STUDIO RECITALS & MASTER CLASSES
Students voluntarily participate in two recitals and four master classes per year, all of which are included in the Cooper Voice Studio practice. Students of all levels perform as many of their prepared pieces as are memorized and polished enough for a successful presentation by the recital date. Master classes provide invaluable opportunities for song coaching amid their supportive studio peers, to explore and study theater craft elements of performing, work with an accompanist, and take new and creative risks with regard to interpretation, expression, performance practice, and more.
1. Master Class #1:
This event provides your first opportunity to sing your repertoire with one of our professional staff pianists, in first-step preparation for the recital. This is an extremely important element of preparation as singing with a live pianist is quite different from working with a recording, and a big privilege (as good pianists are difficult to come by!). Working with a pianist increases your ability to musically collaborate as your song becomes a duo (rather than solo), and allows you far more artistic freedom as the interpretation and presentation of your song evolves through your practice. Of the songs you plan to sing, start thinking in terms of shifting your energy from *following* the accompaniment recording to leading the song, as you will have the benefit of a pianist who follows your lead. Be sure of your entrances (melodically and rhythmically). Make strong choices about dynamics, nuances, tempo changes, fermatas, etc. Think about clarity of your cues (usually through breath) that will be helpful your pianist follow you. For those who are new to this, I will help you through the process (the other purpose of the master class... to learn and enhance these skills from me and your peers).
2. Master Class #2:
This is the final opportunity to work with your accompanist prior to the recital. Focus will be on elements such as:
- Polish entrances, tempos, dynamics, transitions, interplay between pianist/vocalist
- Expression, interpretation, character, communication with audience, gestures, movement, etc.
- Memorization, Projection, stage presence, stage logistics
- A bit like a dress rehearsal (casual attire is fine, though you may want to wear the SHOES that you plan to wear for the recital)
3. Duets / Trios / Etc.:
Students who are working on duets should be prepared to join their duet partner and sing through the repertoire with confidence on their own part (entrances, harmonies, rhythms, etc.), and awareness of their partner's line as it relates to their own.
4. Group Song:
Be sure to prepare and memorize the selected group song.
Usually, for each recital, a group song is selected to be performed as a final ensemble piece as the Finale. (It began as an intended one-time element, but the audience liked it so much it became a permanent fixture!)
A proposed list of Master Class participants and respective repertoire is usually provided about one week prior to the Master Class. Similarly, a proposed printed program of Recital participants and repertoire is usually provided about one week prior to the Recital date.
Please bring with you blank slips of paper (can be index cards, notepad paper, post-its, or similar) and a pen/pencil. Bring as many paper slips as there are participants. As you observe your peers, please jot down a few encouraging, positive-comment notes (one slip of paper per vocalist) based on their performance, bearing in mind that everyone is at a different place in their learning process. Hence, *encouragement notes*, not judgement notes!:-)
At the end of the Master Class, please quickly deliver your notes to the recipients. Each of you will then go home with lots of encouraging notes that will provide positive reinforcement from the class, and serve as reminders of how far you've come when you might read them again around recital time.
There is a $25 fee to be paid directly to your assigned pianist. This fee may be adjusted, based on certain variables.