August 17,2020

Good morning, dear ones,

 

I am still in a fog, basking in the glow of the inaugural Music In The Air recital. With the knowledge that I am repeating myself, I have to say once again that it was magical.  I can't wait until next Sunday, and the second round of wonderful performances.

 

There was an interview with Yo-Yo Ma in the Post yesterday (https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/qanda-with-yo-yo-ma-how-music-can-be-like-touch-during-these-socially-distant-times/2020/08/13/9725a22c-db07-11ea-8051-d5f887d73381_story.html), about music providing a touching connection. He said,

 "During [the coronavirus], how much we respond to touch has been taken away from us. You can’t touch, you can’t hug, you can’t shake hands. But what music does, it's sound moves air molecules. So when air floats across your skin and touches the hairs of your skin, that’s touch. That’s the closest thing to someone actually touching you. It’s as if you were miniaturized and you’re in the middle of a lake. But that lake is a bowl, and that vessel is holding you. That’s what music can do."

 

Such a beautiful reminder of the power of music. The power you, my dear students, have at your command, both to offer and to receive. We are the lucky ones. But as I have said before, ours is a gift that carries with it responsibility. We can change the world, our little piece of it, we can bring joy and connection. 

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the not-so-new-anymore online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones 

August 11, 2020

Good morning, dear ones!

 

The first Music In The Air recital was a huge success!  A respectfully socially distanced gathering of studio members and their families under the big beautiful trees of the "Asylum", an hour of marvelous music offered by our studio members, an opportunity to offer our congratulations and best wishes to the graduated class of 2020. What a magnificent time we had. The technology gods and goddesses generally smiled on yours truly as I managed the accompaniments with only a few glitches. Everyone's hard work was so evident, and the earnestness with which the performances were infused was infectious. 

I am truly filled with so much joy and gratitude and love for all of you who participated, and for the Cameron's, who opened their hearts and their property to our venture. And I am so looking forward to the next one, on August 23, when I will be able to gather with 10 more of you, to share another evening of music and friendship.

Check out the attached photos, which don't do justice to the beauty of the evening, but will give you a sense of it.

 

Once again I say - find ways to sing for your family and friends. Stand outside nursing homes and sing. Stand outside your grandparents houses and sing. Stand outside your houses of worship and sing. Break into song randomly as you take your walks and bicycle rides through your communities. There is nothing like the power of music to lift the spirits and bring smiles to the faces of people. We all have that capacity, to bring some healing to this world through our voices.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the not-so-new-anymore online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones 

August 3, 2020

Good morning, dear ones, 

 

Well. I think I can speak for just about everyone when I say I am glad to see the back of July 2020. Somehow, everything seems just so much MORE this year. More heat. More rain. More loss. Finding ways to bring joy into our lives and into the lives of others is so hard, but I know when I look around me, I mean really look, I see much that can bring me joy. The crepe myrtle and hibiscus blooms that burst with color in the well tended yards (better tended this year than usual) I pass on my walks. The grass that is still green and not the dry, dirty, brittle grass we usually see in August in DC. So many beautiful birds at my feeder and in my trees. People holding doors open for others, offering hand wipes along with their just returned grocery carts, muffled good-morning's and thank you's and you're welcome's accompanied by crinkle-eyed, masked smiles. I think we are more likely to have brief exchanges now, in our masks, than we were before. Perhaps we all just miss so much, we want to wring out as much as we can from every encounter we have.

 

And now - batten down the hatches!  Here comes Isaiah! The good news is, you don't have to leave your house and drive through the downpours and wind to come to your lessons, we can all stay dry and comfortable as we work through our sight-singing, our vocalises, and our songs. In anticipation of performing - yes PERFORMING! - in front of our loved ones and fellow studio members. I am so excited about the upcoming Music In The Air recitals I am quite giddy. More joy.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones ~

Good morning, dear ones, 

 

Last week this time I was sitting in my back yard watching a litter of 4 kittens play.  As some of you know, they showed up 2 weeks ago, about 5 weeks old maybe?, with their momma, and I loved feeding them, watching them play, and finding them trusting me a bit more every day, hoping to be able to eventually catch them and find them homes. Sadly, they disappeared as unpredictably as they had arrived. I guess momma decided to check out the rest of the neighborhood for a better home (not gonna find one better than here, momma!). I will be watching the videos I made of Butterbrickle, Buster, Beautiful and Bandit and miss them, but hope they are safe and someone else can find them homes.

