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.

Another performance well worth watching is Clancy in Theatre and Dance’s recently posted performance of Two By Two: . 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 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.


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!


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 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,


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!


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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We’re open for business!

Hi folks,

Well, after a very long summer break, Plainsong Studios are once again open for business! If you would like to chat with me about singing lessons please call the studio and I’m sure we can fit you in. This year, as I have threatened many times, Thursday afternoons are now available, and there are a few spots available from 3.00 – 6.00pm, plus a couple of spots remaining on Mondays. Check the contact page for details on how to call me.


We welcome several new faces to Plainsong: Avery, Amy, Katalin, Zoe, Laina, Kaitlin and Ashlea. Each have been referred to Plainsong by word of mouth and I thank those students and families who have passed on our details. Hi girls and I look forward to working with each of you!

We have had some amazing success stories this last few months, and a few of my long term students have moved to their new endeavours. Josh got into the VCA actor course, Hannah got into the QCON Griffith Uni MT course, Daisy got into the QCON Jazz certificate course, Felix Star is performing in any one of the professional shows available at present, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and QTC’s production of the Scottish Play, too. A couple of long-term students have now moved on as well, including Riley and Elysha and Kiara. I wish them all the very best in their future pursuits. This means we have a few more spaces available now for new students! Spread the word that we still have good availability.

In other news, one of my children has moved up to live with us, so this means we will be renovating the house to accommodate more people! Argh! We will be altering the front of the house, adding a porch and front stairs, carport, and replacing the louvre windows with solid windows. Clients will enter from the front of the house rather than the side, and the studio will be basically the same space, but slightly smaller than in the old configuration. I promise though, it will be much quieter, and still air-conditioned! I’ll let you know when and if our teaching is likely to be interrupted as the building works occur.

New book

I’m a little bit chuffed to announce that Scott Harrison and I have published a book about singing teaching. That’s right, folks, this little black duck is now an author! Below is the link to the website where you can find out a little bit more about it. Called Teaching Singing in the 21st Century, it’s for singing teachers, choir leaders and folk who may be interested in how singing teaching works. Our book launch will be a little later this year, and I’ll let you know when invitations will be sent out.

I wish everyone the best for a great year!

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Welcome to 2014!

Hi folks,

Well, here I am down in Victoria, enjoying the weather and rather pleased to be out of the humidity of Queensland’s heat. This year Plainsong’s doors will open on February 3, which gives me plenty of time to work on my PhD (I hope!)

I’ve been working well this week and every time I get away this seems to happen. So when I return I should be one step closer to attaining my doctorate!

For those of you who have not yet contacted me regarding your singing lessons, take a look at the timetable. I’ve added Thursday afternoons to my teaching schedule which should make it easier for you to select a convenient time slot. On the other hand, I am not teaching past 7.00pm any more, because my work at the Con is beginning earlier in the day and I get a little tired by 8.30pm!

There are still plenty of time slots available although they are filling up fast.

I look forward to seeing you all in three weeks time: in the meantime, enjoy the summer break!

Cheers, Jessica

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Here it is, folks! The Showcase Concert details for 2013!

2013 Showcase Concert FlyerGet your skates on and book those tickets!!


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