Megan Ihnen is a mezzo-soprano on a mission to change the world through the commissioning, performance, and proliferation of new music. She has collaborated with individuals and ensembles around the globe including: International Contemporary Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, Rhymes With Opera, and Synchromy. She is deeply committed to the belief that new music should be performed and loved in communities of all sizes. Megan’s advocacy for music and musicians extends beyond the performance stage. She also effects change as a non-profit arts coach and consultant. She is currently the executive director of the Live Music Project which advocates for connecting people with live early music, classical, and new music experiences in a way that strengthens community, celebrates listener agency, and amplifies local arts resources. You have also likely interacted with her work for Nief-Norf, New Music USA, and many individual artists throughout classical and new music. Megan’s work at the intersection of performance, creative placemaking, audience development, and music entrepreneurship is a delight to her clients and colleagues.
November 22nd, 2021 | 11 mins 59 secs
classical singing, music business, risk taking
"You don’t have to have the career you thought you were gonna have when you were 18. You don’t have to have the career where you perform at La Scala by 28 and if you don’t then it’s a failure. You are creating the career that YOU want to have. If your career leads you to directing, producing, teaching, being a creative person in multiple modalities, you have not failed yourself or anyone else. I am giving you permission to be successful and happy in the version of you that you want to be. You are going to be a light and empower the people around you because you have done your own discernment process. Where do you feel called, divas? I want you to take this permission slip and leave all your fear and regrets behind. You are allowed. It is available to you. I want you to take the leap."
November 15th, 2021 | 12 mins 52 secs
acting coach, business coach, coach, voice coach
“It’s such a powerful relationship [between a voice coach, acting coach, or business coach and you.] They can really help you feel so much more prepared. Going into auditions or performances, you’ll know that you’ve worked this out. I really want you to work with someone who is going to give you that unyielding feedback. That means that you have someone on your team that is invested in your success. You’re both invested in your success.”
Enjoy this episode about how to get the most out of working with a coach!
November 8th, 2021 | 1 hr 25 mins
auditions, classical singing, music business
Ariana Wehr, is a Brazilian-born soprano who has sung traditional operatic roles as well as contemporary repertoire. She has performed with Washington National Opera, Opera in the Heights, Brava Opera Theater, Naples Philharmonic, Opera Louisiane, and more. Ariana debuted the roles of Girlfriend #1/Nurse/Congregant in Blue at The 2019 Glimmerglass Festival and will reprise the roles at Washington National Opera in 2020. She also recently completed her MBA and we’ll talk about that beautiful intersection of music and business as well. I hope you enjoy this episode with the wonderful Ariana Wehr! Find out more about her at http://www.arianawehrsoprano.com/.
November 1st, 2021 | 19 mins 23 secs
classical singing, music business, voice lessons, voice teacher
“These types of programs can be very powerful for that kind of learning, growing, challenge, and change. YAPs help you focus on your craft, technique, acting, being on stage in general, business of music, language study, diction - so many things. It’s an incubator of that experience. If you’re trying to really amp up specific aspects of your skills a program can be a great way to do that. It’s this condensed time to really focus on knowledge acquisition. With that in mind, remember how I said, 'you don’t have to go to a YAP to do this.' Let’s think broadly. Let’s think creatively for a second. If a YAP is a place where it is an intense, condensed incubator of skill and knowledge acquisition, am I able to give myself that in other ways?”
October 25th, 2021 | 21 mins 39 secs
classical singing, goals, micro actions, music business
"I want to be known for impact and known for transformation. I can’t stay in that burned out place and I don’t want you to stay there either. So, let’s commit to the big vision. Let’s commit to each other. Let’s commit to breaking down those big visions into really important tasks and not just busy work. Divas, I love you so much. If you are in that burned out place, if you are in that dark cloud place, hang on. Throw everything you can at getting out of it. I know it’s hard. I know that there are more sparkly times in front of you. They are not only in your past."
Join me for this Micro Action Monday episode where I walk you through my 20 year goal exercise. (You can buy the ebook and exercise in my store on meganihnen.com if you'd like to do this in written form!)
October 18th, 2021 | 7 mins 19 secs
classical singing, language learning, music business
We always talk about micro actions on this podcast which is about chunking something down so it’s really manageable. Then, you can have this much larger experience - this really wonderful experience - of being able to converse in a language, or understand a language, or perform your best because you have this understanding. So, get in there and chunk this down. Ask yourself, “How am I going to turn language learning into a ‘micro-action’ so that I can commit to it over time?”
