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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Showcase Concert and other news

Hi Folks!

Our end-of-year Showcase concert is fast approaching and it’s great to see so many students taking part. This year I’m thrilled that some of my Musical Theatre students from the Queensland Conservatorium are getting involved, as it will be a perfect opportunity for my other students to observe their skills and strive for the best! The marvelous Kylie Los will be our accompanist for the day.

The concert begins at 3.00pm on Sunday December 1 at the QCM Musical Theatre, 8 Burke St Studios. Tickets are $10 at the door, children under 12 free.

In other news, we have had a gang-buster year for our performers. In September, young Felix was successful in gaining a place in the latest musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as both ensemble and understudy. This follows from his great work the previous year with the Australian Opera.

The many children who competed in Eisteddfodau this year were successful in gaining places in every Eisteddfod, including first, second, third and highly commended. Clancy was even asked if he had an agent!

The students sitting AMEB singing exams this year had a great run, too! Clancy (Grade 5) and Riley (Grade 8) got B+, Rachel (Certificate of Performance), Samara (Grade 6), and Renee (Grade 3) each were awarded A, and Will and Connor each got A+ (Grade 2). A fantastic result for all.

Adil is going great with his pop career, as is Kiara, who released her EP just last week! And finally, two students were successful in their auditions into the Queensland Conservatorium: Daisy, who made it into the Certificate course in Jazz voice, and Hannah, who gained a place in the Musical Theatre degree course. Both of these places were highly competitive and it’s great to see the hard work of these students pay off.

In other news: as of 2014, I will no longer be teaching until 8.30pm, so in order to maintain my current hours I am opening up Thursday afternoons. Wednesday day is still predicted to be my day of teaching for adult and tertiary students. Please check the timetable page for more information about times.

I look forward to seeing you all at the Plainsong Showcase Concert on December 1! Thanks for another great year, everyone!



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Holidays are here again!

Hi all,

A reminder that school holidays commenced this week and there are no lessons between September 23 and October 6. Lessons recommence Monday October 7 at their usual times and our studio final lessons will be the last week in November.

For the students sitting their AMEB exams on 21st October this means you need to prepare for this event by practising all your songs, memorising your exercises and learning your general knowledge. Your accompanist is Brendan Murtagh and a rehearsal session will be organised with him in due course.

The end of year Showcase Concert venue is yet to be finalised but please put a date claimer on Sunday December 1 between 3 – 5pm – with rehearsals to take place in the morning of this day. This is an opportunity to show off your great work throughout the year and perform at your best!

Good luck everyone for their auditions and I wish you all the best in your singing exams.

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Spring has sprung! AUDITION PREPARATION WORKSHOP and other news.

Hi Plainsong friends, here’s what’s been happening in singing this month.

Adil has been making radio and TV appearances with his new single “Official” – here is the single and some news about what he has been up to this last month or two:

Kiara is making preparations for her onslaught on one of the big TV talent shows – we look forward to seeing what she achieves soon!

Connor is recording his beautiful voice with his choir in a month, which is something I suggested a little while back. Many thanks to the Cathedral of St John and Graeme Morton for seeing the value in this and making it happen.

All my young boys have performed well at the Enoggera Eisteddfod last week – Felix received a 1st place for Musical Theatre, Connor 1st place for Sacred and Will did great also, winning at least one of his sections. These fellas are my trio of unchanged voices and they are all uniquely talented and working hard at their craft. Will and Felix are also auditioning for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang this weekend, and I’m told Felix may be appearing with Opera Queensland later this year.

Hannah (apparently! because she tells me nothing) was fabulous in a play based on the movie “Girl, Interrupted”, and the lovely Chenaya is again a finalist in a Redlands-based competition.

Lots of our students have entered the Brisbane Eisteddfod this year – it catches me by surprise every year – and they’ve changed the entry requirements this year to include styles that use microphone and those that don’t. It’s a bit weird because I can’t work out if mics are used in the actual comp or whether it’s just referring to the style, but I’m loving the acknowledgement that we’ve moved well and truly into the 21st century and that pop, jazz, gospel, blues, rock, Musical Theatre, and other modern styles are a legitimate musical expression deserving of recognition. I look forward to seeing how Felix, Chenaya, Riley, and Ellie perform in their sections.


On Saturday September 14 from 10.00am – 12.00pm we have an Audition Workshop for all those preparing for auditions to the QLD Con, NIDA, WAAPA, VCA, Sydney Con and other places. It’s a big group this year and we’ll take the opportunity to practice our songs in front of a small, supportive audience, with accompanist Brendan Murtagh and judge Bel Reid. Bel is a 3rd year mature-age graduand in the Bachelor of Musical Theatre at the Con and will offer some excellent advice for our young performers. The workshop will be held at 4MBS studios. Observers are welcome, but please be mindful that this is not a performance, but a workshop. Silence is requested at all times and no clapping or distraction for the performers.


A number of Plainsong students are sitting their singing exams on Monday 21 October this year. We have every grade from Grade 3 Singing for Leisure to Certificate of Performance up for assessment and I look forward to seeing what our performers can achieve! Our accompanist will be organised shortly – more news to come.


Finally, some big news: my husband, Professor Scott Harrison, on Monday 2 September became the new Director of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. I’m thrilled and proud for him and looking forward to what he can achieve at the Con over the course of his tenure. This means, of course, he will be too busy to spend much time with our Plainsong students, but I’m sure he will still attend our concerts from time to time!






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TERM 3 is up and running!

Hi folks,

Term 3 is up and running. We are already two weeks in and it feels like I’ve been back for months!

In upcoming events: if you are interested in Musical Theatre, this is the season to be doing it! Miss Saigon is on at the Conservatorium Theatre in August – get your skates on to order tix at as it is looking hot hot hot!

The Enoggera Eisteddfod is about to take place and there are lots of Plainsong students attending this little event – a low-key way to introduce students to a competition without too much drama. Have fun, kids! Remember, if you are performing in this Eisteddfod you need to contact Heidi Loveland the piano accompanist to organise a rehearsal.

Students sitting AMEB exams are also gearing up for a big term. Will, Felix, Rachel, Renee, Samara, Clancy, Jazzie, Connor and Riley are all sitting exams in the October session and now is the time to start preparing for them. Those who are sitting exams will have the fee added to their accounts.

Auditions for the MT programs around the country are not due for a little while but you should be preparing for them now if you want a chance to get in. The first to kick off are the QLD Conservatorium auditions, which are being held on the 30 September – 4 October.

Have a great term everyone, and a reminder that term ends on the 18 September.


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