Voice Lesson: See A Great Classic Movie Musical!

Easter Parade
It’s Easter time, and this is the perfect moment to remind
everyone of the wonderful movie musical EASTER PARADE, starring the incomparable Fred Astaire and Judy Garland.  Chock full of terrific Irving Berlin tunes, including Easter Parade and Steppin’ Out With My Baby, this movie is a feast for the eyes and ears, and also features the spectacular dancing skills of the amazing Ann Miller, who still holds the Guiness Book of World Records for most taps per minute of any dancer… Gene Kelly was to have starred in the movie, but broke his ankle playing volleyball, and asked Fred Astaire to come out of retirement to take his place.  The result is a delightful Easter confection sure to make you smile and leave you humming those tuneful Irving Berlin melodies…

Happy Easter!

Voice Lesson: See a Great Concert!

Don’t Miss It!   The Orange County Women’s Chorus Presents:
Eliza Rubenstein, Artistic Director

Don’t miss the next concert of the OCWC 15th anniversary season, starring the “king of instruments!” Join guest organist William Wells, and some of OCWC’s favorite tenors and basses, to bring you works by Johannes Brahms, Francis Poulenc, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Benjamin Britten, alongside lesser-known historical gems and masterworks.

Please come at 6:30 p.m. as William Wells guides you on an up-close tour of St. Wilfrid’s instrument–a rare opportunity to learn about the mechanics and mystery of the pipe organ.

Buy your tickets today!

Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church
18631 Chapel Lane, Huntington Beach

Adults: $25 Seniors (65+): $20 Students with ID: $10
Group discounts of 10% available for groups of six (6) or more!
Order online today! ocwomenschorus.org
Can’t make Saturday’s performance? OCWC will be offering an abbreviated version of this concert as part of the community concert series at Grace First Presbyterian Church
in Long Beach on Sunday.

Performances of Mighty Pipes are supported, in part, by a grant from the Robert J. and Doreen D. Marshall Fund for Dramatic Arts and Classical Music of the Orange County Community Foundation.

Voice Lesson: Check Out Student Recitals at Your Local Colleges!

One of the easiest ways to observe singers at various levels of their vocal development is to attend the Junior, Senior, and Post-Graduate vocal recitals held at any college in your area.  These concerts are always free, and allow you to hear a lot of great singing and wonderful repertoire.  As I’ve stated before, you can learn so much about vocal technique, stage presence, acting, diction, languages, and every aspect of performance by going to concerts and not only being entertained, but studying what works and what doesn’t, and applying your discoveries to your own vocal practice…

Apropos to the above, congratulations to my former OCC student Alex Bodrero on a smashing Senior Recital last night at the Salmon Recital Hall at Chapman University!  What a wonderful performer– Alex truly embodies the key essence of a great singer– to understand the emotional content behind every word of his songs, regardless of what language they are in, and to communicate that message with 100% commitment. As hard as we all work on our vocal instruments, trying to make them as dynamic and beautiful as possible (a full-time job in itself!), being able to express through words separates our instrument from any other…



Voice Lesson: A Great Example of Technique

Congratulations to my long-time student Brooke Dickson on a wonderful performance last night! She is the star of Annie Get Your Gun at University High School, and did an absolutely fantastic job, singing, dancing and acting. How adorable is this picture?  (see below)
Beyond that, look at her technique– dropped jaw and relaxed tongue, palatal lift… students, take note!

To see this picture, go to: http://www.facebook.com/SingingLessonsOC





Voice Lesson: Attend A Great Concert– Learn By Observation

Alex Bodrero, Senior Recital

Thursday,  March 14, 2013   8 p.m.

Salmon Recital Hall, Chapman University

University Drive, Orange, CA, 92866
(714) 997-6871
Admission Free
I am especially pleased to announce this concert, as Alex was my Applied Voice student at Orange Coast College for several years, and is now completing his studies at Chapman University.  Congratulations in advance to Alex , on what I know will be a wonderful recital!


Voice Lesson– Attend a Great Concert! — Learn By Observation


Barbara Morrison: Ladies of Song Show With Dinner Option

Encore Dinner Theatre & Club (690 El Camino Real Tustin, CA 92780)

April 12 and 13th, 8 p.m.     encoredinnertheatre.com   (657)210-3200


For more than three decades, L.A.-based songstress Barbara Morrison has charmed audiences around the world with her beautiful voice and soulful musical stylings that range from blues to jazz to gospel and beyond. She’s performed with greats like the Count Basie Orchestra, Tony Bennett, Etta James, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie and many other outstanding artists. She’s starred at jazz festivals everywhere, from Montreaux and Monterey to Carnegie Hall and even the North Sea. Now she brings her legendary two-and-a-half-octave range to Encore Dinner Theatre and Club to perform live.

Voice Lesson– Take Care of Your Allergies!

It’s allergy season again– well, it’s always allergy season in Southern California– so it’s time to talk about caring for your voice!  Many singers try to brush off the fact that ongoing breathiness or hoarseness and overall fatigue can be the result of inflammation from allergies, but it is so common, I hear it in students every day in my vocal studio.  Don’t ignore it!  The more you let a small vocal problem go, the bigger a problem is created.  So how do you deal with allergies affecting your voice?

First, get a definitive diagnosis from an ENT (an otolaryngologist, or Ear Nose and Throat doctor, preferably one who specializes in dealing with singers and other professional voice users).  He can examine your vocal cords directly to see what may be causing the problem.  Once you know allergies are at the root of your vocal woes, you have several options:

1) Get tested by an allergist and find out what you’re allergic to (a certain food, a pet, dust, etc.)  and remove the source of the problem.  But, often, this can be an expensive or impractical issue to sort out, which could involve a major lifestyle change or long-term allergy shots.

2) If you can’t remove the allergen, then you have to deal with the symptoms.  I’m a huge fan of going the natural route– inhaling steam several times a day, drinking lots of water, using saline spray in the sinuses or rinsing the sinuses  (sterile sprays and distilled water ONLY, no tap water!), gently gargling with sterile saline solution, running a humidifier in your bedroom at night (keep it clean!) and your workspace.  Many singers also find relief taking natural supplements as well– certain vitamins, minerals or herbs.  But, seek the help of a licensed medical professional, such as a naturopath, to guide and monitor you.  Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it is without side effects, or necessarily better or safer than a prescription medication.

3) If natural remedies don’t take care of your allergies, you may have to take medication prescribed by your doctor.  I know many of us resist having to take medicine, but it may be a necessity if your allergies are severe enough that they constantly bother you and your voice.  Talk to your doctor and always emphasize that you are a singer and that you do not want to take anything that can create a secondary problem while trying to solve the first problem (for example, some antihistamines can cause dryness of the vocal cords).  Also, be careful of drug interactions if you are taking other medications, and beware of other side effects that could affect your health.  Do your homework, and get all the information you can from your doctor.

It may take some trial and error in treating your allergies, and may involve a combination of all three of the protocols listed above.  But, getting a handle on them can make all the difference in having a clear, vibrant vocal tone, and the energy and stamina to sing dynamically at peak performance.