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Blog: Open Intervals

Teaching & Diction

Expression in Violin and Singing - Part 3: Making Your Violin Sing

Expression Violin Singing Part 3Nicole Notes: Several years ago I paired up with violinist and orchestra teacher Katie Gustafson to write several articles for String Notes, published by the Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association (MNSOTA), which is the local chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). We had a great time exploring the commonalities between playing the violin and singing. Please enjoy this three-part series.

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by Katie Gustafson and Nicole Warner

In the first two installments of...

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Expression in Violin and Singing - Part 2: Breathe Your Way Out of Your Lizard Brain

Expression Violin Singing Part 2Nicole Notes: Several years ago I paired up with violinist and orchestra teacher Katie Gustafson to write several articles for String Notes, published by the Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association (MNSOTA), which is the local chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). We had a great time exploring the commonalities between playing the violin and singing. Please enjoy this three-part series.

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by Katie Gustafson and Nicole Warner

Urbandictionary.com defines ‘...

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Expression in Violin and Singing - Part 1: Body Awareness

Expression Violin Singing Part 1Nicole Notes: Several years ago I paired up with violinist and orchestra teacher Katie Gustafson to write several articles for String Notes, published by the Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association (MNSOTA), which is the local chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). We had a great time exploring the commonalities between playing the violin and singing. Please enjoy this three-part series.

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by Katie Gustafson and Nicole Warner

A few years ago I was singing with...

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9 Goofy Things Voice Students Say

9 Goofy Things Voice Students SayVoice students say the darndest things! And my students are no exception. Over the past couple of years I've collected their antics and funny comments. Here, without further ado, are 9 goofy things my voice students have said:

You know you're old when...

A: *takes out smart phone and hits the button* Siri, who is “Milli Vanilli”?

Do I have a wobble?!

T: *looks at me wide-eyed.* Nicole, your vibrato…it scares me.

Confessions of a high schooler:

D: (whispered) I like orchestra better than...

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Dear Senior Voice Students...7 Words of Wisdom

Dear Senior Voice Students,7WordsofWisdom

It's hard every year when you depart. The last concert is so emotional, your last lessons are poignant. I often imagine what you'll think 20 years from now when you think about your voice lessons. Did you learn what you wanted to learn? Did all the music theory sink in deep enough? Do you remember to breathe with your belly?

Here are 7 pieces of what my students would probably call unsolicited advice I give to seniors and any voice student who's going off on a new...

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Routine in the Voice Studio

Having a general, predictable routine in the voice studio is part of what I call the "culture of a voice studio." When students start taking lessons from you, whether it is your private studio or at a school, they need to learn how your studio functions--Routine in the Voice Studio bluethey want to know what they can predict. Having a general structure to lessons creates a sense of security for you and your students and avoids chaos.

Over this past school year I've implemented a beginning-of-lesson-routine that has helped...

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Things I've Learned from Teaching Voice, Part 1

things ive learned from teaching voice part 1In 2004 I started teaching voice. It was the last thing I wanted to do. Long story short, I thought I was too good for it, that I should be singing, not teaching, and I was soon proven completely and utterly wrong.

I LOVED it. My first student was an attorney who sang in the concert choir in the Musikverein Lippstadt and took voice lessons to enrich her life and so that she might enjoy her singing more. Other students followed, from teens who wanted to sing the choir music arrangements from...

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For Voice Teachers: The Private Voice Studio Handbook

The Private Voice Studio Handbook by Joan Frey Boytim

Joan Frey Boytim's Private Voice Studio Handbook is a Must-Have for all Voice Teachers

September is just around the corner and now is the time to get your voice studio organized for the next school year. A great tool for getting your studio set up is The Private Voice Studio Handbook: A Practical Guide to All Aspects of Teaching by Joan Frey Boytim.
Long known and respected as a voice teacher and presenter for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Ms. Boytim taught...

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What is Solo & Ensemble? And What Do the Judges Do, Anyway?

Solo & Ensemble (or "Solo-Ensemble") is a yearly opportunity for kids in music programs to perform a solo, duet, and/or a small ensemble piece and get some feedback from a judge. This feedback includes a rating and if it's really high, they can go on to perform at state and receive another critique.

For some students, Solo & Ensemble is the only time they get to perform outside of band, orchestra, or choir. (I'll focus on choir and solos & vocal ensembles in this piece.) It may be...

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