 

The news about MCPS's decision for the fall, while not unexpected, cements the changes in our lives that this virus has caused.  I am sad for you, my students, who will spend more time isolated. I am sad for me, because I miss your physical presence with an actual ache. But I know that in order for us to get through this, we must follow the protocols, wear our masks, keep our social distance, and find ways to support those who are suffering financially, physically, and emotionally.  

 

So here's the good - GREAT - news.  Our first "Music In The Air" outdoor recital is officially scheduled for August 10, and the second will be August 23!  Only 10 students maximum performing, with a limit of 50 people gathering, we will enjoy live music, and an opportunity to PERFORM again, to be in each other's company within the governor's guidelines, for an hour or so of joyful music-making. Many thanks to my dear friends for offering their beautiful property as the perfect venue.  I can't wait to share pictures and video of the event.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones ~

July 13, 2020

Good morning, dear ones,

 

Doesn't it seem like it should be the last week of August instead of the middle of July?  Except the garden doesn't lie - my peppers and squash are setting blossoms and my tomatoes are only just now starting to ripen. Lettuce is done for awhile, and beans are coming on strong. And we dug potatoes over the weekend!

 

Now on to music and theater. It is heartening to see reports of outdoor concerts in drive-in theaters, and the piece in the Post yesterday about the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/once-more-unto-the-breach-shakespeare-returns-to-the-shenandoah-valley/2020/07/08/7b2d3482-bd4c-11ea-80b9-40ece9a701dc_story.html ) lifted my spirits and renewed my confidence in the determination of theater to find creative, new and successful ways to move forward. 

 

As for us here at ALHStudio - plans are in the works for a socially distanced recital. Stay tuned for more information as we hash out the details. And continue to practice - body alignment, breathing, bumbling. Until we can be together again in person let's use the tools we have available to us, work with your recorded exercises and accompaniments. Sign up for zoom and FaceTime lessons (they are going so well!!). Use the time we have available to us - loads of time! - to continue to learn and grow, and to find joy in song.

 

Those of you 16 years old and up - here's a wonderful opportunity. I encourage you to DO IT!

https://playbill.com/star

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones ~

July 6, 2020

Good morning, dear ones, 

 

Yet another week of this new world we find ourselves in lies before us.  The news that Broadway will stay dark through the rest of the year, all the Nutcrackers are cancelled this December, Cirque du Soleil has filed for bankruptcy, all of this weighs so heavy on my heart.  My friends and colleagues in the performing arts are aching - emotionally, socially, financially. I know I am not alone, and am joined by all of you, in finding a huge whole in my life that theater and live performance once filled. The uncertainty of this unprecedented time makes it difficult to stay positive, to keep practicing, to work toward a future which has always been unknown, but now is so much more than that.

 

And yet, as performers, we must continue to work on our craft, to learn and grow and prepare for the day when we will be onstage again, when we can share our talents and ourselves live, in person, with an audience we can see and hear and smell. An audience whose energy we can feed from, and who can feel our energy and love. 

 

Let's resolve to use this time we have been gifted (yes, let's choose to see it as a gift) to stretch ourselves, to learn more music theory, to work on our sightsinging and musicianship, to try new genres we have avoided (art song? opera anyone?). And, as always, let's continue to find new ways to share ourselves and our gifts with the world around us.

 

Did you watch Hamilton this weekend? Oh my goodness, it is true genius. Magical. And inspirational.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo_s6PsVogI

BOOM!  This pure joy.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

big musical love and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones.

