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Building a Successful Music Team ~ 60 minutes

Directors have a lot on their plate, and let's face it, sometimes it's easier to do it yourself because it's faster than training, overseeing and guiding someone else to do it.  But there is nothing more satisfying than being able to have a team trained to step in when you're not there and trust that it will get done quickly and correctly.  Designed for members, musical leaders and directors, this class will lay out why a music team is important, and why many hands can make the difference between a good chorus and a great chorus.  Training.  Trust. Teamwork.  That's what this class is about.

Making an Exciting First Impression ~ 60 minutesWhat do the superstars do? How do they manage to grab an audience and have it captivated throughout a whole show. There are theatrical tricks that are common between the megastars. This class teaches performers how to be memorable from the start. Male and Female Class available.

Barbershop Singing is an Extreme Sport  ~  60 minutes

Did you know that performing and speaking in public is feared more than death, heights and spiders?  What we do is not easy, and by comparing what we do to the training, mental preparation and personal satisfaction of an on-stage experience to that of snowboarders, slackline walkers and cliff climbers the results are similar - there is just not that much difference.  Find out why the rush is the same.  This class discusses risk taking behavior, stage fright, mental preparation and more.  If barbershop singing was easy, more people would do it!

The Voice - Why Do We Sing?  ~  60 minutes

Our Voice.  It's our fingerprint - the first voice we hear and sometimes the last voice we hear.  But singing is a uniquely human evolution.  It heals us.  It helps us emote.  It is used to communicate and express ourselves in ways that talking does not.  This is an uplifting and emotional look at what singing does for our psyche and why it is an important definition of who we are.  We live to sing - and we sing to live.  Come on a journey into the super power we all have!

Body Language - Putting The Emotion Behind the Motion ~ 60-120 minutes

We express emotion through our vocal tone, our face and our body language.  When we're sad, afraid, in love, angry, etc., we exhibit non-verbal body language that says more than words could ever say. In this class, participants will learn - and see - what various feelings look like, and how this non-verbal communication can enhance the music we sing.  Male and Female class available.

Visual Communication Category Overview ~ 60 minutes

An in-depth explanation of Sweet Adelines International's newest category!  The evolution of the Showmanship Category into the Visual Communication Category - The tools and the criteria to get from conception to contest.   What is important and what isn't?  What makes a performance score well?  This class has audience participation.  

Performance Category Overview ~ 60 minutes

An in-depth explanation of the new Performance Category, from walk-on to walk off - from pushing the fourth wall to adding vocal color.  What is important and what isn't?  What makes a performance a believable and compelling experience for your audience.  Male and Female version available.

The Voice - How Does It Work? ~ 60 minutes

From hearing a pitch to phonating the note, did you ever wonder what actually happens?  This class will discuss the science behind singing.  What causes the vocal cords to activate?  Why is breath support so important? How are textures, vowels and inflections made?  What causes problems, and how can we fix them?  Let's open the hood and take a close look at the mechanics of vocal folds so we can understand how to get the most out of each note we sing.  

Conquering the Aging Voice ~ 60 minutes

They tell us to use it or lose it, and that is true...well it doesn't get any easier, does it?  This class was developed because I am the epitome of an aging voice, but when I was 67-years-old I was still in a top ten competing quartet.  I'll give you the physiological reasons why our voices aren't what they used to be, and I'll also give some advice that works for me.  If you are singing along and notice that annoying little wobble, or if you go for a note and it doesn't land in the spot you're aiming for, this class is for you.  

The Many Textures of the Voice ~ 60 minutes

Adding depth or lightness to the voice can create the many moods a singer needs to effectively see and feel the music. This class uses recorded demonstrations of different familiar singers and where each places her voice to be most effective. Lots of singing and class participation.  There are several versions of this class - Male and Female - Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adelines International and Harmony Incorporated.   There is slightly different terminology in each version.

Right Brain/Left Brain ~ 60 minutes

A real left brain look at how to get in touch with the right brain. Exercises in creative visualization and hints to help you live the music so that the audience gets the clear message of the songs. Male and Female version available.

