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Performance Masterclass for Singers: Saturday 6th May, 1.30pm

Learn tips and techniques used by professionals to improve the quality of their performance.

Presented by Mary Mirtschin from Singing Strong with guest presenter Kerryn Lockhart.

In this practical masterclass, Kerryn Lockhart will deliver a wealth of knowledge to singers.

Increase your confidence, learn presentation skills, how to deal with nervousness, song choice and preparation and much more.

 

 

The day will be broken into two sessions.

The first session will be a presentation about singing and performance by Kerryn with lots of practical hands on activities with time for a Q & A.
After a short break there will be a masterclass with opportunities for participants to perform and receive feedback.  This is an excellent opportunity for both the participant and the audience.
If you would like to be perfrom in the master class please email mary@singingstrong.com.au to express your interest.
Please note there is a $20 fee to sing at the masterclass. (this is in addition to the workshop fee).
There are only 5 places available for the masterclass.
Saturday 6th May 2017,  1.30pm

LOCATION

Little Theater, Performing Arts Center

Grey Street, Traralgon, Victoria 3844

Workshop fee:  $49

CONTACT DETAILS

Mary Mirtschin  0437568011  mary@singingstrong.com.au

To go to the website to make bookings please click on the link below:

Bookings are essential!

 

Singing Strong Newsletter 1 2017

Welcome back everyone to 2017!

It is so good to be back teaching and working with all the wonderful Singing Strong students.

I absolutely love helping people achieve the voice of their dreams.

 

 

A warm welcome to new students:  Claudia, Samantha, Karla, Emmie and Kate.

Singing Lesson times still available:

If you know of anyone who would like to take up singing lessons at this stage I only have one afternoon session available: Wednesday 4.30pm. If you would like to take advantage of this lesson time please get in touch with me asap.

I do have some day time sessions available on Thursday and Friday, so if that suits, please  get in touch with me so that we can arrange a time.

Studio Policy.

Please make sure you have read the Singing Strong studio policy. You can read it here

This way you know what my role is and the expectation of students and parents.

 

What’s on at Singing Strong?

To keep up to date with what is going on you can check out my blog posts at www.singingstrong.com.au/blog.

There is also the Singing Strong facebook page.  Please feel free to share this with your family and

friends, I like to put up all sorts of information about singing that I think might  be of value.

 

Events for Term One:

Sunday 12th March: Recording session at Spectrum Productions

I love to sing, I love to teach singing and I also love the use of technology in music. However I am discovering that while I am able to do some okay recording, I am no expert in this field.

So, I have arranged a recording session time for Singing Strong students with Brett Tippet at Spectrum Productions on Sunday afternoon 12th March, so that students have a chance to make a professional recording that will be made into a cd.

This session is only open to 12 students.  A time will be arranged for you to come to the studio between 1pm and 5pm. You get a chance to see how it all works, record and mix your song.

To book a place click on the button below. Cost is $20.

 

 

 

If I find that more students want to take part than we can fit on the day, I will arrange another day to do some more recording.

Cafe Concert on Thursday 30th March at Dal Mondo’s Traralgon.

Please put the date in your diary!

Our first performance for 2017 will be at Dal Mondo Cafe, Post Office Place, Traralgon from 6.30pm.  This is a great opportunity to get in some performance practice, or if you haven’t sung in public before, this is a safe, friendly supportive environment to get up and have a go.

If you have already done this performance before I would ask that you still come along to sing.  As I mentioned it is great performance practice and it is also good for everyone to see the progress students are making over time.

 

I had a wonderful time during January working with students in an intensive workshop over 5 days.  It was incredible the progress students made and I will certainly be doing more of this in the future.  I will keep you posted on future dates.

 

 

 

 

 

Breathe!

In this post I discuss breathing for singing.  Make sure when you breathe the body is relaxed to allow the breath in.  Then you can have a focused stream of breath when singing out.  Check out the video from James Morrison as well.  James is talking about playing a trumpet but the concept is similar.

 

 

5 terrific tips for 2017

From the movie “Sing”

 

 

 

 

 

Hi there!  Only a couple more days to 2017.

Eeeek! I cannot believe how fast this last month has flown and we are almost at the beginning of a new year.

I hope you have all had an absolutely fabulous 2016 and are excited about 2017. I have been doing a lot of thinking recently and am trying to get planned for next year.  I am notorious for just floating along and when I have a great idea I just do it. However this can be a very dangerous way to live as there is always a great rush to get it done, I’m not planned and I often don’t do things as well as I would like. Being prepared and organized helps things to flow better and a lot more can be achieved.

So my first terrific tip is:

1. Plan ahead.

Start thinking ahead now. What would you like to achieve vocally in 2017?  Analyze what it is (make sure you are specific) that you would like to improve/achieve next year.  Write it down, plan it out.  Do you need to work on your breathing?  Would you like to extend your vocal range? By how much? When? What will you need to do to fulfill your dream?

2. Organize a practice time you can stick to every day.

Part of the reason we don’t have the success we would like is that we fail to practice.  There is no getting around this, if you want to succeed you have to put in the work.  Work out a time that you able to set aside each day to work on your skills. Then stick to it.

For some more tips and ideas on better singing practice, click on the link below.

click here for tips on singing practice

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Have singing lessons.

This is important thing to do.  There are many articles and videos on line about how to sing better, but none of these offer something very important. That is feedback. It is vital to have a mentor that can work with you to analyze and then work with you to improve your singing voice.  I know when working with students that I am constantly asking questions and guiding them to hear what a good voice should sound like, tweaking and adjusting constantly. If you don’t have any feedback, how do you know if what you are doing is correct? To have lessons one on one with Mary at Singing Strong  click here to register.

 

4. Listen to lots of music

Make sure you are always listening to good music.  Think about the artists you like and listen to them.  LOTS! There are plenty of ways to listen to music.  You tube, Pandora and spotify are just a couple of examples of places you can listen to your favourite music.  Take some time to analyze what your artists are doing that makes them a good singer.

This is my favourite song at the moment and a song I definitely want to learn.

Think about what styles of music you like and then:

5. Choose repertoire

Decide the songs you would like to learn in 2017.  Think carefully about the style of music and level of difficulty.  Aim to find at least 5 songs you could work on. Plan out the year as to which month each song will be learned by.  Remember it takes time for the body to get used to how you sing a song.  I always say allow 6 months for a song to feel right.

 

Do these 5 things and you are well on your way to singing success in 2017.

 

Want to get 2017 off to a great start?

Singing Strong is offering a Summer Singing Intensive from Monday 9th January to Friday 13th January 2017.

Five days one on one with Mary for an hour each day.  You can do this with Mary in her Traralgon Studio or on line.

There are only a few places left.

Mary Mirtschin

Work on vocal technique, performance skills as well as learn a song in 5 days!

To book click here.

 

 

Newsletter Term 4 2016

singing-strong-is-on-facebook

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

SINGING PRACTICE

5 Things you can do to improve your singing practice.

You can listen to this blog post here:

5-tips-for-better-singing-practice

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.

    stand-foldupmanhasset-stand

 

                              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.

    practice-room

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.

    practice-poster

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a-limited-number-of-places-are-available-for-term-4

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:

Male:

 

 

Female:

 

 

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.