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Vocal Technique in Tuscany
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Vocal Technique in Tuscany

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Key Information:
Class Size: 6 - 15 people
Destination: Italy  
Category: Performance Workshops
Specialty: Singing, Theatre  
Season: May
Courses Per Year: 2
Course Level: All levels
Min Price: 2395 US Dollar (USD) per person
Max Price: 2695 US Dollar (USD) per person

Spend a week with two of the music business`s top powerhouses, Amanda McBroom and Suzanne Kiechle. This program is designed for anyone, amateur or professional, who loves to sing and wants to improve their understanding of the best techniques for vocal production and performance skills. The workshop will have two sections. Everyone will be scheduled into each section each day.

Vocal Technique: In this special week the primary goal is to discover and develop vocal freedom in a nurturing, meditative, and exhilarating environment. You will work with Suzanne Kiechle and her revolutionary Vocal Technique. You will learn about how the voice works and how to keep it healthy. With Suzanne you will do daily vocal warm ups and learn how to connect this technique to any song you sing. Whether it`s speaking or singing, from opera to rock, the basic techniques of the vocal structure in producing sound is the same - if there is no tension.

You will learn to feel with your own hands how proper breathing and placement will eliminate stress on the vocal folds, thereby freeing you to sing with joy and passion. Suzanne’s vocal technique will help you to expand the boundaries of your vocal limits, which will enable you to express yourself in a more powerful way. "Relax. Let go. Let fly!"

Performance Technique: Singer/songwriter, Golden Globe award winning Amanda McBroom will work with the students on their song choices, guiding them in the craft of song analysis, concentrating on the art of approaching a song from an actor’s perspective…how to break it down, analyze it as a monologue, and learn how to easily access honest emotion and convey it through singing both, physically and emotionally. Amanda will also teach the "how to’s" of commanding an audience, from entrance to exit, how to structure a set, create patter, and overcome fear energy.

Structure of the Workshop: There will be a day (or two) of major group participation, where the students will perform their selected songs in front of the entire body, for analysis and to enable the instructors to determine what they feel needs strengthening. Then there will be more singular attention as the students are divided into smaller groups working with Suzanne on singing technique for audition and performance, and Amanda for finding the heart and acting beats of a song, and how to prepare emotionally and practically for performance and auditions. At the end of the week there will be an informal performance, incorporating all the new information that has been taught during the week.

- The week will begin with a big group session where everyone will get to know one another
- Morning all-sing, with everyone doing one number with our accompanist (about 10 minutes per student). Amanda and Suzanne will do an initial analysis.
- After the initial analysis, the group will be split into two parts. One half will work with Suzanne, the other with Amanda for a session, then the groups would switch for the second session of the day.
- After that, there will be 2 sessions each day, morning and evening, Every student will have the opportunity to work with both instructors every day.
- Finally, there will be time for one twenty minute to half-hour private sessions with one of the instructors, depending upon the student`s needs.
- Final session in how to make a living at singing, if indeed such a thing can be done.

Faculty Information:
Amanda McBroom has been called "...the greatest cabaret performer of her generation, an urban poet who writes like an angel and has a voice to match." Her name first came to the attention of the music public when Bette Midler`s version of Amanda`s song "THE ROSE" hit number one all over the world in 1979. But it was Amanda`s performance of her own song on the Golden Globes, Grammys, and The Tonight Show, along with her many live appearances, that launched her career as a singer and songwriter, and that convinced growing audiences that the best interpretations of McBroom songs are by McBroom herself.

Suzanne Kiechle is an internationally renowned voice teacher and vocal coach, honored at the White House as a distinguished teacher. Ms. Kiechle developed her vocal technique while working with noted laryngologist Dr. Charles Schneider in Los Angeles, who trained her in vocal physiology. Ms. Kiechle has 35 years experience in vocal development and rehabilitation for singers, speakers and for all who use the voice.

Suzanne Kiechle is also an author. Her new book, The Keys to Vocal Freedom, published by Markwin Press, is being used as required reading a the University of So. California. It is recommended by John Rubenstein and the University of Arts Academy in San Francisco, by Diane Baker, actress and head of the Actors Studio, Film Department at the University.

Other Activities:
Our exploration of Tuscany for the week will include some of these highlights:
- Authentic Tuscan breakfast and dinners prepared at the house, using only local and traditional products-wine included (independent lunch)
- Visits to local hilltowns like Radda, Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, etc.
- Excursion to the Medieval city of Siena
- Wine tour and tasting at a local vineyard
- Optional morning stretching or hikes through the Chianti hills and fields surrounding the complex.

Facility Information:
The Tuscan Renaissance Center is the combined skills of Linda and Michael of Il Chiostro joining together with Nicolo and Renata of San Fedele to produce a unique and inspiring environment rooted in the traditional Tuscan values of beauty, great food, an appreciation for nature and the value of community. The monastery, dating back to the 12th century, was meticulously restored using traditional building methods and all original materials.

Today, the monastery remains true to its original spirit, rich architectural detail. The 17 rooms and suites where participants are housed have lovely modern bathrooms, screened windows, air conditioning, period furniture, wi-fi internet service, satellite television and minibar, all designed to perfectly compliment the medieval surroundings. The original soaring chapel is now used as a large art studio or workshop space.

The monks` refectory, where a lost 16th century fresco was uncovered during renovation, is now the dining room connected to a state-of-the-art kitchen and the old stone cantinas where they stored their wine have been transformed into studio and classroom space. The Tuscan Renaissance Center is a unique meeting of a historic landmark and exquisite modern day comfort. Accommodations are spacious shared double rooms or junior suites. Each room, because it was converted from the original structure of the monastery without altering the building, is unique in shape.

Furnishings and decor were selected to coordinate with the historic, subdued feeling of the monastery, but in a comfortable, modern style. All rooms have two beds that can be separated into twins or combined into one large matrimonial. There is a sitting area, refrigerator, DSL wi-fi, television, air-conditioning, heating, modern private bathroom with shower, heated towel racks and hair dryers. There are a limited number of single rooms available at a supplement.

The back of San Fedele is surrounded by a large al fresco dining terrace with the original terra cotta tile designs reproduced down to the smallest details. The terrace overlooks the same organic vegetable and flower garden tended by the monks for centuries. Beyond are the rolling Chianti vineyards that make this part of Tuscany so breathtaking.

Other common spaces include 2 large classrooms carved into the rock of the ancient wine cellar, a large private piazza, a new 16 x 7 meter swimming pool and sprawling landscaped grounds on a rolling hillside.

Price Includes:
- 7 nights in the restored monastery San Fedele
- Daily vocal classes with accompanist Michael Brill
- Authentic Tuscan breakfast and dinners prepared at the house, including wine (independent lunch)
- Excursions to Siena and selected hilltowns
- All local transportation
- Pick up in Florence on first day of workshop
- Optional activities and excursions.

Price Excludes:
- Airfare
- Lunch (a lite lunch will be provided for 15 euros on days we are not out on excursions)
- Workshop supplies
- Independent meals and sight-seeing.

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