What type of clinician would you like SNATS to provide in Spring 2018?

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tiny Change #7: don't apologize

Too often, I hear the words "I'm sorry" in response to taking a chance in the voice studio. I liken this to apologizing in the chemistry lab when an experiment yields something interesting.

The studio is your lab: so is the practice room. There is no reason to apologize when you're experimenting. The whole point is to experiment. And when you get it right, keep at it until you can replicate the results at will.

The other thing about apologizing is that it wastes mental energy as well as valuable time. The energy you spend feeling embarrassed or apologetic, the energy I spend trying to get you to feel better so we can work, then finally getting back on task is wasted. There's no need to be wasteful in this manner.

So stop saying you're sorry when you make an unexpected sound: there is no reason to apologize! Unless you're unprepared...in which case, no amount of apologizing will help you.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Performance Class 2/23/18

Today we will all be together in Hulsey Recital Hall. Bring your calendars! We have items to discuss.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tiny Change #6: Read

Read, you ask? I read all day; I'm a student. You want me to read more?

No, I suggest you read something different. Read something that feeds your soul even if it's only for 10 minutes a day, preferably first thing in the morning. My stack of reading material is ever-growing. Yours should reflect your own spiritual journey and curiosities.

My husband's dear friend Dave starts his day with a short Bible study. Dave is one of the steadiest, most centered people that I know. Clearly, it does something for him.

My reading in the morning varies. Right now, it's Borysenko's "Fire in the Soul." In the past, it's been everything from Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning" to Morinis's "Everyday Holiness" to Medina's "Brain Rules" to various books on meditation. Next on my wish list is "Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life." 

When you start your day reading something that stirs your spirit, not just your brain, it's like setting your compass before setting out to sea. And let's face it, sometimes the waters are pretty choppy.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Tiny Change #5: Gauge Your Time

As you know, the Winter Olympics are one of my favorite things, and as expected, I find many correlations to our work. This week, I ask you to consider your time on the ice, as it were.

During the figure skating competition, the commentators discussed the limited time each skater had on the ice, and how each skater spent that limited time. Of course, there was always assessment regarding how the performance during the competition compared with their practice time, and while that was interesting, that's a topic for another post. This one is about how you spend your time in practice.

I found it curious, but not terribly surprising, that the skaters used their time differently. Some skaters spent it running their entire program, and some spent it primarily on the hard jumps. Your choices may depend on the difficulty of your repertoire, and the stage of your vocal development. I would suggest, however, that unless your performance is imminent, your time shouldn't be spent just running your repertoire. Spend your time on the hard jumps. Work the difficult sections over and over, in the manner your teacher suggests, until you work out the kinks and can do them without fail under a variety of circumstances.

We understand that your vocal resources are limited. You have choral obligations, church jobs, and your voice lessons. You'll have to be smart about how you spend the precious minutes you have each day to do your work. Don't waste it just mindlessly running through your songs. Spend time really working your technique, mastering the tough vocalises and taxing passages in your music: those are your triple axels.

Use your time wisely!

Monday, February 5, 2018

12 Tiny Changes #4: UNPLUG

Our change for this week: UNPLUG at night.

By this I mean, turn off your phone or put it on the "Do Not Disturb" setting. This can mean your iPad, laptop, etc....but especially your phone. Even better: do all of that, and set it out of reach so that you're not tempted to check it if you wake up in the middle of the night.

Even better: put it down and don't check it for at least 30-60 minutes before you go to bed.

The light that phones emit tell your brain that it's time to be awake. Using the "warm light" setting in the evening helps, but part of the problem with checking it before you go to bed is that whatever you see gets your brain thinking when your brain needs to be getting ready for sleep.

We will talk more about sleep hygiene in the coming weeks, but for now, keep it simple. For the 9 hours you should be sleeping and getting ready to sleep, put the phone down.

It can wait. Really.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

PLEASE VOTE for SNATS clinicians

Hi folks,

We need to submit a budget request by Friday, 2/9, so please vote on the poll (see right) on what kind of clinician you would like for the fall. You may vote for more than one! If you'd like to elaborate on "Other," please post a comment here and I will publish. If you'd like to elaborate on what voice type you'd like for a singer/teacher, do the same here.

Please vote no later than 5pm Wednesday.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Performance Class 2.2.18

Dr. Kris's students will meet in the Dance Studio: Dr. Cho's and Prof. Doss's will meet in HRH.

See you then!

Performance Class 11/9/18

We will meet all together tomorrow, 11/9/18. Please be on time--we have a very full class this week!