Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Extremely Talented Professional Admits Performance Insecurities

Hila Plitmann, wife of Eric Whitacre of Virtual Choir fame, is a professional soprano of extraordinary talent, and yet in her blog article, "Great Expectation", she candidly describes the performance insecurities she faces and how she's learning to deal with them.

I love the comments that have been posted by her blog readers, a paraphrase here, an affirmation there.  My favourites are profoundly deaf Terry Burns defying the nay-sayers with his singing, and Amanda Craft who writes: "It is so refreshing when professionals stand up and help debunk the perfection myth. This kind of honest writing is so needed in the lives of young singers."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sing a Song of Sewing

I'm a singer/songwriter. I'm also a fashion journalist [visit Boutique Narelle here]. I looked at this sewing machine and saw a piano. =) Just had to share.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waltzing Forward

What a happy day I've had! I'm working on final edits to my "Magdala Waltz" with arranger extraordinaire Carolyn Ballinger Sjostrom (creator of "My Child"), and testing it out on guest audiences. =) =) =) Very encouraging responses thus far.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where to Find an Audience

I heard of a young lady in a small town who is passionate about performing music but doesn't know where to start doing so. If I could tell her one thing, it would be "read this article" >>>


Putting my personal music philosophy into words, US radio personality Devon O'Day terms it "a service business". There are opportunities to be seen and heard all around you and you just need to uncover them. Devon O’Day says singers should look for ways to engage [your] gifts through community service.

“One of the most important areas that singers, songwriters, and artists often miss, is the service aspect of what they do,” O’Day said. “There are organizations that meet weekly, that need inspiration, motivation, and your music.”

She suggests that singers work solo or as a group to create an inspiring presentation framed with a topic. This is what my accompanist Elaine Swanney and I have done in our small rural town. Our topics have included "The War Years" and Irish or Scottish celebrations which we share at old folks homes and activity programs. I have a stack of music folders labelled with themes such as "Follow Your Dreams" or "Hope" which I look forward to lodging in a public program.

In addition, I seek occasions to sing whenever we have guests in our home. I may ask for their thoughts on the latest song I've written, or I may sense as they leave that there is a need for a blessing or positive focus. (Have you noticed that conversation frequently centers on the negatives of our world?)

My favourite song to sing on these occasions is "My Child" by Carolyn Ballinger Sjostrom. Whenever I share this beautiful song (for which Carolyn has provided me with a piano backing track), it ministers deeply to our guests and I am rewarded through being able to give them such a gift.

On one occasion after hearing the song, a grandmother asked if I had a recording of it so she could share the blessing with her family. A few months later she repeated her request, hopeful of gifts for Christmas, and was very sorry when I again had to say no.

I will keep studying on how to solve my recording dilemma, and meanwhile, challenge you to join me in sharing your gift with those around you, where you are now. You may be surprised at the rewards it brings.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Discover What Drives Your Singing Success

I love this article, too! Reading through it, my mind was exclaiming "Yes! Yes!" When I got to the end, all I could say was, "Wow!"

So of course I had to share it with you. Discover What Drives Your Singing Success: http://www.singingsuccess.tv/forums/news/6869/

Helpful Questions for Quality Control

This post is in the form of a note-to-self exercise.  I'm studying Singing Success using Brett Manning's generous free resources, and hope one day to take advantage of the full program. Today, I'm reminding myself of and pointing you to four helpful questions for enhancing your presentation.

These simple questions are:
  1. What worked best?
  2. What didn’t work well/at all?
  3. What needs the most attention or work?
  4. What resources are needed to improve quality, performance, knowledge, expertise, communication? 
Click the link to read the full article, "The Right Questions to Enhance Performance" :  http://www.singingsuccess.tv/forums/news/6870/
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