Studio Class

Megan Ihnen | The Sybaritic Singer

About the show

Welcome to Studio Class – I'm Megan Ihnen, your friendly mezzo-soprano, teacher, writer, and arts entrepreneur. Together, we'll dive deep into the strategies and tactics of classical singing and composition. Think of me as your "diva sidekick", distilling essential insights in the realms of classical singing, opera, and new music. Whether it's dissecting the nuances of performance or uncovering the habits of successful creatives, we're here to streamline your path to excellence.

In this podcast, we transcend the ordinary studio class experience, diving deep into the essential business elements that often get overlooked in the world of classical music. Megan's passion for empowering fellow musicians, both vocalists and composers, shines through, making Studio Class your go-to resource for achieving excellence in your artistic endeavors.

Micro Action Monday episodes are short 'how-to' style guides offering actionable entrepreneurship information. For an in-depth look into the journeys of successful professionals, tune in to Masterclass episodes where working artists share how they created, maintain, and expand their careers in today's music industry.

Whether you're a singer, composer, or someone curious about the intersection of tradition and innovation in the performing arts, Studio Class is here to guide you towards a sparkling and focused career. Don't miss the diva-approved wisdom that awaits you on Studio Class with Megan Ihnen.

Studio Class on social media


  • 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.

  • Episode 78: Micro Action Monday - Generate better dramatic choices

    May 16th, 2022  |  12 mins 10 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    “Ask yourself to go much deeper with what you’re performing. Show me both the internal and the external so that I can just lose myself in the performance that you’re giving!” In this Micro Action Monday episode, Megan talks about tools, tips, and strategies to help you make better dramatic choices in auditions and performances.

  • Episode 77: Micro Action Monday - Break the rules

    May 9th, 2022  |  7 mins
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    “You are inhabiting information that may or may not be useful to you anymore. I want you to interrogate what you think the rules of the game are. That you can only “make it’ if you follow these rules, if you do all of the things on this checklist, then you’ll get what you want. I would love for you to dig into that and ask yourself, ‘Is that true?’ As your micro action today, I want you to identify all of the rules that you have come into contact with over time. Then, I want you to take the fattest red marker you can find and cross them out. Ask yourself, ‘What would my life look like, what would my creativity look like, what would my music sound like, what would my field and industry look like if I stopped believing this rule existed and I pursued what I really wanted it to look like?’ Because that’s it, divas, your creativity, your life force, depends on you knowing when to stop believing in the ‘rules’.”

  • Episode 76: Micro Action Monday - Do the ideal client exercise

    May 2nd, 2022  |  11 mins 5 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    "So ideal client exercise is this super charger of empathy. You’re putting yourself into the feelings, thoughts, desires, goals, and pain points of somebody else. This is somebody you care about because you really want to work with them. This can be anybody.” Divas, I really want you to ask yourself the questions in this episode so you can work with more people you absolutely love to work with! You’ll experience some really cool results if you do.

  • Episode 75: Micro Action Monday - Conduct a SWOT analysis

    April 25th, 2022  |  10 mins 57 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    “Divas, I want you to do your own SWOT analysis today: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats.

    • What are my most unique skills?
    • Where am I less skilled? Can I become more skilled in this area with more/better information? Or, should I abstain from this area?
    • Where is there space for me to be more visible? Where is there space for me to really distinguish myself?
    • What are the internal/external threats to my ongoing existence in this field… to my sustainable, thriving existence in this field?"

    All of that, and more, in today's Micro Action Monday episode with Megan.

  • Episode 74: Micro Action Monday - Communicate your offers

    April 18th, 2022  |  14 mins 52 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    “I really want you to think about how you are putting yourself out there for the work you want to do. How are you communicating your offers? Let’s go through the list one more time: attracting and connecting with your ideal clients, being clear about what your signature service is, sharing the outcomes and results that people can expect from working with you, having a clear portfolio of previous work, sharing testimonials and reviews, being clear about your process, FAQs, strategic redirects to your other services, and a call-to-action on every single material you have.” Get the scoop on this whole list in today's Micro Action Monday episode with Megan.

  • Episode 73: Micro Action Monday - Create a lead magnet

    April 11th, 2022  |  12 mins 34 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    “Having an email list can be a really important tool in your toolbox for communicating with potential commissioners, clients, collaborators, students, fans, or whoever you’re trying to reach to share your offers. Just get started. Let it grow over time. The next step I want to talk about is ‘have a lead magnet.’ A lead magnet is basically a freebie they get when they give you their contact information. We’re gonna think about this in a community-building way. It’s a ‘community magnet’…” More on all of that with tips and tricks in today's Micro Action Monday episode with Megan.

  • Episode 72: Micro Action Monday - Show up

    April 4th, 2022  |  7 mins 25 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    “So, your micro-action for today is just… pitch somebody. It’s your responsibility to show up in front of the colleagues, collaborators, and commissioners you want to attract. Make a plan to pitch somebody and then take responsibility for showing up in front of the people who can make it happen for you.” Hear about this and more in today's Micro Action Monday episode with Megan Ihnen.

  • Episode 71: Micro Action Monday - Ask deeper questions

    March 21st, 2022  |  9 mins 9 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    "Use this as a template for asking better and deeper questions. Use this as a template for listening without defensiveness - because you really do want to actually hear the answers that people will give you. Recognize that you’re growing by taking an interest in their inner world. You’re saying, “I care. I want to keep working together so I’m going to invest in these deeper than surface level questions.” Be open. Be inquisitive. You got this!" Hear this and more in today's Micro Action Monday episode!

  • Episode 70: Micro Action Monday - Book more gigs

    March 14th, 2022  |  10 mins 20 secs
    arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business

    People want to be sure they're making a good choice in hiring you, buying from you, or commissioning you. Customer objections are the concerns that a potential client, commissioner, presenter, or director has which cause them to hesitate (at best) and abandon (at worst) a project or contract with you. This Micro Action Monday episode explores some of the ways that you can think through customer objections in your professionally creative life to book more gigs, get more students, or sell your offers to your ideal clients.