Thursday, January 31, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Memory Health Tip


We singers need to have sharp memory...here are a few tips from Dr. Weil. 
To keep your memory young, your neurons also crave a few growth factors. One of these factors happens when you do something deceptively simple: unplug. Researchers speculate that being constantly connected to digital devices deprives your brain of the downtime it needs to process information and consolidate memories. In lab studies, rats need breaks to form strong memories of new places they explore. You may, too. It's another reason to turn off your iPhone at dinner, leave your BlackBerry behind when you take a walk, and disconnect from the Internet frequently on nights and weekends.
Here's how to get four more stealthy brain boosters off the endangered species list and back into your life:
  • Less noise, more silence. Noise ages even 19-year-old brains. Loud noises during the night (planes, trucks, trains, the party next door) can disturb deep, restorative sleep enough to make your reaction times "old" in the morning. Try running a white noise machine to muffle disruptive noises at night. Exposure to high-decibels causes surges in blood pressure and stress hormones, and both can be major brain-agers. If you work in a noisy environment (factories, construction), wear a protective headset (hey, they even look cool). Cover your ears if a loud noise erupts near you (jackhammer, siren, low-flying jet, vuvuzelas). And when you've got to focus, turn off the radio and shut the door. Your brain is less able to screen out distracting sounds with age, making sharp thinking and recall more of a challenge if you're trying to balance the checkbook while listening to the ball game. 

  • Less artificial light, more natural light. Sun salutations aren't just for yoga class. When your prehistoric ancestors peeked out of their caves each morning to check for saber-toothed tigers, that first burst of natural light woke up the sweet spot deep in their brains that was responsible for daytime alertness. Same thing happens now: Greeting the day gets your brain in gear, boosting your ability to concentrate and turn out stellar work. The lightbulb over your bathroom mirror can't do this. It takes intense blue light, a wavelength so far found only in Mother Nature's homemade morning light.

    Scientists are working on artificial versions; there's early evidence that exposure to extremely bright blue-white light may reverse dementia and depression. For most, a few minutes of natural morning light may be all that is needed to feel bright eyed and bushy tailed.

  • Less stuffy, smelly air . . . more fresh breaths. You spend 90% of your time indoors, where stale air causes mental fatigue and even some diseases. The cause? Anything from mold or mildew to substances released by fresh paint, new carpet, cleaning products, and artificial smells, including, disturbingly, some air fresheners. The fix? Choose scent-free products. Open your windows regularly; open vents on air conditioners; and ventilate well when using cleaning products or scented sprays (even fragrances) and, of course, when you're painting anything or replacing carpeting.

  • Less clutter, more wide-open spaces. Visual clutter slows down your brain. That's why clusters of road signs double the chances that you'll miss the one you're looking for and why designers of Websites and hospitals aim for simplicity. We instinctively look at something uncomplicated while wrestling with tricky problems (which is why you'd rather gaze at a blank wall than a Jackson Pollock painting when you're doing your taxes). Clearing up the clutter in your files or on your desk, bureau, or shelves could do wonders for your bookkeeping, not to mention help your brain stay closer to age 18. Is there a hoarder in your life?

Health Tip from Dr. Weill: headaches


A pill bottle isn't the only way to stop your head from pounding louder than the stereo in the Camaro that just passed you. Try these strategies:
To relieve it now: Press here. Next time your head is pounding, apply pressure to these points to release muscular stress (but don't do this if you're pregnant):
  • Between the eyes: Pinch the tissue just above your nose with your middle finger near one eye and your thumb near the other, and slowly push upward so you feel pressure near your eyebrows.
  • Behind the ears: Locate the points on the base of your skull, just past the bones behind your ears. Use your thumbs to massage in a circular motion for 2 minutes.
  • Belly of your temporalis muscle: Place your fingers across your temples and clench down on your molars a few times. You'll feel the belly of your temporalis bulge. Use your first and middle fingers together to press the tension out of that spot.


To prevent it next time: Pull the trigger. Some foods are known to trigger migraines, including coffee (or caffeine), wines, cheese, smoked meats, sugar, chocolate, and anything with the chemical MSG. Most of them aren't all that good for the rest of your body, either, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they can wreak havoc on your head, too. If you're prone to headaches and regularly indulge in ache-inducing foods, eliminate them one by one to see if you can find the link between what you eat and headache pain.

Performance Class & Jury Schedule


Performance Class Schedule (Fridays, 12:20 pm, Hulsey Recital Hall)                      
February 1           Class
February 8           Class
February 15         AlaNATS festival in Tuscaloosa; NO CLASS
February 22         Studio Voice Recital dress rehearsal. Plan to stay until 2:15 pm.
March 1                Class
March 8                Class
March 15              Class (Spring break begins March 16, not today!)
March 22              Spring Break, no classes
March 29              Class
April 5                  Concert Choir on tour; NO CLASS
April 12                Class
April 19                Class
April 26                Last class
VOICE JURIES are Wednesday, May 8, starting at 9 am.
This is during the official UAB Final Examination period. Make arrangements NOW.

Required Voice Events


ALL Voice students are required to attend the following performances.
OTHER EVENTS MAY BE ADDED TO THIS LIST. Stay informed!!
(You will be performing in one or more of these.)

