Earlier this month, we kicked off our east coast seminar tour at Westminster Choir College. Everyone got involved to make sure that this seminar was a huge success. It was amazing to see the voice faculty (represented by Laura Brooks Rice), career services (represented by Joanne Lisa) and the office of the dean take such a large interest in what we were doing. They gathered quite a crowd of undergrads, masters students, alumni and faculty.
More important than the size of the session was the buzz that attendees felt going in. The atmosphere determines so much of what singers get out of the seminar, and Velvet Singer presenters only have so much control. When the singers arrive early to find school photographers snapping pictures and a flawless multimedia setup, the singers put on their thinking caps and get ready to be challenged.
Students at Westminster Choir College seem to possess a healthy sense of idealism and optimism. They generally feel fairly well-equipped for the real world and confident about their abilities to contribute. Their perspective also helped make this seminar unique. We stepped through our usual exercises to help brainstorm singing opportunities and they were very quick to offer creative possibilities.
What are you going to do differently?
These singers also seemed to have a very good sense of their priorities and goals. From Dissonance To Harmony challenges each participant to not only identify their top career priorities, but also to boil those down into a set of goals. Priority categories include:
- Product Refinement
- Customer Relations
- Sales & Advertising
- Marketing & Growth Strategy
- Stakeholder Communication
- Reporting & Analysis
- Planning & Forecasting
- Risk Management
- Financial Planning & Development
- Cost Management
This group’s action items were some of the best of any seminar I have ever given. Singers really understood the value of moving 1) from priorities 2) to goals and then 3) to action items. It is not enough to stop working at a list of goals. What are the simple, tangible, concrete things you are going to differently as a result of this seminar?
Certified Instructor Program Launched
This seminar also represented a major milestone for Velvet Singer, LLC. This was our first seminar to incorporate the help of a Velvet Singer Certified Instructor, Mezzo Soprano Danielle Wright. Danielle introduced the concept of action items and prepared the singers that their proclamations should be:
Maybe Danielle is also part of the reason that this seminar’s action items were among the best!
Webinar This Summer
Westminster College of the Arts’ Executive Director Scott Hoerl also shared some of his day with us. He has been instrumental in developing a series of Webinars for students and alumni and Velvet Singer is thrilled to become a part of this series starting in the summer of 2011 through The CoOPERAtive Program.
Thank you Laura Brooks Rice, Margaret Cusack, Joanne Lisa, Joyce Tyler, Scott Hoerl, Dean Robert Annis, Danielle Wright and all of the talented and intelligent singers of Westminster!