What We Teach
Singing is taught by our experienced voice teachers, Nicolle Foland and Kristin Clayton. Our technique focuses on a holistic approach involving the entire body, breathing, and postural alignment to produce sound healthily for any voice type. Group warm-ups will reinforce healthy singing technique. Students will also have the opportunity to sing their warm-ups individually to get personal feedback. Two songs will be taught per each 10-week session, which students may use as solos to explore their singing technique and individual creative expression. For those students who would like to challenge their musical and creative abilities, duets and/or trios will be provided for coaching.
Becoming singer-actors requires development in many areas: imagination, truthfulness, specificity and confidence. In monologue work, professional acting coach, Curt Branom will help the students choose an appropriate short piece from a play, a poem or a song. He concentrates on individual creative expression, diction, rhythm and delivery as part of a complete acting technique. Also taught as part of the technique are how to approach, practice and perform a monologue. We will have a lot of fun with story-telling, using imagination and cultivating a sense of being “truthful in the moment” under imaginary circumstances. We will create characters using history, emotional recall and by truthfully responding to the world the student has created. And finally, we will combine these elements as we work on scenes, learning the art and “action” of listening, being and responding.
Curt will use improvisation games and exercises to help students relax and play/breathe/have fun after a day spent in the classroom. Our improvisational techniques create a sense of play that encourage spontaneity (accepting one's first idea without hesitation) and build confidence. This will allow students to freely and honestly express themselves using their imaginations. Quickly, students will experience that there are no right or wrong answers in learning how to improvise. The pressure to impress those around us disappears, and the common need to be "original" or "clever" is transformed into the ability to act naturally. Most often one’s first idea or response is the most honest and the best. Improvisation is about eliminating the "inner censor” and allowing oneself to be honest and creative while accepting any imaginable situation. The students will immediately learn to listen and respond truthfully to their fellow actors. Cultivating this awareness is vital to expressing oneself as an actor-singer and in everyday life. Our goal is to develop skills to enable every student to respond with honesty to any situation.