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The Divine Reed

A Singing Course for Catholics

Please note: This course is designed to be read in consecutive order.  I advise starting at the beginning with Lecture 1. Once you get to about Lecture 18 or so, then you can  probably jump around and read whatever you want. . .  

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Lecture 14 - You've got to smell the ...

Only a few short hours into our honeymoon, my husband and I discovered that, despite our hopes and prayers, our marriage was cursed. It...

Lecture 13 - Identify the Border

One of my spiritual weaknesses is that I am easily led. If I hear enough good arguments for a sin, I might just start thinking it’s a...

Lesson 12 The Great Divide

I have introduced your singing voice as a reflection of the Holy Trinity. God the Father, the source, the beginning, low breath. God the...

Elly Uncomposed

Howdy folks! Sorry the studio has been closed for a while, but that's because I've been very busy working on this: Here's the link to...

I'm Feeling Nothing

My grandfather used to say, “Religion is of the will, not the emotions.” I’ve always found that comforting. Feelings are so transient but...

Lecture 10 - Get a Good Buzz

Today I'm going to help you get a good buzz. No, not that kind of buzz. Before we can meet God the Son, through Whom all tones must go,...

Lecture 9 - Get Under It

Get Under It “This is ridiculous. I’m just moving my gut in and out.” I thought this many times as an aspiring singer. Patience, young...

Lecture 8 - Look 'em In the Eye, Kid

When my four-year-old- son won’t look me in the eyes, it’s because he has chosen to be rotten. I can say, “Look at me!” fifty times, but...

Lecture 7 - It Ain't Pretty

It wasn’t until I’d been at Eastman four years that I figured out something was wrong. I was having some test lessons with a new private...

Lecture 6 - Make a Space Bigger

So, to conclude, you need to breathe to sing. That will be two hundred dollars please… Much of our anatomy is so subconscious that,...

Lecture 5 - God the Father

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 Where does the voice come from? To most people, singing is a somewhat...

Lecture 4 - The Big Disclaimer

“You talk too much.” My beloved mentor and friend, Priscilla, told me this once after she happened to be outside the door of my studio,...

Lecture 3 - The Holy Trinity of Singing

I was forced into teaching. I didn’t want to teach. I was going to be a star! ... ugg. However, a dear friend who ran a children’s choral...

Lecture 2 - No Chopping Necessary

On the day I arrived at the Eastman School of Music so many years ago, I was eager to dazzle the world with my amazing voice and stellar...

Lecture 1 - Rome, We Have a Problem

Lecture I – We Have a Problem Hello. My name is Valerie, and I’m a Catholic and I sing in Church. Back in the epic operas of my dating...

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