A masterclass is when one or more teachers, give one or more lessons with an audience present.
Yep, you get to either watch someone having a lesson, or you get to be the one having the lesson with someone who is an expert in their field (and whom you often don’t usually get to have lessons with). Either way, it is a pretty incredible opportunity.
Masterclasses are not just for experienced vocalists.
Anyone can take part in a masterclass (unless it actually says it’s specifically for experienced singers…obviously). In fact, the bigger the variety of experience within a masterclass, the more exciting the learning opportunities for everyone become.
A masterclass is like a series of lessons taught with an audience.
That audience could be huge (100’s of people) or small (less than 10) or anything in between.
You can choose to simply observe, or take part, there is no pressure either way.
If you have to sign up as a participant beforehand though, it is generally not a great idea to then pull out on the day. But if you do have to – just let them know.
Everyone who participates is nervous.
EVERYONE! It is one thing to perform for an audience of people who are there because they want to hear you. It is another to sing a song knowing that whatever you do, the instructor is going to get you to try and change something. So just remember, in a masterclass, everyone is there because they want to learn something. EVERYONE!
Masterclasses are one of the best ways to improve as a singer.
Both as a participant and as an observer. There is nothing like a group situation to make you really try and push yourself. You’ll be amazed how often people watch the instructor ask the participant to do something that they themselves have had to do in a lesson (and thought was ridiculous or ineffective) – and realise suddenly that it actually makes a difference! Or that something the participant thinks sounds naff, actually sounds pretty great to the listener. It’s all about perspective people!
Be prepared to disagree with, or be surprised by a method.
Every teacher is different, and has different methods and ways of teaching – so this one will be particularly pertinent if you haven’t worked with the instructor before.
Disagreeing, or being surprised by something is kind of AWESOME!
Who wants to have no option about how they learn? What kind of world would that be where it doesn’t matter who you learn from? Building up your technical repertoire through new ways of learning is the BEST! It is highly likely that you will suddenly grasp a concept or skill you have been trying to master for ages, simply because you see someone do it a different way, or even simply refer to it with a different name. Twang. Nasality. Honk. Squealo….
If you are a nervous singer or performer, then participating in a masterclass (albeit counterintuitively) is the single best thing you can do to combat your nerves.
Even if your session with the instructor is only 10 minutes long. That is 10 minutes of singing your song (or piece of song) multiple times, each time trying something new, with an audience of singers desperate to learn from your experience. Keen to see what the instructor asks you to do to improve if you mess up. Where else do you get that kind of experience?
Being nervous is NORMAL! And kind of great too.
Because believe it or not – everyone else in that room is nervous too. And if you get up there, and can’t cope with the nerves, then that in itself becomes a SUPER VALUABLE learning experience for everyone else in that room. What does the instructor do to help you be less nervous? What words of wisdom do they impart? Seriously, how boring would it be if everyone just got up there and did an awesome job? Where’s the point in that?
So that’s it – now go and find a masterclass and sign up for it!
In fact – I happen to be co-hosting one in just a couple of weeks.
How’s that for timing?
And to make it even more worth it –
mention that you read this blog post and you will get $10 off any full day pass
(whether you sign up as a participant, or an observer)