June 29,2020

Good morning, dear ones, 

 

The end of June - how can this be? My father used to say (much to the dismay and outcries of distress from my siblings and myself) that when July 4th came, summer was over. NO! I love summer. I loved having my kids home and not having schoolwork and schedules to keep. I always said I was probably not being a responsible parent when I joyfully threw "no more pencils, no more books!" parties in the back yard and selfishly celebrated the time with the boys and their friends.

 

This year, though. 2020. I wish Daddy was here to say, in his most despondent voice, "summer is over". The good news is - 2020 is half over! 

 

As we continue to find our way through this confusing, difficult and sometimes overwhelming time, please, please, PLEASE keep singing! Keep making music and keep finding ways to share it with the world. The BET awards last night were an example of the power music has to express not only ourselves but to be the voice of a movement. Perhaps to lead others, to inspire change long needed and difficult to accomplish. But hey - don't we as musicians know how difficult it is to learn and grow and change and progress? But we study, we practice, we work hard to improve. And the influence we can have to motivate others can be enormous. 

 

Please enjoy these videos taken by Eugene Aronne at the "socially distanced" concert in the Aronne's yard last week. The birds loved it, but not as much as the rest of us!! 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvfQNMIlsqjQ9e2BrnBGfYwf0nZjnD3xf

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

Big musical love and wishes for everyone's continued health and safety. You are so precious to me.

June 22,2020

Good morning dear ones, and welcome to summer!

 

It's here, isn't it? Heat. Humidity. But beautiful sunlight, long days stretching into lovely evenings. 

I am trying to be happy for and not envious of the little jaunts you guys are taking - brief visits to the shore, the mountains, the country, which I get to share vicariously through your pictures and stories.  Please! Keep them coming! And think of me as you walk along the shoreline and dig your feet into the sand. 

 

As you move through your summer, offer your beautiful voices (and instruments) to the people around you. Know that spontaneous bursts into song, little pop-up concerts, surprise entertainment for your neighbors, family, friends and even strangers are always so appreciated and welcome, and provide distraction from our isolation and offer hope for our future. I loved walking the boardwalk in Ocean City and seeing/hearing the buskers. The evening my son Tim and his friends picked a bench and set up shop, playing their guitars and singing, is one of my favorite memories.  You can help change the world by your actions and the way you interact in your own world. I know I have said this before, but we as artists hold a unique place and have a responsibility to bring our gifts forward and use them to comfort, encourage, and inspire.

 

Here's my offering this week - these guys!!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWtd2UEh2hY

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

big musical love and virtual hugs to all of you -

June 8,2020

Good morning, dear ones -

 

Another beautiful morning begins another beautiful day. Perhaps this perfect weather is in part responsible for the optimism I feel as we move forward in this uncertain and continually changing, challenging and perplexing time. I am encouraged by the outpouring of demand for social justice. I am encouraged by the report of declining rates of infections and deaths.

And I am tremendously encouraged and proud of the actions so many of you studio members have taken in your endeavors to make your voices heard in the most effective way possible. You are being creative. You are being honest. And you are truly making a difference.  Believe that, and continue to act as your conscience and your abilities allow.

 

To the graduating Class of 2020 - I am so proud of you and so excited to think of the possibilities that are before you. I am truly grateful and humbled to have been a small part of your lives. I want you to know that I have learned as much from you as I hope you have learned from me.  I truly love all of you and think this world is so lucky to have you all bringing your incredible energy, talent, creativity, intelligence and enthusiasm into a society that needs all of that and the compassion and sensitivity that you have shared with me over the years we have been together.

 

I want to share this video - the singing begins about 1 minute in.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA0-MjgZPyg

Walter Johnson High School - which is home to a few of our studio members - contributed to it. (Notice Chelsea in the upper left corner!!!)  Once again I am blown away. Keep the arts in the schools!!!!

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

big musical love to all~

June 1, 2020

Good morning, dear ones

 

June first!  Meteorological summer!  

