I recently had breakfast with a dear friend. Someone I’ve know for many years. He’s made an incredible career for himself, particularly as a playwright and an actor, with a gorgeous singing voice to boot. At breakfast, I told him how through college, I envied him his talent–he seemed to get involved in so many things. A whole bunch of opportunities seemed to fall in his lap. But as I watched him develop as an artist, I quickly realized that while, yes, he is a gifted performer, he works his ass off. He seeks opportunity. He creates opportunities for himself.… Read More »deanna’s got talent. or not.
As you might know, I am finishing my PhD in Music Education at the University of Toronto. So last week I attended the international conference known as RIME: Research in Music Education in the beautiful University of Exeter in England. This was the view from my bedroom window: Besides the tremendous views, I also got a lot out of the conference itself. Now that I am back in Toronto, I find I am left both excited and troubled about the state of music education world-wide. Excited because I saw many presentations that examined a wide… Read More »Reflections on RIME
I just left the ph.d. defense for my capoeira teacher and friend, Lang. Her dissertation on capoeira focuses on how the Afro-Brazilian martial art form is both a powerful site of transformative learning and a challenge to strictly logical/cerebral learning indoctrinated in us in academic institutions. She began defending her thesis this morning by bringing in the whole group and playing in the roda at the beginnning. The University of Toronto is really strict about these things: defenses are not open to the public and we were not allowed to be present during the actual defense. But we were allowed… Read More »confronting the rational with the embodied
At the risk of killing romance, I’m going to be honest: I hate valentine’s day. I buy pre-packaged branded valentine cards for my sons to give to their friends, and my kids will come home this afternoon with bags full of the same kinds of cards that bear not more than a tenuous connection to love. Same for the chocolates and roses we’re supposed to purchase for our lovers this one day: consumerist expressions of love. So I’m a cynic, a valentine scrooge: bah humbug on love, valentine style. But this morning, I’m rethinking the value of a day in… Read More »sing for love
I went back to school this week to begin the 3rd year of my Ph.D. in Music Education, and I was often cheerfully greeted with “Happy New Year!” In this corner of the world, September feels like the real start of the year. Whether you are in school, have kids in school, or have simply been conditioned through previous years of school, we approach September with the fresh optimism of beginners, even with a longing for a summer that has slipped by. This beginnings-time-of-year was underlined for me this week: I had several new voice students begin at my voice… Read More »beginning and beginning again: six strategies in starting with a new voice teacher
I am blessed to know many incredible women. One of those women is Sarah Hopen, Chief Administrator of STAR Company: the Society of Technicians for Administrative Removal. STAR Company is in the business of taking care of the book-keeping, filing, and organizing of creative people so that creative people can…well…create. Thanks for that, Sarah. And thanks for this: STAR Company profiles an artist in each newsletter, and this month, I got to be interviewed! With Sarah’s permission, I’m reposting the interview here, but if you want to see it in its original setting, go for it. Oh, and STAR Company… Read More »My STAR Interview!
Last Saturday morning at breakfast, my 5-year-old was asking why my partner had to leave for the day. “I’m going to campaign school,” my partner said (it’s election time soon in these parts). My son thought about this. “Well,” he said, “if you’re going to school, there’s one thing you should learn first.” “What’s that?” “First, you should learn how to sing. Singing makes everything easier.” Singing makes everything easier! After I stopped laughing, I started to consider the implications of this. Do I agree? I’ve wrestled my fair share of singing demons. I’ve gone through long periods where singing… Read More »making everything easier