I have been teaching singing lessons for over 20 years, and NYSSMA for the past 10 years. Students should start preparing for NYSSMA 3 months in advance. Here is the best schedule:
12 Weeks out: Set up an appointment with me, the vocal coach two weeks in advance. It is especially important to get into the schedule before NYSSMA comes, as I get quite booked. I will provide the student with a copy of the song list for their level,. I will make some suggestions and have them pick 1-3 songs to sing. We will also decide if the student will use a recorded or live accompaniment. Live accompaniment booked now as well.
Lesson 1, 10 weeks out:
The first free lesson is to assess the student’s knowledge and set them up with the proper materials and timeline. During this time the student is tested for pitch and song choices will be reviewed. The student’s learning style is assessed to develop the best method to teach the material. We will also order their music and sight reading materials. This material will be at the expense of the student. Two(2) copies of each piece must be provided with proof of sale for the festival. One for the student and one for the judge. Sight reading books will be suggested. Over the next two weeks, the student should learn the song and will practice sight reading. This requires at least a half hour of listening and practicing. Introduction or review of vocal technique including diaphragmatic breathing.
Lesson 2, 8 weeks out:
We meet a second time and assess progress. The student should be practicing with some type of accompaniment now.
Lesson 3, 4 Weeks out: Review of Material and Sight reading.
Lesson 4, 3 weeks out: Review of Material and Sight reading. The student should be able to do the song WITHOUT the sheet music.
Lesson 5, 2 weeks out: Refining the “Performance” of the piece.
Lesson 6,1 week or less Before the festival: Final festival level and mock NYSSMA sight-reading test. Meeting with an accompanist to review material.
Call Terry Little at 631-741-0135 for more information.
I can tell you your festival dates in advance, or you can find them here.
Each new student will get an NYSSMA song choice list based on their level and vocal range.