 

The beautiful weather belies the heartache and pain we are experiencing as a community, as a nation and as a world. So much tragedy requires our attention and also requires us to contemplate our part in adding to the healing and not contributing to the divisiveness and discord that seem to be swirling around us. 

 

As musicians we have much to offer.  Our songs provide so much more than "entertainment". We console, we encourage, we celebrate, we love. Please take a few minutes and watch/listen to this amazing example of music - education, performance, the sheer joy of doing what we love to do is all evidenced in this virtual performance by Blake High School musicians (some of whom are part of our studio) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VI88NdDit_o

 

I miss you all.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

Big musical love and wishes for all of our continued health and safety

May 11, 2020

Good morning dear ones -

Week 9 and still counting.  And still missing you all - 

 

I'm not sure how this weekly missive began to be "a thing". The need to let you-all know how the studio would be working as we entered this period of uncertainty, and updating you as kinks were worked out and new procedures put into place were the motivating factors initially. Now, however, I just feel compelled to continue to communicate with you-all, because I miss you so much.  And I want to keep our studio community connected and alive. And I hope that these messages are not annoyances, but instead are reminders of our need to share ourselves with our loved ones, our friends, and our individual communities, and encouragement to continue to share our talents with the larger community. Little glimmers of positivity and the love I feel for each of you. 

 

I came across this a few days ago, one of my favorite songs and one of my favorite groups. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And if you have suggestions of things I might share here, please let me know.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HINNVwddDJU

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

Big musical love to all, and wishes for all of our continued health and safety.

May 4, 2020

Good morning, dear ones

 

Week 8.  EIGHT!!!!!!  

 

But last night's rain washed much of the pollen out of the air, the sky is clear and beautiful, and the birds - oh my goodness, the bird songs are joyful, magnificent in their innocence, clarity and myriad distinctions. 

Just as your voices, my dear students, are. And how I love working with each of you to continue to find your unique voice, both through song and all the other ways you are finding to express yourselves. 

 

We are all missing each other, missing so much that we took for granted just 8 short weeks ago. I am confident we will find our way through this challenging time and emerge to a new life that will include delight in resuming activities that in the past may have felt mundane or tedious. As well as the activities we love and miss so much.

 

I want to express my most sincere thanks to the students and families who are continuing to study with me through this. I can't find the words (as hard as that may be to believe, haha) to describe the gratitude in my heart for your continued trust in and support of this studio. You are in so many ways my lifeline through this. And I hope the time we spend together gives you as much delight as it does me.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

With much love and long-range hugs

Monday, April 27, 2020

Good morning dear ones -

 

Is it really week 7? I have had this conversation with some of you already - how in some ways it seems like this has been dragging on forever, but the days seem to be flying by.  It is wonderful to be able to connect with you-all virtually, but oh my goodness how I miss seeing you here, and the comfort and happiness our hugs give to me.

 

Those of you who have been meeting with me know how much we are still able to accomplish with online lessons. We are learning new songs, both of us, as you bring new songs I haven't heard before, and I offer some old chestnuts that are immortal. Your musicianship is exploding. I am pulling out my music theory, sight singing, ear training and music history texts and am enjoying the review for me as I bone up on stuff for your lessons. And spending an hour giving yourself the gift of song, the gift of immersing yourself in music, in your breath, in your body - that is not only something we all deserve, but something we all need right now.

 

So many artists are providing their music to us, and I am loving the creative ways they are finding to connect to us, and offer their gift of performance. And there are wonderful opportunities for you-all to offer your gifts to others - I have talked to a number of you about things to consider as we go forward in these uncertain times. We need to think "outside the box" as they say, and look for solutions to our loss of opportunity for performance as we have known it. At least for the time being. If any of you have suggestions, please share them with me. Sometimes brainstorming sessions result in terrific ideas for us all!