How to Go From B to A in Performance ~ 60 minutes

By comparing two performances, it is clear what performers need to do to get out of the 60s and 70s and into the 80s and 90s (and more).  We will discuss the ingredients and the work that needs to be done.  Correct notes and words are just the beginning...the devil is in the details!  Male and female classes are available. 

The Differences (and Similarities) Between The Four- and The Three-Category Systems ~ 60 minutes

Whether you are a member of Barbershop Harmony Society, Harmony Incorporated, Sweet Adelines International, or members of the worldwide barbershop community there are subtle differences in the competition game. The Four Category System (Sound, Music, Expression and Visual Communication) is used by Sweet Adelines International and the Three Category System (Singing, Music and Performance) is used by Barbershop Harmony Society, Harmony Incorporated, BinG!, BABS, LABBS, SNOBS, and most everyone else.  There are MANY similarities.  There are some significant differences. 

Performance Packaging ~ 60 minutes

Sweet Adelines International now awards 100 points for the Top Ten 15-Minute Performance Package at the international level and a letter grade for the 10-minute Open Division Performance at the regional level.  So just what are the judges wanting to see anyway?  One competition song and a package requires musicality, unity, theme/script/emcee/mic technique, creativity and communication.  So what does all this mean?

Quartet Fixes When There's No Coach in Sight ~ 60 minutes

Okay, so you're in a quartet and something is wrong.  How do you fix problems right there at rehearsal? From tuning issues to note problems...whether it's out of balance or out of synch, these and many more issues are discussed with real-world fixes.  High priced coaches are nice, but sometime a DIY approach is best.  Learn to be a better quartet with this handy class for all levels.   

The Art of Woodshedding ~ 60 minutes

An introduction to ear singing. Lots of participation from the entire group.  No audio visual or handouts necessary. Just bring your ears!

Physical & Vocal Warm-ups ~ 20 minutes

Physical and Vocal warm-ups are done to music, stressing the importance of vocal stretches.  Male and Female version available.  

Creating an Effective Visual Plan ~ 60 minutes
How to tell your story visually.  Go from Singer to Actor to Character through planned and unplanned movement.  From knowing your strengths to understanding your emotional and/or physical limitations.

Let's Have a Show! ~ 60 minutes
Designed for Show Chairs, Chorus Directors or Chorus Leaders, this class goes through the different types of concert productions that work, the organization and committee requirements, how to sell tickets, market to the community, and what grants could cover it.  THEN we discuss the actual production:  From theme to script to the production itself.  How much rehearsal time will be needed, and how many production numbers will keep the audience interested to the end.

Leadership "Why Me, Lord!" ~ 60 minutes

Whether you're an administrative leader or a musical leader (or both), this class will identify what qualities define leadership.  It's an empowering and motivational look at the "X-factor."

Subtexting and Drama for Singers ~ 60 minutes

A look at character development and crawling inside your character. How to create on-stage illusions and explore the craft of acting. This class works best when used with a pre-selected piece of music to be performed by the whole group, because we're going to break the song down line by line.  Male and Female versions available.

Barbershop 101 ~ 60 minutes

This class was designed for the friends, families, spouses or random strangers. - anyone who is attending their first barbershop contest/convention.  What is the reason we've all gone a little crazy and what does it mean to the person doing it?  We will introduce the parts, the categories, the passion and the whats and whys of this hobby we call barbershop. We will even learn a tag.  Each question will be answered, so come and unlock the secrets to the madness!

The Cone Shaped Sound ~ 60 minutes

An audio trip into the world of choral vs. vocal jazz vs. barbershop. Listening to the different styles of music and what makes each identifiable by the shape of its sound, balance, volume level and color of each part. The class will create the ring by the use of a volunteer chorus. Audience participation.  Male and Female version available.

Marketing to the Barbershop Singer of Today ~ 60 minutes

Does your chorus attract singers under 30 years old?  Are you looking for new members in a new way?  A "get real" look at what attracts members, what pushes their buttons and what doesn't.  A good general membership class, with specific application for (but not limited to) marketing and membership coordinators.  Marketing techniques mixed with real data about the needs and satisfyers of barbershop singing in all age groups.  There is a male and female version of this class and a SAI and HI version.  Please let me know which audience this is.

