Musikgarten: Music Makers (ages 4-6)

Do you want to introduce your child to the joy of music?

Come to Lindsay’s Musikgarten!

Join us each Saturday

Pre-K and Kindergartners (4 – 6 years) at 4:00 – 4:45 P.M.

April 6 – June 1, 2019*

the first class is FREE & if you like it…

sign up for the whole session (7 more classes) for $165

For more information, email Lindsay: westrasoprano@gmail.com

DSC07125.jpegIn this class, “Music Makers at Home in the World,” your child will be singing and dancing for joy! This year focuses on your child’s fascination with nature and develops a love of instruments. Your child will be introduced to the sounds of orchestral instruments individually, and then in the context of an ensemble. Such a listening foundation will lead to long-term success with music reading in future classes. We will also begin to work with notation, using drawing games that are natural and (almost) effortless. This class is a perfect foundation for private music lessons in the future.

Parents know that early exposure to music gives children an advantage in language and math skills, and kids report that our music games are playful and fun!

We use instruments such as rhythm sticks, jingles, rattles, drums, and resonator bars. Every child must bring a grown-up to class to join in the fun!

All class materials are included in the price. You’ll receive high-quality CDs as well as a parent book to use at home.

If you have TWO or more children who would like to participate, please note that younger siblings get 50% off! So you can get a whole session with two kids for $245. (Siblings younger than 3 can tag along for free – OR – ask about our Toddler Class!) 

To learn more about the award-winning Musikgarten curriculum, click here

Classes will take place at my home in Artesia, California (near the interchange of the 91 and the 605).

*We plan to meet every Saturday except for April 20

For more information, email Lindsay: westrasoprano@gmail.com

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Welcome to the Gym

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Hello! My name is Lindsay Feldmeth Westra. I am an opera singer and a voice teacher, and singing is my passion.

This is my teaching page.  If you would like to access my performance page, please click HERE.

Welcome to my Voice Gym!

Singing is a sport. To achieve the best results, singers need to train like athletes. They need to train their bodies, stretch their minds, and exercise their imaginations.

I hope my “vocal gym” helps you STRETCH in every way… vocally, technically, musically, and artistically.

Do you want to take your singing to the next level? Join the Voice Gym today!

i4mvpY Are you ready to join the Voice Gym?

Now accepting new singers, all levels

  • Learn the historic bel canto secrets of support and resonance.
  • Let your high notes soar by eliminating unnecessary tension
  • Use the “hidden microphones” in your own body to project your sound into big spaces.
  • Sing long passages effortlessly by  managing your breath energy
  • Free up the unique sound of your own voice and sing from the heart!

Email me at westrasoprano@gmail.com to set up a consultation lesson.

(If you are interested in online lessons via Skype, you can also email me at westrasoprano@gmail.com)

 

Travel Fitness: the Diva Workout

Reblogged from The Globetrotting Soprano:

img_2290 Singing is a sport.

Opera singers don’t always look like swimsuit models, but they are actually cardio champions.

According to the American Journal of Nursing, opera singers have stronger chest-wall muscles, greater lung capacity, and more efficient hearts than their non-singing friends.

But, if classical singing requires the muscle coordination of a professional athlete, why are singers so… plump?  Not all opera singers are heavy, but many cantanti struggle with their weight. Does it have to do with body type?  Metabolism? Lifestyle? No one knows for sure.   A New York Times article cited a study suggesting that singers produce too much leptin. We do know that the sound of a human voice is influenced by the size and shape of the body. Some people believe that fat actually produces a more resonant sound! Whatever the reason, the extra curves get noticed. There is increasing pressure on opera singers to lose weight.

That’s why so many 21st century singers are signing up for total body fitness programs!  Personally, I prefer a combination of yoga, Irish dancing, and cycling by the beach. (I also list “singing Wagner” as one of my endurance sports.)

I enjoy some fitness video games: Wii Fit Plus for strength and posture, and ABBA You Can Dance for those rare moments when I’ve had enough opera and I’m craving happy ’70s music.

But how on earth do you maintain a program of cardio, strength, and flexibility training when you’re on the road? For people who travel, exercise is a special challenge. It requires a lot of planning! I like to collect tips from this cool blog: My Travel Fitness

In 2010, I traveled to Spain for an opera contest while I was training for my first triathlon. Before I even got on the plane, I wrote down the directions from my Spanish hotel to the nearest public swimming pool. I also found the nearest bike rental shop. When I got there, I went hiking as often as possible.  For me, singing always comes first, but I managed to maintain a (slightly less rigorous) triathlon training schedule. I may not have a castle in Spain… but I’ve jogged around one.

Of course, no workout routine is complete without a good soundtrack. I recommend a high impact operatic playlist with a lot of trumpets and percussion!!! ;)

Most singers find that they can improve their energy and vocal stamina by spending more time at the gym. They are more comfortable with dancing, and swordplay, and leaping around onstage if they have taken martial arts classes, or dance aerobics, or gyrotonics. Exercise also helps melt away the stress of a major career. Cindy Sadler has blogged about her success with cycling.  Renée Fleming does Pilates.

And if you’re not a singer, but you’re looking for a fun new cardio activity, try voice lessons! Singers learn advanced breathing techniques by training the muscles of the thorax and the abdominal wall. An opera colleague of mine surprised her doctor by demonstrating that she could hold a normal conversation while jogging on the treadmill.  “Sustaining breath control over an elevated pulse?” she scoffed.  “Yeah, that’s kinda what I do.”  Singing is fun and it’s good for your heart, too! :)

Finally, I’d like to share an opera video has been circulating on Facebook this week. It demonstrates the advantages of being in shape (check out what happens at 0:50):

Food for Singers: The Diva Diet

the Globetrotting Soprano

How do you feed a singing voice? What do you eat? When do you eat? What foods should you avoid?

For a singer, eating right is a balancing act.

Food is fuel, and you need enough fuel to get through your show. But too much food could make you lethargic on stage, and the wrong kind of food could irritate your throat, ruining your performance.

So you have to juggle everything that you know about nutrition… with everything you know about your own body. This photo is by She Knows Health & Fitness, a good resource for health tips.

When people travel to far-off places, they usually relax their diets and enjoy the local cuisine. But singers do not have the same luxury. When we travel to Rome or Tokyo for an opera gig, we have to think about how the food will affect the voice.

This week, I…

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