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

Reesie and AppleJack miss you all tremendously (Reesie especially), and Anastasia misses welcoming you with her boundlessly energetic barking. The seedlings in the makeshift greenhouse continue to grow, but honestly I don't think they are doing as well as the past couple of years when they had almost daily love from you, my precious students (and parents). 

 

Big musical love to all, and wishes for all of our continued health and safety.  

Monday, April 20, 2020

Good morning dear ones,

 

Oh my goodness Washington is so beautiful in the spring!  Each week another tree rolls out her colorful blossoms.  My tulips are still standing, this is week 4 for them!  I admire their strength, resilience, and determination.  Each morning I look out and determine to follow their guide and stand tall and strong.  And the day they drop their lovely petals, something else - pansies, azaleas, lilacs - will be there to offer me their positive energy and exquisite grace.

 

I am so grateful to those of you who continue to study with me. And a few "oldies but goodies" have come forward after 20, 30 years to review and work on their voices! This past week, a number of students auditioned for next year's choruses, and/or upcoming productions with tremendous success. I am so happy for them and for the groups that will benefit from their participation. This is such a gift to me, and I can't express my gratitude for your continued trust.

 

Those of you who have experienced waiting in my little inside nursery will be happy to know that the seedlings have poked their spindly heads out of the soil and are reaching for the growth light. Another sign of new life and the promise of tomatoes, tomatillos, cucumbers and peppers to come.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accomodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

Please all of you, whether I "see" you here soon or later, remember to practice proper body alignment, breathe, and sing with joy. And offer your joyful song to the world - your own personal socially isolating world, or the bigger, virtual world which we now inhabit. 

Big musical love to all, and wishes for all of our continued health and safety.  

Monday, April 13, 2020

Oh my goodness, beginning week 5!  I will never take for granted the gift of welcoming you guys into my home studio, sharing flowers and plants, sharing hugs, and being able to experience our time together in person.

 

Online instruction continues, and I am so encouraged by the success we are having and the improvement and growth that I see. Hard work is resulting in technique being strengthened, ear training is off the charts, new songs are being introduced.  Breathing, singing, laughing, and sharing together makes weathering this situation a bit easier.

 

And speaking of WEATHER!!!!  holy smokes!!!!  Spring in the DC area never disappoints with it's constant, sometimes overwhelming, and beautifully schizophrenic daily offerings. This slowing down of life offers us a unique opportunity to observe it, dwell in it, in a way we have come to miss in our previously excessively busy lives.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the new online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accomodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

I miss you all, and send big musical love - stay safe and healthy.

Monday, April 6, 2020

What an absolutely beautiful morning it is - the birds and the flowers don't have any idea what we are all going through, but their presence in our loves is sure making it easier to stay at home.

 

Lessons continued successfully last week, once again we worked out a couple more glitches and there is so much learning and making of music happening! I know we are all getting more and more used to this online learning/communication, and it is truly a wonderful thing to meet for an hour and work through familiar vocalizes, experiment with new ones, and "Sing Out Louise!" (my inner Mama Rose is bursting to  break loose!!!)

 

Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accomodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. 

 

Everyone please know I think of you all often and with love, and wish continued good health and safety for you and your loved ones. As we enter a week that holds much meaning to many, I also send wishes for a blessed Holy Week, Easter, and a most happy Passover holiday.

Monday, March 30, 2020

It is so good to see the trees greening up, the daffodils and flowering fruit trees blooming, and the pansies' little faces smiling at me! Gary mowed the yard yesterday (I can't really say mowed the GRASS, but at least now everything that is green is all the same height). I am beginning my seeds in the little makeshift greenhouse. I only wish you-all were coming here to enjoy it all with me.

 

Online lessons are continuing, and it is interesting to see how it is working. I have found them to be quite successful, and between us we are figuring out what works well (many things, including but not limited to ear training, pitch memory/retention, vocal flexibility, learning new music, interpretation and phrasing) and what we need to leave till we are together in the physical studio (most specifically the interaction between the vocalist and the accompanist.  Not happening, folks!)

