Composer becomes direct publisher: An interview with Amy Gordon

Lauri had an in-depth chat with Lister composer Amy Gordon, who has recently launched a fully functional store on her website. You can peruse and listen to her compositions as well as purchase as many copies as you need. It’s beautifully built, well-designed and an excellent example of how musicians can take sales into their … Read more

Skill and nerve

One of Seth Godin’s recent posts is particularly apt for performing artists. (He gets us.) The title is, The limits of technique Click the link to get a truth nudge. To be fair, Seth’s very short post has a somewhat limited application to singers, as we’re dealing with an organic instrument that is in constant … Read more

What are you willing to REALLY reach for?

There’s something about being a musician that makes some people feel helpless, like luck is everything. Quasi-proverbial clichés like “it’s who you know…” and “opportunity knocks” can be misinterpreted as reality checks, and can often feel like slaps in the face. But they should really be calls to action. If you know what you want … Read more

New Music Is the New Black

(or perhaps the canary in the mine?) Hi, tenor Nathan Granner here. I’ve been singing opera and classical music professionally for over 25 years and producing live shows, tours, recording albums for around 15 years. I’ve seen a lot in my day! Here are some of my thoughts. I’ve been so crazy these past months … Read more

The manageable risks that come with “good follow-up”

Over the years with the List, I’ve had quite a few people call me, wondering why singers behave the way they do. Sometimes these calls are quite entertaining, and I hope that my responses are useful, and my giggling not too loud. But one pattern has popped up on a fairly regular basis, and deserves … Read more

Volunteering as career strategy

It’s the thing that pros are never supposed to consider, yet sometimes they do — for their own good reasons. Why would you volunteer your time and energy, and what could you get out of it? If you choose carefully how you fill the gaps in your calendar, you’ll find opportunities for growth you may … Read more

How gritty are you?

“Grit” has become a surprising buzzword in the last few years, repurposing the word’s linguistic power with more creative purpose than even John Wayne could have inspired.  We’ve written before about MacArthur Genius Angela Duckworth’s TED talk and the conversations that have resulted from her book of that title. The word itself is evocative and satisfying, … Read more

Age and fluency: new info about language-learning

For classical singers, and particularly in opera, learning multiple languages to actual fluency is immensely important — particularly for those who are constantly on the road.  We study diction, and hopefully language, for the “big four” (German, Italian, French, English) in school, but even that heralded tradition is ignored in some learning centers.  We were … Read more

From the trenches: A Lister diva on how to learn a lotta music

Danielle is a longtime Lister and one of LA’s go-to divas.  The mezzo devours an impressive amount of music each year, with much of it new works and unusual pieces that are definitely not part of the standard repertoire.  With her permission, we share her recent blog post on how she gets it done.  Check … Read more

A single affirmation can reveal your own truth

Most of my private clients know how much affirmations have helped me and so many of the artists I’ve worked with. While this practice, for some, smacks of Pollyanna thinking or crystal-fueled hokeyism, it is simply a practice that can retrain thinking and increase focus.  And for those who practice affirmations regularly, it works, not … Read more

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