Merry Christmas!










Here are some clever Christmas music videos for you to enjoy.

Have a very merry Christmas and a fantastic 2017!


1. Animals of you tube sing “Jingle Bells”


Piano Guys: Angels we have heard on high.


Tony Desare: 17 Versions of Jingle Bells


Pentatonix with Tori Kelly: Winter Wonderland/Don’t worry be happy.


Clair Ryann:  Silent Night


And this song is my favourite song at the moment.

Not a Christmas song but a great song to enjoy on the summer holidays:

Tori Kelly: Don’t you worry ’bout a thing.




We near the end of 2016

As we come to the end of another successful year at Singing Strong, I would like to thank all the students who have worked so hard this year on developing their musical skills.

There has been excellent progress made and students can be very proud of their achievements.

O’Mara House Dec 2016

A big thank you to those students who participated in the concerts at O’Mara House and Yallambie Village in the last couple of weeks.  The residents really enjoyed the performances and really appreciated you taking the time to perform for them. I would like to think we could make this more regular.  It is a wonderful way to give back to the community as well as work on performance skills.

I have completed a newsletter that covers a lot of the events that Singing Strong has been involved in this year. Please click the link below to read all about what has been going on in 2016.

Singing Strong Newsletter end of year 2016


You can also read more details about what successes students have had this year by going to the achievements page.

Just click here for all the information

Yallambie Dec 2016



Newsletter Term 4 2016


Can you believe we have reached the last term for 2016??surprised




Singing Strong studio had a huge Term 3.

Students continued working hard during lessons, working on technique and learning new repertoire. This was quite a challenge for some as there were so many activities on this term.

A large number of students were involved in various Eisteddfods achieving great success.

I held a workshop about preparing for Eisteddfods and performing.  This was very well attended and the masterclass that was held was very worthwhile.

We ended the term with a dinner dance held at the Premier Function Centre. This was a terrific end to the term. It was fantastic to see student up on stage performing with a live band. The night was so much fun!

You can read all the details about these events and more by clicking here.

I have been adding some interesting articles on my BLOG.  The latest is about organizing a practice space at home and getting into a practice routine. Good revision before starting a new term.                   You can read it here.

Term 4 will be fast and furious.

1) CD production

I had said last term we would be making a cd. This will be done in term 4.

Last year we made a Christmas cd but this year we will be making a cd of various songs. Students need to choose the song they love to sing and then we will make a recording of it.  It can be any song, but would you please let me know what you would like to sing asap so that I can create a list.

 2) AMEB Examsshop-banner-1

There are a number of students completing AMEB exams at various levels this term and we wish them well with their studies.

3) End of Term Workshop

I will be holding a workshop day on Saturday 10th December.  This will be broken up into 3 sessions, each for one hour.

10am: 1st session will be for all primary school students.

11.15am: 2nd session is for any secondary school students.

12.30pm: 3rd session will be for all adults.

This will be an opportunity for any students who have missed a lesson during the term to make up this time.  For any students who have attended all lessons, this is a bonus session for you.

4) Performance Opportunity

Our major event for the year was held last term, however I would like to do something for the end of the year. I will be organizing some small concerts that will be held at various nursing homes in the community.  I will send out dates and times soon. This will not be a huge commitment. You can choose which one you would like to be part of.  It is not a compulsory activity, but I would like to see as many students participate as possible.

Please note that the last lesson for the year will be the week ending 9th December.december-calendar


5 Things you can do to improve your singing practice.

You can listen to this blog post here:


As singers, we all want to be able to practice regularly to improve our skills. But sometimes we are not sure about what we need to make our practice sessions worthwhile.  Below you will find 5 tips to help you make the most of your practice time and achieve success.

Tip Number 1:

Make sure you have all the materials you need to practice.

  • Use sheet music when practicing, not just lyrics. We are musicians and should be able to read music.  The sheet music also gives important  clues about things like tempo and dynamics.


  • Invest in a music stand. It is important you have something to put your music on that you can stand at. You can get collapsible stands that fold away neatly.  I have a manhasset music stand which is more expensive, but is really easy to use and very solid. You can click on the pictures if you want to order them online.



                              fold away stand                                               Manhasset stand


  • Make sure any device that you use for playing backing tracks is loud enough to sing along with.  You might need to invest in some speakers if you are using an ipad or phone.  Don’t practice using headphones. This is a bad habit to get into as you can’t hear yourself properly.


headphones  Headphones are great for listening to music but not so good for practice.

Tip number 2:

Have a designated place to practice.

  • Have a special, clean, private ready to start in space.  Having a space always ready for singing makes it much easier to get started. If you are always having to pull things out to get started, or have to practice in a space where other people are, you are less likely to get going.


Tip number 3:

Be clear about what you need to practice.

  • Always have a plan about what you want to work on during the week between lessons.  Make sure you have discussed with your teacher what will be required and then have some way to record what you have done. This way you can account for your practice sessions.

Tip Number 4:

Make it part of your routine. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

  • Singing practice should be a part of your every day routine.  Just like brushing your teeth or having a shower, we need to find time each day to practice our singing. If you start this from the beginning it is easy to reinforce. For young students, parents really need to be present in the beginning to encourage this routine.  Make a time and stick to it, whether it be in the morning or afternoon. If no time is dedicated to practice, it simply will not happen.