 

Please continue to schedule on appointy, and I will contact everyone to tweak the lesson times to accommodate the 15 minute buffer between lessons. And as I mentioned before, if there is no time convenient available on appointy, let me know and we'll find a time that works for you and your family - I know that between online work and beginning online instruction for MCPS, internet access will become even more coveted.

 

Everyone here, feline, canine, and human, sends big virtual hugs, barks and purrs. You know I also wish for all of us to stay healthy and safe.

Monday, March 23, 2020

We made it through the first week of online lessons - each one was a learning experience and with everyone's help we worked out many of the kinks. I'm still experimenting with ways to make your lessons fun and valuable. So far everyone who took a lesson last week has signed back up, so I guess it's going well!!

 

I am using both zoom and FaceTime, depending on the individual student's accessibility and needs. One of the adjustments I have found I need to make is putting a 15 minute buffer between lessons, to give myself time for a quick trip upstairs, or to prepare for the next lesson (or both!). So while appointy is still taking hourly lessons (I am trying to figure out how to fix that, but hopefully this won't last too much longer and making a change won't be necessary), I am making slight shifts and send notifications of the new lesson time - the changes won't be more than 15-30 minutes one way or the other. I am also teaching other times than are listed on appointy to accommodate these shifts, so if you can't find something that works for your family's schedule, let me know and we will find a time for you!

 

It is important to mention that using zoom (which is the only option if you don't have Apple devices) uses a lot to bandwidth (listen to me! I sound so technologically smart! But I may very well be using the wrong terminology, haha) and to have the best lesson possible, we need to have your wifi available, meaning everyone else has to promise to stay off the internet for the hour of your lesson.

 

I so miss seeing everyone in person, but seeing your faces and hearing your voices gives me such joy. And when we are back together here with Reesie and AppleJack, we can hug to our hearts' content!!!

August 24, 2020

Good morning, dear ones,

 

The second installment in our Music In The Air concert series went off without a hitch last evening. The sky was more than threatening as we drove out to Ashton, MD,  but Zeus, or Thor, or Chaac, or Guabancex, or maybe all of them looked down at our gathering and decided that we all needed live music more than more rain. Perhaps it was Talia's opening song, Waiting For Life, from Once On This Island, that brought Asaka forward to overrule the others!  We moved to the front of the house to be closer to the cars in case we had to make a run for it, and now I can't decide which is better, the front or the back!  Look at the attached photos and you'll see what I mean.  Both are beautiful and perfect for our needs, and once again I can't thank the Cameron's enough for the gracious offering of their space. It was another delightful evening full of music and friendship and community and love and joy. And honestly, I haven't seen these students in person in 5 months, I think most of them have grown 6 inches!!!!!

 

I don't know who gets more out of these events, the singers who have the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience for the first time in months, or the audience who is experiencing live performance for the first time in months. I think it's a toss up. But knowing that there will be an opportunity to perform and put to use the skills and techniques we practice makes the work we do so much more exciting and fulfilling.   I am looking forward to as many more of these as we can squeeze in before the temperature drives us indoors to begin our hibernation.

 

One of our studio parents was kind enough to video all the performances, and if you are interested in seeing them, let me know.  I will forward you the link. Eugene Aronne, you are a gem, and I know I can speak for all the families there last night when I offer you my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the not-so-new-anymore online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones 

I

August 31, 2020

Good morning, dear ones, 

 

And so we turn the page and begin a new chapter in this confusing and complicated life we are living.  It is now 9:05 a.m., and my thoughts are with all the MCPS (and other) students and teachers who began their first day of school year 2020-2021 five minutes ago. No yellow busses going up and down Veirs Mill Rd, no groups of kids on the corner bus stops - it is very weirdly quiet. I know that my missing the excited hubbub that goes - went - with the beginning of a new school year does not compare to the anxiety and insecurity that so many of you are experiencing. I do have faith that you will find the way through this, that teachers will be able to adapt to this new way of teaching, and that students will be equally able to acclimate to their zooming, chrome-booking, solitary environments. 

