Saturday, February 13, 2016

Required recital attendance

Friendly reminder: tomorrow's recital with Tony Offerle and Kevin Sharpe is at 3pm in Hulsey Recital Hall. Don't miss it: this recital promises to be a real joy with two great artists and fabulous repertoire. Plus, they are two great guys! See you there.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Scoping with Dr. McHugh


Scoping with Dr. McHugh is at the Kirklin Clinic. The maps and parking information were emailed to you some time ago. His office is on the first floor: the easiest entrance if you're parking on the street is by the fountain. If you park in the garage, you'll need to go across the breezeway to the clinic on the 2nd floor, then take the escalator or elevator down to the first floor. When in doubt, ask for help at the information desk.

Please be on time! He is being very generous by offering to do this for you.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Asking for help

Dear students,

Today, a student told me that the reason he's having trouble learning music is that he simply doesn't know how: he has never taken piano, was not enrolled in Fundamentals of Music Theory, and has been relying on YouTube. I felt for him; I'd had no idea this was his predicament.

All music students are in different stages of musical development. Please remember that there is never any shame in asking for help, and no need to feel embarrassed if you DO need help. We as your professors also won't be effective if we don't know what you need or what is difficult for you. We want to assist you in your growth: it's why we are here.

Please, please, please ask if you need something or if you are struggling. We were all beginners once, and we all have different challenges. What is easy for one person might be very difficult for someone else. Reach out to your professors, reach out to your friends. Learning how to be a musician is a communal experience...or at least can be. I believe that it's always easier if you don't try to do it in a vacuum.

I know my colleagues won't mind me saying that we're here for you. And we care!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Opera this week


3:30-4 FLUTE Du feines Täubchen (in English): Michael, Ashley, Hunter
4-4:30 Bastien and Bastienne (in English): finish able to sing any of it!
4:35-5:15 FLUTE "Hm! Hm! Hm!" all

I've said before and I'll say it again: rehearsal is NOT for banging notes. Learn them before you come, and don't waste anyone else's time. This week, anyone who is unprepared will be sent away and the weekly grade will reflect your preparation.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Opera preparation


I feel like I'm repeating myself here, but it seems necessary.

If you are not note-perfect in your coaching session, your final grade will suffer. Sessions with me and Dr. Steele are NOT for teaching notes; they are for making music and building ensemble. This is why you are only called a few minutes per week: the understanding is that you are using the time you are NOT called to learn your music.

Remember also that each time you are unprepared, you pull down those who are prepared. You are not only wasting my time, you are wasting theirs. Get together BEFORE you are called to rehearsal to get solid on your notes.

Thoughts on that, as well: working together before working with me shouldn't mean that your friends teach you the notes. You do that yourself before meeting with anyone else. Please do not expect someone else to pull you along out of the goodness of his or her heart. That's neither kind nor fair. I know you are all good, caring people, so bear in mind that your actions affect others.

Several of you are already teetering on the B range for the semester, and it's only the fourth week of class. This is based on your [lack of] preparation. There is no "extra credit" or "making it up later." Be sure your grade doesn't fall lower by continuing to hold up the process.

Those of you who have been prepared have been told; those of you who have not been prepared have been warned, in some cases repeatedly. You know who you are; fix it if you must.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Field trip to the gym

As some of you have requested, this week we'll make a field trip to the gym. I'll be there on Saturday at 12:30 if you'd like to join me. No harm, no foul if you can't: just come if you want. I can get you started, show you around, etc. We may also do another time later this month.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Opera rehearsals


A friendly reminder that your syllabus indicates that, in your first rehearsal, your music must be note-perfect. Most of you were not there, which means there is work to be done outside of class. We are not even adding text yet, unless your scene is in English. Additionally, I have started every rehearsal under tempo, and given you the tempi we are aiming for as a courtesy. Note-perfect is not an unachievable goal when the composer is Mozart.

Be sure you are doing the work you need to do to be truly musically prepared. Work slowly and carefully, and sing what is on the page. It's fine to listen to your scene online to get a sense of how it goes, but if you haven't done the grunt work under tempo, you're not going to find that you are prepared enough in your coaching.

Remember also that your scene must be translated if we are performing in a foreign language. That does NOT mean relying on the English version in your score--those are "poetic" and rarely accurate. Use the translation books in the library. Translate everyone's part in your scene: you need to know what everyone is saying so that you can react appropriately.

I gave the handout "How to prepare a role" early in the first week. If you need another because you added the class late, let me know or copy it from someone else. 

Everyone gets another shot. Step it up! If you have any questions or concerns, please ask.