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To bud or to blossom

To bud or to blossom

One of my students spoke of an epiphany this week in performance. She had been reflecting on the disconnect between her idea of perceived vocal “control” and what she imagined to be freedom in her singing and performing. She noted that every performance in which she felt she had done “all the right things” (thinking this must result in a feeling of vocal freedom and abandon), when she watched the video of her performance, she was crestfallen by how tight and rigid it all seemed.

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Burn out

Burn out

Burn out. It seems it’s that time of year. As the light of day gets dimmer heading to the Solstice (my birthday, as chance would have it!), it seems like many in my midst have candles that have burned down to stubs. Including myself…

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Life Boat(s)

Life Boat(s)

My teacher, Neil Semer, often tells me that I’m a “lifeboat person”. What he means by that is that I am the kind of person you want to have in your lifeboat. A survivor. A survivor. Someone tenacious. Someone you can count on in a crisis. A person who will hold on to life with an iron grip. Who never gives up. And this is true. The only downside, as he puts it, is that these attributes are not generally that helpful when it comes to singing…

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The Body’s Score

The Body’s Score

Anyone who knows me knows about my respect for the body’s wisdom…this week’s realization comes from my own body and what it’s been telling me…

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The Disowned (Singing) Self Or Noticing the (w)hole in me

The Disowned (Singing) Self Or Noticing the (w)hole in me

I’m reflecting today on lessons learned while teaching…again and again, shame, trauma and grief came up. And a whole lot of fear. I kept asking them to show up with their whole selves, and to park the baggage of their past at the door. I asked them to reclaim who they are in their deepest selves, without judgment, without filters…

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The weight of oneself

The weight of oneself

For the last 3 summers, I’ve taught voice at the Académie de Fourvière in Lyon, France…I thought about how as artists, and particularly as singers (because the instrument is within us and encompasses us), we must carry the weight of ourselves. We are tasked with knowing ourselves better each day…

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The Language of the Heart

The Language of the Heart

In the aftermath of my participation in the cross-Canada Mysterious Barricades concerts (www.mysteriousbarricades.org), I’ve been thinking a lot about the language of the heart…As I embark on a new year of teaching with my wonderful and eclectic mix of students (both in my opera class and university studio), I listen to their hearts as they begin to get to know one another and to know me…

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The Kleenex Box

The Kleenex Box

So there’s an elephant in the room. Relationships. That behemoth that, in our world as social creatures, dependent on one another for nurturing, sustenance and love, can make or break us. And so it is with the voice as well: what is happening in our personal relationships is always reflected in our singing (speaking too, if we’re paying attention)…

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The Emotional Landscape

The Emotional Landscape

I have guided many singers over the years in my work as a vocal pedagogue and clinician, taking them through a process of establishing their vocal technique and all the while—initially without realizing it—I was also guiding them through an emotional and spiritual...

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Singing and Self: What I’ve learned

Singing and Self: What I’ve learned

Singing saved my life. I don’t in fact think it’s an exaggeration to say so. Even though there have been times where singing was emotional torture, or where it challenged me to the depths of my being, putting me in touch with shadow sides I would rather have left...

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Twitter


To bud or to blossom - from the Singing and Self Blog - https://t.co/yoPykyZWne

Just back from @UofTOpera Marriage of Figaro. Congratulations from @LaurierMusic to @UofTMusic. What a terrific production! Proud to see at least 5 @LaurierAlumni involved and many more in the audience. Way to represent! #DedicatedDean @thislandcanada

Thanks @_jennybird for quickly replacing my broken (awesome!) earring within 48 hours this week (pictured here!). You rock! https://t.co/Rsm95swtlT thislandcanada photo

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