Wednesday, January 30, 12:20 p.m.                       Faculty Potpourri Recital                            HRH
Sunday, February 10, 3:00 p.m.     Early Music Recital, Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk & Friends       HRH
Tuesday, February 12, 7:00 p.m.   Concert by Dr & Mrs Cho and Dr & Mrs Mosteller            R-K
Sunday, February 24, 7:30 p.m.                   Voice Studio Recital                                               HRH
Tuesday, March 26, 3:30 p.m.                      Janet Hopkins Vocal Master Class                                    HRH
Tuesday, April 2, 7:00 p.m.              Faculty Recital by Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk                  R-K
Friday, April 12, 7:30 p.m.               Senior Recital by Shane Bloemetjie                                  HRH
Thursday, April 18, 7:00 p.m.                                  UAB Choirs concert                                 Jemison
Sunday, April 21, 7:30 p.m.                         UAB Opera Aria Night                                         HRH
Wednesday, April 24, 12:20 p.m.    Guest Recital by soprano Kristin Kenning                       HRH
Sunday, April 28, 7:30 p.m. Senior Recital by Jennifer Thorp and Brett Kilgore                    HRH
Recommended additional vocal events:
Friday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. and                       Opera Birmingham presents Madame Butterfly
Sunday, January 27 at 2:30 p.m.                                                     Wright Center, Samford University
Wednesday, February 13, 12:20 p.m.                      Student Recital #3                                        HRH
Monday, March 4, 12:20 p.m.                                  Student Recital #4                                        HRH
Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. and               Opera Birmingham presents The Magic Flute
Sunday, March 17 at 2:30 p.m.                                                        Wright Center, Samford University
Wednesday, April 17, 12:20 p.m.                Student Recital #5                                                    HRH
Friday, April 26 at 8:00 p.m. and     Alabama Symphony orchestra presents
Saturday, April 27 at 8:00 p.m.                   Brahms German Requiem                                     Jemison

Sunday, January 20, 2013

NATS money is due Feb. 4

I have talked with most of you regarding NATS, which is February 15-16 in Tuscaloosa this year. If you would like to participate and I have unintentionally neglected to mention it to you, please let me know. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to enter.

The registration fee is $10 per audition: that means if you are doing both classical and musical theatre divisions, you need to pay $20. We will confirm repertoire and complete yours forms during lesson times: come early to your lesson time to complete this.

Money is due to me Friday, February 1, as we must submit one check for everyone. If you are late, you will not be entered. Plan ahead NOW.

Dr. Mosteller will be accompanying UAB students, so please get him copies of your music ASAP. Please thank him for being so generous with his time and for saving you accompanist fees.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

NO Opera Workshop today

Opera Workshop is canceled, as UAB has suspended all operations as of 3:30. Enjoy the time off to prepare for your "lectures" on your operas and composers, folks! Be safe getting home, and remember to leave LOTS of room between you and the car ahead of you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Voice Lesson Schedule: revised

Voice lessons have been solidified, God willing. As of now, I have:

MONDAY
12:20-1:10 Nole (Maria)
1:25-2:15 Amanda (Maria)
3:30-4:20 EmKay (Maria)

TUESDAY
1-1:50 Jake (Maria)

WEDNESDAY
11:15-12:05 Kelsey (Chris)
1:25-2:15 Valencia (Maria)
2:30-3:20 Shane (Maria)

THURSDAY
10-10:30 Mike (Maria)

FRIDAY
11:15-12:05 Jen (Maria)

Get your music to Maria ASAP by tacking it on her door WITH YOUR NAME ON IT so she knows who it belongs to. Kelsey, please give me YOUR music and I'll leave it on my door for Chris. Thanks!

Black sweater from MERRY WIDOW

Folks, there was a black V-neck sweater left on the costume rack after MERRY WIDOW, and no one has claimed it. It's from The Limited. Don't you want it back? I have it in my office.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Classes begin this week

Welcome back, folks! I hope you have had a wonderful and restful break. As always, I'm looking forward to hearing your beautiful voices again.

Studio Lessons
This week, I need to see each of you for 30 minutes, and I'm only here Wednesday and Thursday before I leave for a recital this weekend. I will post a sign-up sheet on my door tomorrow (Tuesday). Please sign up for a half hour slot and we'll vocalize, plan the semester, etc. DO NOT WAIT until Convocation on Wednesday to sign up: I'll need to see some of you that morning to get to everyone!

As of now, I have only received two schedules (thank you, Nole and Jake). Everyone needs to submit their schedule ASAP. Email is fine, and I only need to know your available times. I don't need a calendar of everything you're doing, unless you really want to share. Keep it simple.

Remember that I cannot teach you if you have not registered.


Opera Workshop
This semester, we will only meet at regular class time, T/Th 3:30-5:15, and everyone will be required to be there all the time. *If your scholarship requires you to be in this class, be sure that you are!* Our plan this semester is to do an aria night, perhaps with duets if we have time. We will focus on role study, audition techniques, and body use. We will have several guest clinicians, including Dr. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada, who will be giving a Convocation on using self-hypnosis to combat performance anxiety, and another master class by MET mezzo-soprano Janet Hopkins. It will be a fun (and low-stress) semester!

If you have any aria requests, please talk to both me AND your voice teacher about your ideas. All arias must be approved by both of us. You should find your voice lesson repertoire will take an expressive leap forward with this class as well!

All overrides have been entered. Please register ASAP, and let me know if you have any problems.

Love y'all madly!


Jury sheets available

Hi folks, I have your jury sheets, and am happy to go over them with you. Though many of you may already be gone, I am here for the next t...