Tag Archives: voice lessons

Muny auditions

Musings of a private voice teacher . . . .

I had five of my 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-grade voice students audition this weekend for Muny Kids.  Now we wait.

Next week: eight of my high school voice students will audition for Muny Teens.

These kids have worked hard, made noteworthy strides, gained confidence, demonstrated grit and pluck and desire.  I’m proud of them!

From last year, with some of my Muny talent:

Next act

So, with the announcement that I’m stepping down as Chair of the Webster University Department of Music on May 31, 2020, I am thinking about the next act in my life.

(Well, I’ve been thinking about this for several years, and more fully for the last few months.)

God willing, I’ll have another ten years on the faculty at Webster, since I do not expect to retire until I’m 70.  Sixteen months hence, my teaching load will of course shift a bit (although I’m already teaching a full-time load each semester), but the hours of administration each day will no longer occupy so much of my week.  I’ll not be doing email at 11 p.m. to catch up from the day, which means time to read and write and watch and listen.

Questions on my mind right now:

How will this act in my life differ from the previous?

Be summative?

Be valedictory?

Engage the community?

Meet people where they are?

Secure a solid financial retirement?

Secure a legacy, if I am to be granted one?

Give to others?

Grow in connection with others?


I have some clear thoughts about all of this, but I’d love to hear from my readers.  Your comments are welcome!

 

The week . . . and a big change

Friday —

Well, it’s been a week.

(Read that with a sigh and a whimper.)

My body called off after Circus Harmony closed.  I crashed hard on Monday, with mold allergy issues really getting the best of me.  Perseverance was the motto, but Monday night was a rugged and toss/turn sleep.

I stayed home and slept a good chunk of Tuesday, finally going to the office to teach a few lessons before returning home to go to bed early.

This was supposed to be the first normal week of the semester, and it has been in that I’ve seen all my Webster University voice students, most of my private students, taken all the meetings, powered through the to-do lists, and such.  But the allergies (wet weather, not dipping below freezing = mold) have held sway.

And the impeachment tribunal is just making me grumpy.  I know who in my estimation the traitors are.  And I just don’t understand a good 40% of this country.

Muny auditions are coming up, and for the Webster kids have already taken place.  That’s been the focus of lessons this week.

I booked this week a music-directing gig for next year.

Friday and Saturday are audition days at Webster.  We’ll see a dozen prospective new students before this weekend is over.  Audition days are always exciting, bringing promise of new faces and voices and a superior freshman class.

I wrote two songs this week!

Projects and events this past week:

  • continuing preparation for the NASM visit
  • academic program review
  • prepping and giving a NASM briefing to Webster students
  • the annual Arts & Education gala at the Chase
  • finishing a capital funding request
  • booking tickets for shows whilst in NYC in March (Company, Diana, Moulin Rouge)

The beard is now gone.  My face appreciates being clean-shaven. Mariele the Volvo is a delight!  And I paid bills this week, with a few shekels left over. Apparently some big football game is taking place Sunday evening?

And Great Britain Brexits today.  Good lord.


This announcement was posted Friday to faculty and staff in the Department of Music:

So, big changes are in the offing…..

Studio recital

Five students are auditioning this coming weekend for All-District Choir, and several are All-State-worthy, so we had a little studio recital this past weekend.

Two students performed for the first time ever on studio recital, and several made their debut in my studio.

Here are a few photos cribbed from Facebook and text messages:

Rants and raves

If I survive this semester . . . .


New eyeglasses are better than new clothes.


I hope that man who so precipitously and rudely cut me off on Kingshighway on Thursday (in a red van-ish SUV of some indeterminate sort) is proud of the words he made spew from my mouth.


Electronics are made for obsolescence.  I had to replace my 5.1 receiver this week.  These things are ‘spensive!


Even in the midst of such busy days at the office, and full days of teaching voice lessons, finding some time to whip up a meal is a sheer delight.


Quiche makes me happy.


I gave a talk this week about my sabbatical, and provided a nibble of babkas at the conclusion.  The students seemed happy.  So did a few faculty with a sweet tooth.

 


Acquaintances enrich my life in so many ways.  So do students, and the circus kids.


Fall Break and NYC cannot arrive quickly enough.


Teaching the Ernst Toch “Geographical Fugue” to my applied musicianship class may be the death of me, but we are going to lick this thing and have fun along the way!  (You should have seen them rapping this week.)


Is anything more fulfilling than teaching voice lessons?


I’m ramping up my expectations for several of my students, who are showing they are ready for more push.


The current president of the United States of America is one dumbass.  There.  The emperor has no clothes.  Someone said it.


I can’t wait to start cooking out of my new Moroccan cookbook!


Some days I miss having a dog.

Teaching begins

Tuesday.  NOT my longest day.

But my longest day so far.

I plowed through paperwork and emails and agendas and notes.

Department chair meeting took up a chunk of the morning.

And I taught a wonderful sophomore his first voice lesson of the year.

Lunch at my desk.  Dinner at my desk too.

A scholarship grant arrived today, so I had the happy task of walking that over to Development.

We hosted a study abroad in Vienna meeting.

I planned the host of faculty evaluations that must take place in the next six weeks.

And taught three voice lessons for the private studio, starting off the new contract year with fun kids.

And at nearly 10 p.m., I’ve just finished grading video submissions for the music theory class I see at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Welcome to the semester from *%@~+)@#.

oh boy

This is how I feel already, and contracts haven’t even started.

taz

But some parts of the day are more like this, all at the same time:

taz2

Contracts?  Let’s not forget about the 18 private lessons I’ll be teaching most weeks too.  Students have emerged and want to study with me.  Hallelujah!  But I need 27 hours each day.


And then there are these days: