New class, online of course, being offered on Tuesday evenings beginning October 6 (we will skip Election Day). Read all about it, and sign up before the last 3 spaces are taken…
Make the Song your Own
A voice class on Zoom.
8 weeks, Tuesday evenings 7-8:30pm (Eastern) starting October 6 (no class November 3).
$300. 8 folks maximum—only 3 spaces left!
Make your version of a song sound believable, as if you wrote it yourself. You will learn to make the phrasing, dynamics, timing and other important factors in a magical, musical performance. And of course, you will learn to expand your range, sing more clearly and beautifully and feel confident you are keeping your voice healthy.
Taught by Elizabeth Anker, who sings, plays piano, and writes arrangements for her choir. Liz believes folks thrive when given permission to be their best musical selves.
Each class will include group warm ups during which the class will be muted. Students will receive coaching on their songs (a cappella) many of the 8 weeks, and benefit from observing their classmates improve as well as experiencing their own solo time. There will be exercises to do in and out of class.
In past classes, one person worked on one song the entire time (finding and choosing verses of John Henry); another wrote some of her own verses to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. You may choose a few songs to work on, but the purpose of this class is to go deep with one or two songs. All styles and songwriters are welcome!
New semester at New England Conservatory, School of Continuing Education! Starting Wednesday, January 22, 7:00-8:00, a wonderful new take on the Bach Arias class I’ve taught there. Focusing on small chamber pieces that one can perform in a recital or church, we will also include works by Heinrich Schuetz and G.P. Telemann, as well as JSB.
Upcoming concert of 1. the lovely choir I conduct, and 2. a really fun cake with my mugshot (oops, headshot) alongside Handel and our harpsichordist right on the frosting! The Handel class was at NEC; the JP Jubilee is 75+ singers right in Jamaica Plain.
Sing/play Bach arias this semester at NEC–class begins Wednesday February 7, 7:30-8:30pm. Learn how to choose great arias, rehearse them as chamber music, and make a recitative sound like a great story…details: NEC voice classes
Appropriate for singers who can learn this wonderful music on their own and are comfortable singing in German; also welcome: flutes, oboes, strings, keyboard players…please pass this on and questions welcome…
I recently attended a workshop on improvisation*, and one of the interesting topics was practicing. Not just figuring out how to improvise over a jazz standard, although we did some of that as well. Finding new ways into the music, ways to make it more creative and a lot more productive. I was fascinated, because I had already been invited to offer an evening workshop at the New England Conservatory about the very subject. I had a lot of ideas before and now I have even more. The free event, for adults of all persuasions (beginners are encouraged), is coming up soon. Here’s the scoop:
Wednesday January 31, 8-9:30pm, Pierce Hall, New England Conservatory of Music, 241 St Botolph Street, Boston. Free to all, no NEC affiliation necessary. Appropriate for all styles. Bring your questions or even a bit of a song you’d like to ask about…there will be handouts, so if you’re coming, shoot me an email so I know how many to prepare. No one is required to sing, but there will be opportunities for the group to try exercises together.
*it was a weeklong workshop with two master performers/teachers, Rhiannon and Laurence Hobgood. In Hawaii. Poor me. I did, however, suffer through Boston’s Big Chill before earning the right to get warm. There was also an exciting false alert sent to my phone about incoming missiles. Some people have all the fun.
My sweet, fun choir of elders (JP Jubilee) is taking a big step this December, performing with a local community orchestra. We’ve learned the Hallelujah chorus and there are many other sweet holiday pieces on the program, which will be conducted by Geneviève Leclair. I am spitting proud of my “kids”. I have relented in my taboo of women tenors–with 72 members and only 11 men, I wisely chose to let our “lady baritones” have their day. Well, lady tenors. Post-menopausal and rarin’ to sing!
All proceeds of this concert go to support our program, which is a free class and meets at our local library.
It’s time to start again–classes, lessons, and the “Birthday of the World”. Come sing, learn, and have fun in Boston and Cambridge. Or travel to Cape Cod for the High Holidays where no one needs a ticket to take a seat…Am HaYam meets in Orleans and I’m cantor, conductor and pianist…
The “Dungaree Dolls” (Rachel Silva, Judy Jackson and Ann-Marie Pina) perform their original song in May 2012
I grew up with the Platinum Singers, as a conductor and a teacher of elders. We founded this group when Obama was inaugurated. It comes to a end this Wednesday, June 28, from 2:30-3:30 in the Lincoln Room of the Harriet Tubman House, 566 Columbus Ave at Mass Ave. Free admission, audience sing-alongs, but with more than a touch of sadness.
The Harriet Tubman House has been a place where seniors who still live on their own could get a hot lunch, take excellent exercise classes, learn to live with diabetes, and get help on their home repairs. And it was a place to sit and chat, on hot days or cool, with other folks.
Sadly, the United South End Settlements is discontinuing ALL senior programming in order to “save the institution”. And they will put all their efforts into “families”. So the elders who do not have grandchildren that fit into this category are left without their community center in the South End. Damn shame. As “45” slashes all sorts of programming and funding for elders (like Meals on Wheels), we are in need of more community organizations to take up the mantle of serving this population.
Silver lining: about half of the Platinums also sing in our Jamaica Plain group, JP Jubilee, where the program is also virtually free and taught by the same wacky woman. Most of the Platinums have accepted our enthusiastic invitation to come sing with us there.
On another note, my student John is moving to Maine to be nearer to one of his daughters. He sang “The Silver Swan” at the last student recital, and it was a fitting end to our years of lessons together. Even as he lost words, he still could sing the melodies and vocalize up to a high C. He was working as a journalist at the White House during the Nixon era when the Saturday Night Massacre occurred, so we shared a lot about the current political situation while reflecting back on his time as a member of the “enemies list”. Fare thee well, John!