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What a Singer Needs

by Sara Thomas


Welcome to this year’s summer program issue! Each year, as I review programs (the exceptional ones, the mediocre ones, and the sometimes bad ones) and singers’ experiences (also exceptional, mediocre, and occasionally bad), I decide once again that having a positive experience at a summer program really comes down to one simple formula. Assess your own needs as a singer, then assess what a program has to offer. Match up as many of those as you can and you will significantly up your odds of getting what you want, need, and are paying for from a summer program.

Summer programs are also nicknamed “pay-to-sings.” And although often used negatively, as Christi Amonson clarifies in her column this month (p. 12), this isn’t actually a bad thing. “You pay tuition for college,” she writes, “why wouldn’t you invest in an opportunity for an intensive week or month of lessons and performing? Not only will you learn from new teachers and directors, you get to put aside all the other menial detai...

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