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Please help me with graduate schools and teachers for a young dramatic soprano

April 11 2012 at 7:16 PM
Anonymous  (Login sopranodelacruz)
NFCS Member

 
Hi Everyone!

I am a young dramatic soprano researching for Graduate Schools. I would love to have your input on each school and teacher. If any of you do not feel comfortable with sharing information on this thread, you can email me at: jdelacruz@knigths.ucf.edu. I have spoken to my current teacher about Grad schools and he said I should look for teachers who has a lot knowledge in my rep. I really want to study with someone who is very technical, so if any of these teachers listed below are more like vocal coaches than a technician, please let me know! Thanks!

1. Mannes New School of Music:
Ruth Falcon and Beth Roberts-Sebek

2. Northwestern University:
Sunny Joy Langton, W. Stephen Smith, and Theresa Brancaccio

3. Indiana University:
Andreas Poulimenos

4. New England Conservatory:
Patricia Misslin and D'Anna Fortunato

5. Curtis Institute of Music:
Marlena Malas and Joan Patenaude-Yarnell

6. Rice University:
Stephen King

7. Manhattan School of Music:
Marlena Malas, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Cynthia Hoffmann and Patricia Misslin

8. Academy of Vocal Arts:
Bill Schuman

9. Florida State University:
Shirley Close

10. Southern Methodist University:
Barbara Hill Moore

11. Oklahoma City University:
Larry Keller

More importantly, I need information on Manhattan School of Music and Curtis Institute of Music since I have same teachers from two different schools


    
This message has been edited by sopranodelacruz on Apr 13, 2012 12:02 PM


 
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Anonymous
(Login amb1110)

Ruth & Beth

April 11 2012, 9:04 PM 

I can only speak on behalf of #1 because they are my teachers!

I am also a young dramatic soprano. My technique has improved so much with them. Ruth & Beth teach dramatic sopranos and have helped me understand the importance of engaging my back and ribs and my entire body to support the voice that I have. Nothing is manipulated or feels unnatural when singing. I could on and on, but there is something more important to discover.

I think what is more important than this list is to choose your top 3-5 teachers (or recommendations) and schedule voice lessons with them. You will find who you connect with the best, which will be very important for your growth. Take the feedback and use it to guide your decision, but also schedule lessons with these teachers as well.

Best of luck! (From another young dramatic soprano).

 
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Anonymous
(Login sopranodelacruz)
NFCS Member

Re: Ruth & Beth

April 11 2012, 10:19 PM 

Thank you amb1110! Ruth Falcon and Beth Roberts-Sebek are for sure my top choices. They sound perfect! When I am back in New York (I have family in Queens), I will ask for a trial lesson with them. Thanks for the advice!

May I ask about your experience at Mannes? Are you an undergrad or a graduate?

 
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Anonymous
(Login amb1110)

Didn't Go to Mannes

April 13 2012, 8:18 PM 

I didn't attend Mannes. I went to Penn State University, received scholarhips and assistantship (for masters). I studied with dramatic soprano Jennifer Trost. If you are looking to save money for a state school, and get TONS of stage experience? PSU will work well for you. Tons of personal attention, many performance opportunities, especially for solo singing and opera performances.

I study with Ruth & Beth now privately.

 
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Anonymous
(Login sopranodelacruz)
NFCS Member

Re: Didn't Go to Mannes

April 15 2012, 10:22 AM 

Unfortunately, my teacher prefer me to not go to Penn State because of multiple people's experience have not been positive lately. Thanks again amb1110!

 
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Brian Lee
(Login doheaven)
NFCS Member

Double check your names

April 11 2012, 9:34 PM 

Hi,

You probably won't be calling these people by their first names, but make sure you check how they're spelled. W. Stephen Smith's name definitely does not have an "A" in it and I don't think Mr. King's does either. I only have personal experience with Smith and Poulimenos. Both are good, but I'd give the nod to Smith for hard-core technical work.

cheers,
Brian


***************************************************
''It is easy to say that such and such a
singer has sold his soul, when really we are
only annoyed that Satan has never offered
us as high a price.''

- William Vennard

 
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Anonymous
(Login sopranodelacruz)
NFCS Member

Re: Double check your names

April 11 2012, 10:30 PM 

Oops! Thanks Brian. I've doubled checked the names and fixed everything. Thanks for the info happy.gif

 
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Anonymous
(Login dm25)
NFCS Member

Re: Double check your names

April 12 2012, 12:36 AM 

Poulimenos is a hell of a teacher. Can't recommend him enough.

Avoid Shirley Close.

 
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Anonymous
(Login sopranodelacruz)
NFCS Member

Re: Double check your names

April 12 2012, 1:00 AM 

A friend of mine told me that she is great... Is she that bad?

