The Singer's Audition Handbook: Master Classes
Throughout the summer and early fall, the Musical Exchange Voice Studio group is hosting The Singer's Audition Handbook, an extended online workshop to help classical singers prepare for auditions. Carnegie Hall teaching artist Claudia Friedlander provides resources to help you identify, prepare, and successfully audition for the educational and performance opportunities that are right for you.
In this installment, Claudia discusses the benefits of master classes and how to prepare for them.
"Participating in a master class means a willingness to air your dirty laundry in public. You are there to serve as an example so that the teacher can not only help expand your artistry but also give the audience insight into the vocal preparation process. They will focus on your weaknesses, not your strengths; you must be strong enough to give your most committed interpretation as well as humble enough to allow the teacher to completely disassemble it and put it back together again. Effective participation in a master class requires an open mind, tremendous artistic flexibility, and a willingness to take risks. You will be asked to try new things, with unpredictable results.
I cannot overstate the importance of exhaustive preparation. Research every aspect of your repertoire as completely as you can. It is highly likely that you will be asked about such details as the precise meaning of a foreign-language word or an orchestral instrument represented in a piano/vocal score. The master teacher usually has a mere 20 to 30 minutes to help take your performance to the next level. If you don’t know the answer to these questions, it not only reflects poorly on you but also interrupts the flow of the teacher’s process."