October 4th, 2021 | 12 mins 28 secs
classical singing, empathy, forgiveness, music business
Divas, in what ways are you going to be a self-compassionate singer? In what ways are you going to be more kind and empathetic and aware and understanding with the people that mean the most to you in your life? Be in a forgiveness practice and be in empathy with yourself today and let that transform your own self-worth. I promise you that work will not go to waste. I promise you that work will be transformative.
September 27th, 2021 | 7 mins 1 sec
confidence, micro-actions, music, self-worth
Flow is often described as a mental state in which people experience complete immersion and involvement in an activity. Things seem to happen almost effortlessly and time seems to disappear while in this state. Your micro action for today is to give yourself the gift of time to achieve this state of being. You'll be happy you did!
September 20th, 2021 | 1 hr 21 secs
classical singing, micro actions, music business, recording session
Megan welcomes vocalist/composer Odeya Nini to give this Masterclass episode of the Studio Class podcast. They talk about Odeya's deep understanding of embodiment and physicalizing sound, unraveling habits that the body stores, the importance of being in our imagination/visualization when doing voicework, and so much more.
September 13th, 2021 | 10 mins 34 secs
auditions, classical singing, music business
"Your micro action for today is to make a commitment to accountability. It is to make a commitment to self discipline. Remember that self discipline tends to look like those small, boring, unsexy tasks. But, through that, you reach a freedom of being able to do what you want to do - being able to do what you said you were going to do."
August 23rd, 2021 | 1 hr 24 mins
auditions, classical singing, music business, voice lessons
While enjoying a busy professional singing career performing lead roles with such opera companies as Deutsche Oper Berlin, Baltimore Opera, Teatro Grattacielo, Nashville Opera, Sarasota Opera, Baltimore Concert Opera, Opera Maryland and others, soprano Francesca Mondanaro found her way into teaching as her own colleagues began asking for lessons. It was a natural fit after having studied vocal pedagogy for over 20 years with her own vocal mentors, and having had a unique, challenging instrument of her own that she had to build from bottom to top, into a voice that is still hired to this day. She now teaches privately in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and online. I have been wanting to invite Francesca to give a Masterclass episode since the beginning of Studio Class. I'm so thrilled that she shared such wonderful wisdom and insights in this episode. Enjoy!
August 9th, 2021 | 1 hr 21 mins
classical singing, community-building, money, music business, networking
In advance of our New Music Gathering 2021 panel on Money Mindset, I've invited my friends and colleagues to do a Masterclass episode where we talk about all things money mindset. Allyssa Jones, Ashley Shabankareh, and Sara Noble shared tons of tips, tools, and insights inside this episode. I hope you'll listen and share widely!
July 26th, 2021 | 13 mins 6 secs
classical singing, inner work, music business
As part of this short series on self-love, worthiness, self-discipline, and more, we're tackling the subject of self-awareness today. Know thyself, divas! Knowing your motivations, needs, desires, and values helps you in big and small ways. Find out more through this episode.
July 19th, 2021 | 58 mins 52 secs
classical singing, community-building, music business, networking
Finding joy in variety, Liz Pearse is a musician of many pursuits. Liz began her exploration of the endless possibilities of the voice after a childhood spent playing any instrument she could lay hands upon. As a performer, her uniquely colorful and versatile voice has led to performances of wide-ranging works from medieval to modern, and though she is known as a specialist in contemporary vocal repertoire, she also deeply enjoys a well-aged song. I am so thrilled to feature Liz in this Masterclass episode of the Studio Class podcast!
July 12th, 2021 | 12 mins 48 secs
micro-actions, mindset, practice
We've got a micro series of micro actions on the Studio Class podcast! We're talking about self-esteem, self love, worthiness, and positive thinking. Buckle up, divas, because this is some real talk.
June 28th, 2021 | 11 mins 3 secs
classical singing, micro-actions, music business
Finding affordable health insurance when you're self-employed or a freelancer can be intimidating. But, it is so important for musicians to have! Megan talks about some key points for those who are navigating the health insurance high seas during this Micro Action Monday episode.
You can support the creation of these Micro Action Monday episodes as well as the Masterclass episodes when you join the Sybaritic Camerata on Patreon. Get started at patreon.com/mezzoihnen.