Welcome to Term 3!

Hi folks,

I’m back from the south of France! (This is actually true. I went to the south of France and northern Spain for a family holiday. Yes, it was wonderful.) Singing lessons recommenced this week and it’s just as well they are in the afternoons as it is morning in Europe. I’m at my most awake, just for a change!

Lesson times are posted in the timetable page. We have had some more students booking singing lessons so I’ve opened up another couple of hours to cover these on Thursdays. Please check your times and days and if you think you might need to change please call me to see what we might arrange.

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The end of Term 2

Hi Folks,

This week is the last in term 2, as on Thursday my family and I head to Spain and France for a long holiday. We’re very much looking forward to this break and will mostly be out of email or phone contact, so don’t even try to call!

Next term starts a bit awkwardly. I have written that we are beginning on Tuesday 21 July, but I think we will recommence a week earlier as on Tuesday 21 July I have my PhD graduation ceremony at 2pm. I’m not missing the opportunity to wear a funny hat and gown and hold an empty tube (I already have my certificate!) and frogmarch across a stage while my name is flung at me from a distance. Yes, graduation ceremonies at UQ are fun affairs, full of pomp and ceremony. Not. Usually they are very quick and not even my PhD thesis title is read out.

This means that those Tuesday lessons are postponed AGAIN. Please let me know if you would like a lesson on the Monday afternoon instead and I’ll see what I can manage.

So singing lessons recommence on Tuesday July 14, to cut a long story short!

As to all the studio talk, well, the architect has been paid. The builder is doing a detailed costing. I’m not sure but I’m hoping the plans are going in front of council as we speak but information about this is not yet forthcoming.

I DO know that when we finally get started it will all happen very quickly.

So happy holidays folks and see you in July!

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Term 2 has commenced

Hi Folks,

Welcome to Term 2, 2015. Lessons recommenced today and while we are still working from the Qld Conservatorium for the time being, we are moving rooms in a week to a more private area on level 2, away from Con students. More information will be forthcoming shortly.

As to the studio news, well, I’ve paid for the architect’s first set of drawings and now the engineer is getting involved, which means that we should have an idea of the feasibility of the plans shortly. We can then do a costing and finally seek Council approval before commencing the build. It’s taking forever but things are moving along, albeit slowly.

I imagine we will not begin building before August at this rate, given that we are going overseas in June, and will not get back until mid-July. This means all 2015 will be at the Con, but I’m almost certain that 2016 will see the studio built and ready for use by February.

Don’t forget to see Working at the Con: the first show is Tuesday next week. A great show about working people with songs by Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz and others. To book follow the link: http://www.conevents.com.au/

Have a great term everyone and remember too that the Winter Audition Workshop is also open for bookings. It will be held in the first week of July. Go to the Musical Theatre page here for more information on cost and booking. It’s going to be a great week!

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And here it is!!

I’m pretty chuffed but it hasn’t sunk in yet that I can now call myself Dr O’Bryan for the rest of my life. As a similarly doctored colleague of mine says, of all the titles she was given, (professor was the highest) the one she loved the most was Doctor. Because she had earned it, by her own blood, sweat and tears. 

Me too!

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Doctor, doctor!

I am thrilled to announce that last week my degree was conferred. I am now a Doctor of Philosophy. My testamur will arrive in the mail in a week or so, and I get to wear a floppy hat and red and black gown sometime in July. 

I hope everyone’s year is going swimmingly, and good luck for your own endeavours! 

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New term dates

Hi Folks,

Check the term dates for new information regarding term 2. This will now be ending on June 18, giving us two important weeks to finalise those Eisteddfod preparations for the July/August period.

I also recommend looking at the MTAQ website http://mtaq.org.au/index.php/for-students-a-parents/eisteddfod-details for information about Eisteddfod competitions throughout Queensland. While it doesn’t record private or commercial contemporary singing competitions there are many good Eisteddfod competitions to choose from throughout the South East region including the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

Don’t forget if you want to sit an AMEB exam you need to let me know ASAP so I can plan your examination timetable including bookings and accompanists.

That’s all for now!

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NEW room for Semester 1

Hi folks,

News on the teaching room is now to hand: I will be teaching in room 107 at the Queensland Conservatorium, Southbank. Many thanks to the Queensland Conservatorium for making this happen during this difficult time.

We will be using a basic keyboard and I will have my books available in the space, but we will not have access to a copy machine. All music must be brought to your lesson ready to use. I will be bringing in my laptop computer too, and there will be sound for any karaoke tracks available online.

We begin back next week! See you all then and check the timetable for your times.

Cheers all, Jess



Posted in News

Welcome to 2015!

Hi folks and welcome to Plainsong Studios for 2015.

It’s going to be a big year, now that my studio has refocused its aims to better reflect increasing demand for lessons in preparation for auditions for the QLD Con Musical Theatre program, where most of my work is now based.

Times are nearly full, with some students naturally moving on, some attaining a place in the QLD Con MT programs, and my times being further curtailed due to a burgeoning professional cohort of singers all wanting lessons! There is only one lesson slot available in 2015 at 3pm on Wednesdays.

