Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Websites for Students and Teachers of Singing

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Websites for Students and Teachers of Singing

Article excerpt

WHEN LEARNING AN OPERA ROLE or art song, the student and teacher of singing will commonly refer to sources that have been made widely available in printed form. For art song there are books by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Berton Coffin, Phillip L. Miller, Eric Sams, and Pierre Bernac; for opera resources, books by Nico Castel, and Anthony Peattie and the Earl of Harewood; or for sacred pieces sources by Ron Jeffers.1 These texts can be found in most music and larger metropolitan libraries, as well as easily purchased on popular media websites like Amazon.com, LeyerlePublications.com, TISMusic.com, and even EBay. But for those musicians working with a budget, and limited space on the bookshelf, what does one do when the library is closed, and purchasing these resources isn't a possibility? The answer: surf the web.

In today's hi-tech world, the Internet has made information more accessible than ever before. Students today use the Internet at every turn, from researching papers, to registering for classes, and applying for schools and jobs. E-mail is used to keep contact with colleagues, friends, and family; e-newsletters are beginning to replace paper newsletters. Instead of listening to the radio in the car or at home, people are beginning to download Podcasts that give them the ability to listen to news, gossip, or interviews on their own time. Opera singers are creating their own websites to showcase their past, present, and future engagements. The personal website functions as an online business card and portfolio. Opera companies advertise upcoming seasons and catalogue past performances, promote ticket sales, solicit monetary and voluntary support, and advertise auditions for upcoming seasons. Many sites have also been created for scholarly purposes and are useful for both teachers and students of singing alike in their study.

I keep the websites discussed here in my bookmarks folder, and I hope you give them a click and see what they hold. So go on . . . click away. I have highlighted and organized websites into the following categories: search engines, websites connected to groups, websites for research and information, websites for music careers, and miscellaneous websites.

SEARCH ENGINES

A basic place to start when surfing the web, the search engine permits the surfer to find almost anything, using only a few key words. The search engine allows the singer to do research on the source of music itself (language, videos and sound clips, history, etc.) and gives a jumping off point for a given work or topic. Many search engines also offer a variety of other services such as web-hosting for personal websites and web-based e-mail. Prominent search engines include http://www.google.com, http:// www.yahoo.com, http://www.ask.com, http://www.bing. com, and Microsoft's http://www.live.com.

WEBSITES FOR RESEARCH AND INFORMATION

In addition to the general search engine, there are also many sites with searchable information specific to the classical singer and pedagogue. If one does not own print sources on interpretation, translation, and history of both composer and work, finding such sources can be hard to do when the library has shut its doors for the day. And with the busy lives of students and performers, working around that schedule can be a difficult feat to accomplish. Enter the websites for research and information. While those listed represent only a small cross section of what is available, these websites afford a good place to start exploring what the Internet has to offer.

Operissimo-http://www.operissimo.com

Think of this site as a basic search engine and database of anything about opera. Operissimo offers a basic search of any stage work by classical composers. The surfer can search by composer and work, and also search for artists, agencies, opera houses, and available recordings. One of the best features about this website is how all entries and headings are interconnected. …

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