Tip Number 5:

Warm up, then chunk it.

  • Make sure you warm up well. Have a warm up routine that you can do in about 5 minutes.   Here is a link to a website with some great ideas on warming up. Click here.

  • Don’t try to do it all at once, break it up.  Hopefully your teacher has highlighted what needs to be worked on.  Focus on those small sections and get them correct, then put it all together.

  • A couple of 10 minute sessions each day is much better than trying to do an hour at a time. Committing to 20 – 30 minutes each day is quite achievable – this equates to at least 3 hours practice a week.

Use these five tips you are guaranteed to have success with your singing.  Remember singing is a skill and can be developed like any instrument.  Your success depends on your practice!
















Want to have singing lessons? To get started in your musical journey with Mary and Singing Strong please click here and fill in your details.

Mary will get in contact with you to assist you with your inquiry.

Mary Mirtschin

Mary Mirtschin

Break a leg!

A quick message to wish all those who are participating in the Sale Eisteddfod this Saturday.  They have all worked very hard, preparing their repertoire and are sounding fantastic.

The main thing I would remind you all is to BREATHE!


Also this weekend is the last performances of The Little Mermaid by the Latrobe Theatre Company.

This is a lovely performance and would highly recommend attending if you are able.

To book tickets click here.


The Latrobe Chorale is also performing this weekend:

Saturday 21st May 2pm Presbyterian Church, Morwell.

Sunday 22nd May 2pm, St Michaels Church, Traralgon.

I will be conducting the program:  Rutter’s Gloria and Faure’s Requiem.

Here is a taste:



The Passaggio

All singers are challenged with working through the ‘passaggio’ –  the transition through vocal registers.  The main registers are sometimes described as chest voice, middle or mixed voice and head voice as this is the physical feeling singers have as they move from a lower register to a higher register.

You cannot remove the passaggi, but you can train yourself to even out  the passaggio so that you maintain ‘one voice’ through your whole vocal range.

That is something your voice teacher should be working on with you.


Here are some examples of voices where they are singing confidently through their vocal range and really nailing their high voice:







Here is a brief video for any men who are wanting to move through the passaggio – developing a mix voice:




Purposeful Practice

There is no such thing as a ‘gifted’ musician.  A person may have a desire to be a great musician, but the greatness only comes from hours and hours and hours of practice.World class performances comes by striving for a target just out of reach – but with a vivid awareness of how the gap might be breached.

Purposeful practice is about striving for what is just and out of reach and not quite making it.  It is about grappling with tasks beyond current limitations and falling short again and again.

Excellence is about stepping outside the comfort zone, training with a spirit of endeavour and accepting the trials and tribulations that will definitely come along.  Progress is built upon the foundations of necessary failure. Failure is a part of any learning. If you are not failing, you are not learning and growing as a musician and a person.

Success and failure is found in motivation.  Thousands of hours in purposeful practice will help to achieve excellence.

But it is only those who care about the destination, who are motivated that will get there.


The following video is about Lang Lang, a pianist from China.  His story is incredible.

He obviously has the desire to be a musician, but you can also see the dedication and sacrifice he and his family have made for him to succeed.


Why have a singing teacher?

I have been visiting various singing websites lately and have found many of them to have great ideas and ways to help singers.

One thing I have noticed on a couple of the websites is their claim that you don’t need to have face to face lessons to sing well, just watch my videos and you can become the greatest singer.  For me this is a one way street.

My comment to this is if you don’t know what you are doing wrong, you can never know what you are doing right.

Feedback is integral to good progress.  Feedback is the rocket fuel that propels the acquisition of knowledge and without it, no amount of practice or watching videos is going to get you there.

A singing teacher is not merely there to offer encouragement and assessing levels of concentration, they are also on the lookout for small technical glitches that may have escaped the attention of their student.

You can get the basics from reading material or watching videos, but I would highly recommend you seek out a singing teacher or at least a mentor who can give you appropriate feedback and guide you on your musical journey.

teaching singing

A new Term around the corner

I am enjoying the last few days of holidays and am now excited to be beginning a new term.     singing

Voice lessons at the Singing Strong Studio  resume on Monday 11th April.

There will be 10 weeks of voice lessons for Term 2.

The first Singing Strong Cafe concert for the year will be held on Thursday 21st April from 6.30pm at Dal Mondo Cafe, Post Office Place, Traralgon.


This is a great evening of musical entertainment and provides student an opportunity to perform in a relaxed and supportive environment.

Please put the date in your diary. You are most welcome to invite family and friends. There is plenty of room for guests.

You might like to organize to have a meal there or coffee/dessert.

Please send me an email if you wish to participate indicating the song/songs you will be singing.  If you have a specific time you would like to attend whether due to other commitments or needing to leave early please let me know so that I can place you in the program at a suitable time.

Practice Blitz winners!

Winners of the Practice Blitz:

The practice blitz was over held over 2 weeks from Monday 22nd Feb to Sunday 6th March 2016.

The aim was to record practice times over the 2 weeks.

Congratulations to the following winners:

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1st Place: Sanya Palta with 18 hours









2nd Place: Jobeka Siaman with 6 hours

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3rd Place:  Claudia Said with almost 4 hours

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