Friday, July 12, 2013

My CoOPERAtive Experience

I can say that the biggest reward is to become aware of what you already know. The nice thing about CoOperative program isn't that they're giving away "secrets" or things that are "magic tricks" or "illusions" of great singing, but they are assimilating the different elements of singing – the tools we already have: our technique, our acting skills, our imaginations – and they are being assimilated in one place. They're taking all the ingredients you have in your kitchen and lining them up so you can see what you have before you make the dish. There's nothing that's shocked me, yet, it's great to have it all put right out there in front of you so that it is more accessible in my thinking.

I've been writing down some of the best quotes and tips from this experience in a notebook that I've been carrying around.

Lecture & Masterclass #1 with Susan Ashbaker -
Vocal Toolbox 10 Rules
10. You must have solid and consistent technique of singing.
9. Leave your insecurity behind.
8. Take care of yourself.
7. Know what you're shopping for (in life, careers, music, etc).
6. Start building a network now (never be rude to anyone you meet on the path, you never know where they may end up).
5. Ask questions and keep your ears open!
4. Engage, engage, engage! Listen to what you're being told (or be aware of what you're NOT being told - trust).
3. Always give 100%
2. Don't CANCEL... suck it up and have the courage to go through with it.
1. Have fun! :)

Anthony Manoli : "Don't try to please everybody ... sift through the information."

Three concepts from Amy Hutchison –
1. Own the stage through the WHOLE ARIA - hold everything all the way to the end.
2. Open up your sphere, the whole universe is included, not just you.
3. Make the emotional changes in the music with your breath and face.

Amy Hutchison:
- Utilize your "Magic Words"
- Fill a small space with your ENTIRE presence.
- It should seem as if only your actions could inspire this specific music. 

Sean McCarther: "extending chi" - extend your physical energy outward, ground yourself.

Kathleen Kelly:
- Allow yourself to be simple sometimes.
- On fermatas: "Sing it until you start to hate it."
- Challenge the piano line to suit good vocalism.
- On postludes: "Keep saying the words - but with your mind."
- Make sure you're giving yourself specific instructions.

Martin Katz:
- You don't always have to rely on counting - you're making music - sometimes you can rely on SOUND!
- When a conductor is TOO LOUD: SING SOFTER! (In that fight, the conductor will always win).

Mark Moliterno: Build strength, then you can relax around that strength. (Meant for yoga and vocal stamina, however this applies to many aspects of life - as my grandmother would say "Can't have fun 'til the work's been done!").

What I have learned:
- Open your heart and mind.
- Have patience with yourself, but don't be lazy.
- Give yourself over to the text and languages.
- Don't make music for anyone's benefit but your own. It's a plus if they like what you're doing, however, you don't NEED to please anyone but Number One.
- Be enlightened by the music evoking the story and the story evoking the music.
- Maintain healthy balance of all things in your life and you will find grounding and stability.
- There's no need to over-complicate things. Allow life to be simple.
- Music is a form of play: embrace your inner child, let loose, and use your imagination!

A Busy Singer is a Happy Singer

The days tick on, and although it's January, Springtime is rolling in! Not just green trees and wild flowers, but the spring opera seaso...

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