 
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Anonymous
(Login boltoht)
NFCS Member

re:Shirley Close

April 12 2012, 11:44 AM 

I disagree with this assessment entirely. I think she is a superior teacher. Perhaps this person had problems with her?

 
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Anonymous
(Login dm25)
NFCS Member

Re: re:Shirley Close

April 12 2012, 2:27 PM 

I have no issues with her personally. I just know quite a few singers from my time at FSU who she either ruined or who left her studio because they felt that she was doing them harm. If you've done well with her, congrats. Just further proof that just because someone doesn't work for one person doesn't mean they won't work for everyone.

At any rate, if you can, you should be taking lessons with these people before you make any decisions rather than trusting the opinions on some anonymous board.

 
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Anonymous
(Login sopranodelacruz)
NFCS Member

Re: re:Shirley Close

April 12 2012, 10:22 PM 

I may not have a lesson with her anyway because my teacher has told me that a friend of his came from FSU and didn't enjoy his time (and I've met his friend), but I want to see for myself since I have a friend there.

I understand your point about getting lessons with these teachers, but I am not using the forum to make my final decision. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to pay for lessons for about 14 teachers (which I am sure they are not cheap) on top of transportation and hotel fees. The point of the thread is for me to narrow down my list a bit because as you see my list is extremely long and there is no way I am auditioning for that many schools. I am going to have trial lessons with my final list of teachers anyway because in the end of the day, it is about the connection between student and teacher. BUT if there is a teacher that is terrible for my voice type, I want to know before I spend tons of money going out of state and having a painful lesson. I am just trying to be smart about my choices and want to know people's opinion about the schools and their teachers.

Anyway, I really appreciate your input! Thanks happy.gif

 
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Anonymous
(Login boltoht)
NFCS Member

Re: re:Shirley Close

April 12 2012, 11:27 PM 

I really think you should try and take as many lessons with as many people as possible. I've studied with several people on this list and I have friends who've studied with the other half of the list and I can honestly say that each one of these people (even the "best") has a negative tag attached to their name and to their teaching. I don't know of a single teacher on this list who has only produced great singers and has a record of 100% satisfaction from them. At the end of the day you can ask as many people as you like but it really comes down to what works for you. If you have the resources decide for yourself. Try not to be sucked into the hype but to go in with an open mind.


 
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Anonymous
(Login sopranodelacruz)
NFCS Member

Re: re:Shirley Close

April 13 2012, 9:55 AM 

I will make the time to do so at the same time I am auditioning at the schools. Like I said, I want to make sure that I do not have a teacher who harms the voice on my list. It really doesn't hurt to read to opinions about teachers and schools as well. I really would love information about the schools as well though...


    
This message has been edited by sopranodelacruz on Apr 18, 2012 9:52 PM


 
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Anne
(Login annedahlin)
NFCS Member

Re: sample lessons

April 13 2012, 3:47 AM 

For what it's worth, I had two sample lessons when I was applying to grad school (at Houston and at Mannes) and didn't pay for either of them. I don't know if that's typical, but that was my experience.

 
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Anonymous
(Login sopranodelacruz)
NFCS Member

Re: sample lessons

April 13 2012, 9:44 AM 

Really? That is really cool. I think I may contact them and go to new york for a couple of weeks anyway since I have family there. Mannes is my top choice (my list is in order of where I want to go the most).

 
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Anonymous
(Login operaluvr)
NFCS Member

Stephen King

April 12 2012, 9:36 AM 

He is an amazing technician. He knows how to work with just about any kind of voice and his past students are living proof of it (he has a number of dramatic voices in his studio right now too). 3/9 of the Met Finalists this year were his students, including the winner Janai Brugger. Can't recommend him enough.

 
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Brian Lee
(Login doheaven)
NFCS Member

I'd love to see his teaching

April 12 2012, 3:31 PM 

I've heard a lot of good things about Mr. King and his students are certainly doing well. Definitely one to check out.


***************************************************
''It is easy to say that such and such a
singer has sold his soul, when really we are
only annoyed that Satan has never offered
us as high a price.''

- William Vennard

 
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Anonymous
(Login sopranodelacruz)
NFCS Member

Re: Stephen King

April 12 2012, 10:25 PM 

Thanks operaluvr! This is exactly what I want to know because I am aware of a couple of his students (especially Janai Brugger...so amazing!)


    
This message has been edited by sopranodelacruz on Apr 12, 2012 10:27 PM


 
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Anne
(Login annedahlin)
NFCS Member

Brancaccio

April 12 2012, 12:03 PM 

I studied with Theresa Brancaccio at Northwestern and I loved her. I'm not sure if she's specifically good for dramatic sopranos, but she teaches really solid technique and takes care of her students' voices. Feel free to e-mail me.

 
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