Studio Class

The Sybaritic Singer

About the show

Let me be your diva sidekick when it comes to staying focused and extra sparkly in your singing career.

Megan Ihnen is a professional mezzo-soprano, teacher, writer, and arts entrepreneur who is passionate about helping other musicians and creative professionals live their best lives.

Studio Class is an outgrowth of her popular #29DaystoDiva series from The Sybaritic Singer blog. Did you feel like you simply ran out of time during studio class to talk about some of the necessary business elements of your career? Do not despair, divas! This podcast is meant for you!

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  • Episode 95: Masterclass - Kathleen Kelly

    February 6th, 2023  |  1 hr 17 mins
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    Kathleen Kelly’s projects and repertoire are wide-ranging and diverse. From Mozart to commissioned works by her peers, she is both deeply experienced in the classical vocal canon and engaged in new creation. Recent notable projects include a recording with soprano Emily Albrink - which we’ll reference in this episode, leading the world premiere of Matt Bohler’s opera FAT PIG (composed for activist soprano Tracy Cox), and the filmed opera Interstate, composed by Kamala Sankaram, co-authored and performed by Kathleen and soprano Jennifer Cresswell, produced by Minnesota Opera.

    Kathleen has appeared internationally as a pianist in collaboration with singers including appearances at incredible and top tier venues around the world. She has worked with many companies including the San Francisco, Metropolitan, Houston Grand, and Vienna State Operas, and she is regularly invited to speak and write on womens’ issues in the opera industry.

  • Episode 94: Masterclass - Carrie Hennessey

    January 16th, 2023  |  1 hr 12 mins
    arts coaching, classical singing, interview, micro actions, music business

    Carrie Hennessey is a wayfinder through the deep, spiritual and technical discoveries of the voice. She truly lights a fire in those around her - teaching music education through lectures, workshops, Master Classes, and she is joyfully dedicated to guiding all around her to find their true authentic voice in the world. Currently, Carrie is developing her one woman show about her life in singing, quitting for 12 years post trauma and creating from nothing a versatile and vibrant career steeped in authenticity. I am so excited to share this Masterclass episode with Carrie Hennessey with you!

  • Episode 92: Masterclass - Kala Maxym

    December 6th, 2022  |  54 mins 13 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, interview, micro actions, music business

    Kala is the Founder of Five Senses Tastings, a Certified Women-Owned Business. Her philosophy of Sensory Wellness encourages guests to harness the energy, power, and play of their five senses using music, wine, and food, and sweet treats.

    Inspired by her childhood abroad, Kala believes that diversifying our own sensory ecosystems leads us to find beauty and inspiration not just in ourselves but in the world around us. She is a professional opera singer who has performed worldwide (including for three presidents), and now intentionally uses her voice to advocate for voting rights. She is a former federal government employee, bone marrow donor, a polyglot who speaks German, French, and Spanish, and is certified through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust.

    Kala lives in Los Angeles with her partner and two orange Bronx street cats, Ollie and Caspar.

  • Episode 91: Micro Action Monday - Deal with negative feedback

    November 28th, 2022  |  15 mins 46 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    No one likes to receive negative feedback - it's true. But, how you respond to criticism will influence what kind and speed of progress you can make in your professionally creative career. In this Micro Action Monday, Megan discusses how to take in, respond to negative feedback, and turn it into a positive situation.

  • Episode 90: Masterclass - Hilary Ginther

    November 21st, 2022  |  1 hr 9 mins
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    Mezzo-Soprano Hilary Ginther has been profiled by Opera Now magazine as one of ten young American singers intent on taking the opera world by storm. Take a listen to her Masterclass episode on Studio Class to find out more about this artist well on her way to stardom.

  • Episode 89: Micro Action Monday - Make your auditions shine

    November 14th, 2022  |  17 mins 46 secs
    arts coaching, auditions, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    "Having an audition that really shines is not about, 'Oh, I wore this dress that they really liked.' It's about, 'I made a moment for them in that room. They felt so inspired by my work that they knew I would be the right fit for an entire production or I would be the right fit for their company.'" In this Micro Action Monday episode, Megan discusses a few tips to make your auditions really stand out.

  • Episode 88: Micro Action Monday - Create a practice schedule

    November 7th, 2022  |  20 mins 31 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    "Go ahead and actually prepare with efficiency and effectiveness so that you can make the most out of your work and feel like you're bringing your best musical self to the situation." In this Micro Action Monday episode, Megan breaks down the process of creating an efficient practice schedule in 7 steps.

  • Episode 87: Masterclass - Megan Ihnen on Being a Whole Person with Rebecca Hass (Crossover Episode)

    October 31st, 2022  |  59 mins 48 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, crossover episode, micro actions, music business

    Megan does a crossover episode with Rebecca Hass of "Being a Whole Person" podcast!