 

My "grown-up" students are facing their own set of challenges, whether they be balancing their own work with their kids' needs, or finding ways to fill their days that had been full to the brim with post-retirement golf, bridge, art and language classes, and fun, exciting and often educational day jaunts.  

 

Our voice lessons can be a constant through this. Continuing to work on technique, learning new repertoire, preparing for more Music In The Air concerts is keeping me sane!  I think our lessons and daily practice are grounding. They can provide stability in this very unstable time.  The physical and mental work that accompanies the business of vocal training is satisfying and rewarding in so many ways.  I see it in your faces as you once again find a "G", and we work though our exercises and you "get it", or find new heights (or depths) to your range, or we find an exercise that fixes that difficult phrase in a song that has troubled you. And of course, the joy of performing in person again at our outdoor concerts. All these and more are the reasons we must keep singing and performing in our lives.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the not-so-new-anymore online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones 

September 7,2020

Good morning, dear ones,

 

The angle of the sun has shifted, it looks like school is supposed to start. Oh no, Wait. It has. 

How could it get any more confusing? Phase 3? Phase 2? Get tested. Don't get tested. Tests are accurate. Testes aren't accurate. Vaccine is imminent? Vaccine won't be available for another year (most likely, for sure}? 

 

Here is what I know FOR SURE. When we stand/sit in proper body alignment our backs don't hurt, we have fewer headaches, we can breathe well. The pathway that air takes is more clear, it enters and leaves our bodies without difficulty. When we unclench our jaw and put our tongue where it needs to be we can converse, we can shout, we can sing with more freedom and ease. 

 

When I find myself becoming overwhelmed with anxiety and fear about the future, and frustration and anger at the social and racial injustice in our society, and loneliness and sadness at the loss of physical closeness with my loved ones - and I count all of you in that number - I go into the studio. I turn on my ring light, open my MacBook and I FaceTime and Zoom with you and find myself smiling and laughing and enjoying our times together. My mood lifts, my worries fade, I am energized and filled with hope again. I am so very grateful for the technology that allows me to stay connected with you. We work through our exercises and we make progress and we learn new songs and we sing. We SING!

 

What joy it brings me to make music with you. 

 

I am working on more dates for our Music In The Air recitals. As soon as I get them nailed down, we will schedule the line-ups. I am so looking forward to seeing and hearing you all in person again, as I am sure you are looking forward to performing!  Those of you who have left us for college, we miss you and will welcome you back with open arms when you return. Hopefully December will give us a few warm (or at least not freezing) afternoons to share together at the Asylum. Meanwhile, let's not "wish our life away", as my mother used to say, and work to prepare for sharing some wonderful music this beautiful autumn.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the not-so-new-anymore online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones. 

Good morning dear ones, 

 

Another wonderful Music In The Air concert last night!  8 families gathered at the Cameron Asylum for 45 minutes of beautiful singing. I am so proud of the work you guys are doing in such difficult circumstances, I can't begin to express how much it means to me to hear you in person and see (and hear) the growth.  Ten more singers (and their families) this coming Sunday - what joy!

 

Live performance is slowly coming back to DC!  Did you see? Renee Fleming and Vanessa Williams at the Kennedy Center, 50 patrons onstage with them in the Opera House. What would we all give to be there? 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2L_BQ666pk

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the not-so-new-anymore online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones. 

Good morning dear ones, 

 

The second Music In The Air concert series (!!!!) went off without a hitch - well, the audio team (consisting of yours truly) had a couple of hitches, of course.  But the music, the voices, the performances, all were magical. Being together, experiencing live music, well I really don't have the words to describe it. 

You all already know I think sharing our gifts with the world is our obligation as artists. Let's continue to find ways to do that. Some of you have sent me videos and projects you are doing with your chorus teachers. They are wonderful! Don't hesitate to share them with your loved ones. Music can heal, comfort, bring joy. It can soothe, it can exhilarate. How lucky we all are to be able to offer all this and more to the world.

