, but already the space seems somehow more efficient and better organised.

This weekend we’ll put curtains on the windows behind my head so there’s no sun-glare from the reflected light on the fence outside.

Holidays are just around the corner already! Whew that term went fast. I hope you’ve enjoyed your lessons thus far. I’m very pleased with all the wonderful work of my singers. We close the studio from April 4 and lessons recommence on Tuesday 22 April.

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Finishing my PhD! plus, changes to the studio

Hi folks,

FINISHING MY PHD

It’s that time of year when I make a decision about how I will find the time to finish my PhD studies. I am due to submit later this year and I am keen to smash the very last little bit!

Once my PhD has been submitted I will be mightily relieved but as you can imagine there are a few crazy weeks ahead prior to submission.

This means I intend to take an early break at the end of Term 2 and will not recommence teaching until the end of July, in line with my uni teaching timetable.

I will keep you well informed of when I will take this break, so if you have the Brisbane Eisteddfod or other competition to enter, please let me know ASAP so we can learn our material nice and early. I promise this break will not impact on audition work due later on in the year!

STUDIO SPACE

In other news, we have had to make changes to the studio (due to changed family circumstances). It means the studio is a tad smaller than before. We are in talks with our financiers to see if we can build a purpose-designed space at the bottom of the garden, which will potentially take place over summer, but until this happens, I do apologise for the smaller space at the front of the house. You will need to enter the studio from the lounge room. To make best use of the room I have removed the microphone and amp but all other tools are still in use.

I’m not sure about you, but I am crossing my fingers at the thought of putting in a properly designed and fitted teaching space away from the noise! Keep tuned for more details as they come to hand.

 

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Exciting students in 2014

I’m so excited by my new crop of students! They are working hard already, showing their passion and commitment to this art form, and many are already making great improvements in their sound. We welcome new students Angie, Yasmin, Ashlea, Laina, India, Katalin, Amy, Kaitlin and Emily, and we say hello again to past students returning Bethany and Becky.

Of course, I’m super happy to be working once again with my current students, who are showing the results of their talent and hard work every week. All my students know and appreciate the hard work I expect them to put in to their singing activities and it’s great to see them improve.

Our timetable is now fast filling up and there are fewer times available than before – in fact, only Thursdays has available time slots (and one teensy weensy time on Tuesdays).

At the QLD Con Musical Theatre department we are putting finishing touches on our first concert for the year: the 3rd Year Singing Concert, on Thursday 10, Friday 11 and Sat 12 April at 7.30pm at our Burke St studios in Woolloongabba. Cheap as chips, tickets are $15 for adults and a measly $8 for all concessions. I have 6 students singing in this concert and am VERY proud of the work they have already done this year, but all our 3rd years are AWESOME. Get down to Burke St and see what the fuss is all about.

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