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 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



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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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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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