    Here's what Rebecca wrote about our chat... "I had a delightful conversation with Megan Ihnen, a mezzo-soprano and “new music force of nature” who wears many hats as a performer, educator, coach/consultant for musicians, and also in arts admin. With these many roles, she is an amazing connector and natural community builder.

    Tune in to hear us chat about creative placemaking, authentic community building, balancing many roles and having lots of work variety, burnout, being a musician during the pandemic, routines, harmful ideas around “hard work”, and how we can bring our very favorite selves to our creative work."

  • Episode 86: Masterclass - Kelly Corcoran

    October 24th, 2022  |  46 mins 53 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    Named “Best Classical Conductor” by the Nashville Scene, Kelly Corcoran is Artistic Director & Conductor of Intersection, a contemporary music ensemble now in its 9th season in Nashville. Corcoran founded the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted the Nashville Symphony in hundreds of performances for nine seasons as Associate Conductor and Director of the Symphony Chorus.

    Join us in this Masterclass episode featuring Kelly Corcoran!

  • Episode 85: Micro Action Monday - Work with a new collaborator

    October 17th, 2022  |  14 mins 43 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    Ask yourself, "Am I bringing my best self to each collaboration?" In any collaboration when you start working with somebody new, I want you to think, "Wow, it's really an honor to get to work with this person. How can we both achieve our goals together through this piece, through this music, and then also honor the composer's intentions, the composer's creativity, and our shared musical imagination?"

    Megan shares her thoughts on working with new collaborators in this Micro Action Monday episode on Studio Class.

  • Episode 84: Masterclass - Ah Young Hong

    September 26th, 2022  |  1 hr 30 mins
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    A soprano of "fearlessness and consummate artistry" (Opera News), Ah Young Hong has interpreted a vast array of repertoire, ranging from the music of Monteverdi to Georg Friedrich Haas. Widely recognized for her work in Michael Hersch's monodrama, On the Threshold of Winter, The New York Times praised Ms. Hong’s performance in the world premiere as "the opera's blazing, lone star." Recent performances include solo appearances with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Bern, and at both the Aldeburgh and Ojai Music Festivals. Highlight concerts of 2021-2022 include the premiere performances in the title role of Hersch’s POPPAEA at the Wien Modern and ZeitRäume Basel Festivals. Anticipated this fall is the recording of Hersch's the script of storms with BBC Symphony Orchestra under the New Focus label. Ms. Hong is an associate professor in the Vocal Studies Department of The Peabody Conservatory of Music, Johns Hopkins University.

  • Episode 83: Micro Action Monday - Invoice like a pro

    September 19th, 2022  |  11 mins 11 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    "If you have done any freelance music work or any kind of freelance creative work, at some point you will need to invoice someone. And now's the time to figure out what you're going to do."

    In this Micro Action Monday, Megan talks about how to set yourself up for invoice success.

  • Episode 82: Micro Action Monday - Interview your prospective teacher

    September 12th, 2022  |  11 mins 24 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    “So asking about logistics and style really help you know whether this is the right situation or if you’re just going to be studying with someone who might be fantastic at what they do… but the ‘what they do’ is not the right thing for you. And, vice verse. You’re not going to be a great student in their studio if you’re expecting different things but you haven’t communicated about what those expectations are. This is an important time to communicate together clearly and effectively about ‘what are our shared expectations?’”

    In this Micro Action Monday episode, Megan discusses the types of questions to ask before beginning a relationship with a voice teacher.

  • Episode 81: Masterclass - Michelle Trovato

    July 26th, 2022  |  1 hr 14 mins
    arts coaching, classical singing, masterclass, music business

    Michelle Trovato has sparked praise in Opera News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others for her “lush” voice and dynamic characterizations. She has won prizes in the U.S., Canada, and Europe and she also maintains an active private vocal studio.

    Michelle also teaches at FMDG Music School which is the only school in the US devoted completely to supporting the musical and artistic lives of students who are blind, have low vision, or significant vision loss of some kind.

  • Episode 80: Micro Action Monday - Set your own prices

    May 30th, 2022  |  17 mins 9 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    “I want you to know that you have way more control over your financial life in the arts than you might have been led to believe. I love helping people figure out how to live sustainable lives in the arts. That’s what I want for you. I want you to be sustainable. I want you to be the artist you want to be. If you have questions about setting your own fees/prices, hit me up. It’s my pleasure to help!”

    In this Micro Action Monday episode, Megan shares the formula she teaches her clients to set their OWN prices. You don’t want to miss this one.

  • Episode 79: Micro Action Monday - Beat practice procrastination

    May 23rd, 2022  |  17 mins 5 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    “I can’t be the only one who feels this way… Do you sometimes procrastinate practicing? Practice really is the number one anxiety killer, the number one performance anxiety killer, so have a great time. Be joyful in your practicing because you’ve built in all of these ways to get better at it and to not procrastinate. Enjoy what you’re doing. This helps you grow and challenge yourself!” Join Megan for 8 tips and recommendations for getting your practice motivation in gear.