14. Dezember 2019

How do I choose a masterclass?

Masterclasses can be very enriching, but also very confusing. Good to give the decision where, when and with whom a bit of thinking.

I strongly recommend attending master classes only after your second year of bachelor studies. A master class will probably interfere with your vocal technique, and if this is not steady yet (which is perfectly normal for second-year students), it might do you more harm than good and confuse you. As soon as the basis of your singing technique becomes clear to yourself, you can start integrating new input.

Here are some possible reasons to attend masterclasses and my opinion on the matter (you can find links to several masterclasses at the end of the article):

Beautiful place

You mostly want to visit a certain place because it has a beautiful countryside, impressive things to see and might be a lot of fun.

Choose the loveliest place you can find and enjoy the class.

Famous artist

You wish to work with a famous artist.

Choose “your” star and enjoy watching her/him work and work with her/him – you might learn a lot even, but if not, you will have been close to your idol.

Now, I am not saying that it is impossible to meet a star in a beautiful place and learn something from work with her or him, but these chances are maybe not so huge. So decide beforehand which point/s you would like to focus on.

Particular teacher

You are looking for a new teacher or wish to experience how a particular instructor works.

Take the time to have a close look at the person’s or the specific Hochschule/Conservatory’s website. Try to find out if the students who have emerged from this class can pay their living with singing (chorus or ensemble of an opera-house, good freelance work, well-paid concerts).

Learning something specific 

You would like to learn something in a specific field (musical style, acting, mental strength, etc.).

This one is quite simple: Invest a weekend into internet research. Check who is teaching, read the participants‘ feedback.

Preparing an opera role

If you need or wish to prepare an opera role during a Masterclass, look into Masterclasses like „Junge Oper Weikersheim,“ „Ticino Opera,“ or „Mediterranean Opera Studio.“

Advanced Masterclasses for professionals

You are not a student anymore and looking for a class with and for professional singers, members of opera studios, try to get detailed information about the following:

  1. The requirements

Professional masterclasses that are worth your time will always require that you send in two or more recordings, so the teacher/s can decide whom they will accept.

If you read that the course is open for everybody or that the admission will be closed as soon as an XY number of applications is reached, it is probably not for professional singers.

  1. The teacher/s?

Is it a single person or a group of instructors working together? If you are an advanced singer and can handle a lot of input, you might want to look at complex classes with several teachers involved.

  1. The goals and concept of the masterclass/ Public classes versus classes with privacy

Depending on the concept, a masterclass could be more or less public. Public classes can have the advantage of possible engagements by invited directors, agents, listeners, e.g., „Internationale Meistersinger Akademie“, or „Young Singers’ Project“ of the Salzburg Festival. If you feel comfortable being „taken apart“ in front of an audience, this could be right for you. If you wish to work on your weaker points quietly, try a masterclass with a more private atmosphere, e.g., The „Exzellenz-Labor Gesang.“ (The Exzellenz-Labor is my „baby“, so, of course, I find it fabulous:)

Either way, I strongly recommend fixing technical and stylistic shortcomings first and only then attending a „public“ masterclass.

IMPORTANT:

Do/Does the teacher/s have teaching experience?

Giving masterclasses requires the skill of quick analysis and the decision about what can be helpful for whom, so teaching experience from the instructors‘ side will be highly beneficial for the participants!

HAVE A GOOD MASTERCLASS, 

until next time,

Hedwig

Links to masterclasses.

There are, of course, very many more masterclasses, I only mention those I know:

  • Work on technique, musical style, audition training, mental training (undisturbed)

 

 

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