1. Sing more and better. I’m talking quantity and quality here. Looking back on the year, it seems that life got in the way yet again. This year my goal is to sing a little every day. EVERY. DAY. Regardless of location or schedule, even if it’s just 5 minutes in the car, I will sing. And when I have time to sing for 15 minutes or more, I will make it count. I will practice in a thoughtful, strategic way, focusing on the technique behind the sound. I will create new muscle memories for a lower larynx and a more relaxed jaw. Perfect practicing makes perfect, right?
2. Learn new repertoire. Opportunity comes to those that are prepared for it, someone once said. I’m using this year to learn some new useful repertoire. That way when someone calls spur-of-the-moment with a soprano who’s out sick on the night of the show, I can jump up and say “YES! I know the role!” That’s how you get to the MET, folks… I think. I’m starting this resolution with the Poulenc Gloria.
3. Exercise more and better. Well, it’s the old standard of New Year’s Resolutions, but it’s still good. This year I plan to exercise as strategically as I sing, focusing on quality and intensity. Better form and faster intervals. I want to get my heart in such good condition that I can dance a gig while singing a Handel aria and not miss a note. Performing is physical. It requires strength and stamina and an extraordinary amount of keinesthetic awareness to get through a three-hour musical 6 days in a row.
4. Meditate… at all. This is something I’ve been intending to do for a long time. Productivity is so important to me that the act of meditating has felt like a waste of time: I can’t help but make to-do lists in my head while I attempt to meditate… I mean, that one time I attempted it. That said, this year I will do it. I will meditate, even if just 5 minutes once a week. Intentionally not doing something will be good for me.
5. Teach more and better. The older I get (I’m a whopping 28 years old) the more I find satisfaction in teaching. There are so many parts of the music business that I was unaware of as a 15 year old and that might have made a difference for me. It is my hope that I can make that difference for others by really preparing them for the world that is ahead. Giving them a realistic picture of it, while helping them acquire the skills that they really need to succeed in it. This year I want to not only inspire my students toward better singing, I want to instill even more skills: diction in multiple languages, true and honest acting, thoughtful musicality, résumé building, and a self-assuredness that can knock down doors.
Dear students, hold me accountable!
What are your New Year’s Resolutions?