 

I am including the link to the videos of last week's concert, with thanks once again to Eugene Aronne, videographer extraordinaire! 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvfQNMIlsqjROw-uXgWt7klSzVDO4LIBW

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the not-so-new-anymore online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones. 

Good morning dear ones, 

 

I saw this in the paper yesterday - it gives me such hope!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/frederick-chorus-resumes-singing/2020/10/09/fd228838-08d9-11eb-9be6-cf25fb429f1a_story.html

 

And the pop-up concert in NYC - a studio member called it Music In The NYC Air!  I love it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_0f1luogjI

 

More Music In The Air concerts planned.  November. The holidays. We will sing through this however we can, until we can be together again, unmasked and and side by side. 

 

Be safe my dear friends. 

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the not-so-new-anymore online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones. 

Good morning, dear ones,

 

Mid October! How did we get this far this fast? Wasn't I only just a couple of weeks ago telling you I had begun my seeds for the summer garden? And now I am pulling the spent plants and preparing the beds for winter. I have to say thank you to Mother Nature for gifting us with the amazingly beautiful weather we have been enjoying. Perhaps a compensation for all the other stuff we are dealing with.

 

I am so proud of the way the students in the studio are working through the difficulties they are facing, and giving their all to succeed in this crazy virtual schooling they are doing. And the teachers are working so hard to give their students a meaningful educational experience. Working together is the only way we are going to make it, don't you think? And it makes me so happy seeing that happen over and over.

 

The news about the arts is so mixed - Broadway shuttered through May. My heart aches for all the people who continue to suffer the loss of not just income, but of the joy of working in professions that enrich so many lives. Then I turn around and see hopeful news - theaters and concert venues finding creative ways to offer live performance either virtually or in person (oh my goodness - how we all miss that!). And of course we will continue to put our Music In The Air concerts on as long as we can, too, bringing us together as we share the results of the hard work you are all doing in your lessons and home practice. Looking forward to 2 more in November, and then crossing our fingers for a Holiday edition!!!

 

Here is a little bit of beauty for you to enjoy - artistic creativity. The joy I feel as I watch this is a result of the obvious joy the performers are experiencing as their talent brings life to New York .  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1Ybm6ToJBI

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the not-so-new-anymore online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones. 

October 26, 2020

Good morning dear ones,

 

Well, I caved.  After 7 months I pulled my head out of the sand, decided to face the immediate future head on, and bought a Zoom plan. No more free-loading. Besides, as some of you know we were having some trouble with the connections the past couple of weeks - I think they were on to me. So we'll see how it goes now.  Actually, I am happy to support Zoom, as it has allowed me to see you-all and continue our work. And this will give me some time to figure out how to use the other things they offer, and maybe do a few virtual recitals when it gets too nasty to be outside.

Speaking of which, the November Music In The Air concerts are being planned as we speak! And remember we are going to be doing a holiday version in December, so start thinking about what you want to sing then, and get your dibs in before someone snatches your favorite song from under you!

 

I would like to share this piece from the PBS Newshour that ran Friday evening. Once again I am encouraged and do truly believe we will get through this time, the arts will survive and flourish, we will find ourselves together again in theaters, concert halls, pavilions and stages. 

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-the-performing-arts-are-adapting-the-pandemic-landscape

 

How I yearn to see you all in person. But until the time comes that we can do that safely, let's continue as we have learned to do, masked and distanced, but with the knowledge that the love we have for each other and for the arts will sustain us.

 

As always, I look forward to "seeing" you in the not-so-new-anymore online studio. Please continue to use appointy to book your lessons. I will be contacting everyone as I continue to tweak the schedule to accommodate that 15 minute buffer. If there is nothing available that meets your family's needs, don't hesitate to call or email me and we will find the perfect time for you. I'll contact everyone with your adjusted lesson time. If you haven't tried lessons this way yet, I encourage you to book one.

 

~big musical love, and wishes for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones. 

private voice teacher & coach