Membership Begins With ME ~ 60 minutes

We are dependent on members for our existence!  But many chorus members think it is the Membership Chair's responsibility to grow - actually it is ALL of our jobs.  No matter what size you are now, you could be bigger.  This class is designed to give you the tools (and some ideas) to prepare to enlarge the fold, whether you are men, women or mixed - and whether you seek young members or just want to keep the members you have - there are things you can do to recruit and retain a growing chorus.  There is a version for SAI, HI, and BHS.

You Be The BHS/HI Judge ~ 60 minutes 

Using Barbershop Harmony Society's International judging system, we will discuss each level from C- to A.  It is interesting to watch members begin to "get it" as they hear and see the differences as each chorus performs.  Handouts available.

You Be The SAI Judge ~ 60 minutes 
Using Sweet Adelines International judge's level DVD, we will discuss each level from C- to A.  It is interesting to watch members begin to "get it" as they hear and see the differences as each chorus performs.  Handouts available.

The Risk of Taking a Risk ~ 60 minutes 

It's easy to say and hard to do.  Some of our singers are natural risk takers, others have a more difficult time.  This class helps you reach deep inside and learn to feel safe while exploring risk-taking behavior.  Audience participation.  Male and Female versions available. 


From Beginning to Winning...SHOW Business:

Product development. A full spectrum of performance techniques especially created for a quartet workshop. From entrance to exit - how to stand, take a pitch, MC or introduce your songs, and present the group for effective audience rapport. On stage persona development.  We will need a mic on a pole.  Handouts available.

From Beginning to winning...Show BUSINESS:

How to organize. What to look for in a foursome. Planning, job delegation, the business side of quartetting and conflict management. How to create your image on paper . . . business cards, brochures, photographs and price structure. How to organize the jobs within the quartet. How to set up an accounting system to fit the individual needs of each member. Running your quartet like a business.   Handouts available.


Bring the FISH PHILOSOPHY into Your Weekly Rehearsal ~ 30 minutes

Using the FISH Philosophy of PLAY, BE THERE, MAKE THEIR DAY and CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE, directors learn how to put a few more tools in their weekly toolbox.  The object of this class is to empower directors and build a support group within the region of directors.  Handouts available.

The Leadership Style of SpongeBob Squarepants ~ 60 minutes

Ah yes, we can learn a lot from SpongeBob.  Getting along, staying positive, having persistence, knowing strengths and weaknesses, infusing creativity and more!  The best leaders are a lot like SpongeBob (although they have probably not made that comparison).  Now you can!

Creating a Chorus Experience ~ 60 Minutes

Experiential learning is a new trend in education.  Directors can keep the members they have on the risers (and attract new ones) if they understand the importance of creating an experience at each rehearsal.  Singers sometimes have difficulty expressing themselves in words, especially if they have been abused, lack confidence or have low self-esteem.   This can make traditional "lecture and drill" work difficult and boring.  Many adults find it easier to express themselves through experiential learning - which includes "doing" music and dance.  When directors get beyond making points, and start making experiences, scores improve, membership grows, and rehearsals become productive and fun.  Today's singers are not looking for a place to sing as much as they are looking for a weekly experience.  Stop talking and start doing!  I have a male and female version of this class.

The Director as Performer ~ 45 minutes

It is easier for some than for others, but when a director signs on, he/she becomes the first impression and the "lead performer" of the group.  It's more than conducting.  There is a skill to it, and a director can never inspire if they are not inspired.  Like all theatrical performances, there is a technique to it.  Whether the director chooses to dance with the front row, or just get out of the way, these choices are laid out honestly -- from one director to another.  Male and Female class available.


Dues Free? Why Not! Grantwriting and Development ~ 60 minutes or a full day - how deep we go depends on time constraints: 

Want to be a dues-free chorus? Want to stop paying for theater rentals, coaching, risers, rehearsal space and costumes? An inside look at foundations for the arts and opportunities available for those who want to sing instead of sell pizzas.  If it is possible to hook up to the web, it's even better.

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