In great news, the reports for my PhD came back. Both were very positive and I will be awarded my Doctorate at a UQ Graduation ceremony sometime in late July.

In other news, plans for our home-based studio are frustratingly still not yet underway, but I’ve decided to seek alternative space in Woolloongabba or Southbank and I should hear news of this change in accommodation shortly. Stay tuned.

Recently I went to NYC and saw a bunch of Broadway shows including Pippin, Kinky Boots, and If/Then. The one that really stood out was the first Broadway preview of a new show called Honeymoon in Vegas, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Based on the 1992 movie by Andrew Bergman who also wrote the book, it tells the story of Jack, a hapless young man who is afraid to marry his beautiful girl Betsy, because his late Jewish mother made him promise never to marry. They decide to get married in Vegas anyway, but on arrival Jack loses a significant sum of money to a shadowy mafia-type fellow, who has fallen in love with Betsy. Betsy is so upset by Jack’s shenanigans she agrees to a weekend in Hawaii with this shady but good natured widower, who sees in Betsy the spitting image of his dead wife. After some hilarious scenes in Hawaii including sky-diving Elvis impersonators and a scene-stealing turn from a Vegas showman, all ends well and Jack gets the girl. A brilliant piece of work with Tony Danza as the star vehicle and the songs are fabulous! I hope it does well – it deserves to. I can’t wait to get my hands on the score.

I’ve bought a couple more scores, including The Bridges of Madison County, If/Then, and Kinky Boots. All have something good to offer the young singer.

Have a great year everyone and see you in a few weeks!

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Happy holidays from Plainsong!

Christmas background












Hi Folks,

Well, it’s December already and the tinsel is on the tree and the Xmas lights are all over town. We went for a walk round our neighborhood at dusk last night and the streets throughout Camp Hill showed a wonderful Xmas spirit, with many homes dressed in festive decorations.

In news about our studio: from 2015 I will be teaching students from age 15 and up only. This means I will not be accepting any more children into the studio. The reasons include ongoing limited time and a focus on preparing teenagers and young adults for a life in Musical Theatre, Jazz, and Classical voice. Much of my work this year has focused on developing student preparedness for entry into the QLD Conservatorium’s Musical Theatre program and other preparatory programs including ADPI. I will be continuing this focus with my future student cohort. Thank you to all the wonderful children and families with whom I have worked over the last few years – it has been fantastic to see your development and I will have many fond memories of you all.

If you have inquiries about singing teachers who work with children I would be more than happy to pass on details of some in the Camp Hill and Norman Park area.

Also in studio news, studio plans have moved on, somewhat sporadically, unfortunately. As of this date we will not have a permanent space in the first half of 2015, so I will be locating a teaching space nearby. Stay tuned for details. We will be building a studio on our property at some stage in the future to the side of the main house, but this will take a little more planning and finance until it’s up and running. We may take temporary residence in the main house for a year until our next set of renovations are complete.

In other news, we have had some great successes this year! Felix Star has performed as one of the children in the Sound of Music, in a professional production over in NZ. Charlie and Will were each representatives of their schools in various important musical functions with featured solos. Chenaya will be playing lead female Polly Baker in Ormiston College’s production of Crazy for You in 2015. Both Zoe and Connor performed well at many Eisteddfods around Brisbane, as did Will and Ellie. Samara performed as a featured soloist at the Ipswich show of Women in Voice, starring some amazing women! Clancy is going great guns, winning Boys’ Championship at both the Ipswich and Silkstone Eisteddfods, and showing his true colours as a talented Musical Theatre Boy with Theatre and Dance in Coorparoo.

Grace, Meggie and Yasmin were successful auditionees into Australian Dance Performance Institute while Ellie continues her Advanced Diploma there for 2015. Ashlea will attend Davinia Lynn Dance Company in 2015 and continue her singing studies. In successful auditions for the preparatory Foundation Program in Musical Theatre at QLD Con both Kyra and Indea were successful auditionees, and Oliver and Zoe were successful auditionees into the 2015 Bachelor of Musical Theatre degree at QLD Con, Griffith University.

I’m looking forward to working with my many wonderful students again in 2015. Of course, some will move on now that they have successfully auditioned for their respective courses, and I wish them all the very best in future. But in other great news, now that my first graduates from the QLD Con Bachelor of Musical Theatre are out in the world, some will be continuing with me as they forge their careers into the future. It’s wonderful to see their talent shine, as many of you had the opportunity to witness over the three years.

With all very best wishes for a safe and festive holiday season,

Merry Christmas!


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Boohoo, no back yard studio for us!

Hi folks, some sad news this week as my designer informed me that the cost of relaxing the laws covering easements in our back yard are too expensive for us right now. We’re sad because it means no lovely-jubbly quiet back yard studio, away from the traffic noise and away from the house. So, what do we do now? One possibility is to build a studio on top of a car port. Not as ugly and weird as it sounds, and it can be sound proofed too. Another possibility is to plan the studio as I always wanted it: under the back yard deck, of which we dream constantly.

So, given our time constraints, I may have to look at hiring a space for the first part of 2015 while we rethink our studio plans.

We will keep this page updated as news comes to hand. In the meantime, I am off to New York on Thursday. Cheerio folks and see you in the new year!

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