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.
January 31st, 2022 | 6 mins 49 secs
arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business
Before you even start your content strategy, "What's the overall thing that I'm an expert at? And, what does my community care about? What do they want to know more about?" That and more in this Micro Action Monday episode.
January 24th, 2022 | 58 mins 48 secs
classical singing, masterclass, music business, opera
Grammy™ nominated soprano Laura Strickling was praised by The New York Times for her, “flexible voice, crystalline diction, and warm presence.” Celebrated for her work on the concert and recital stage, she has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, National Sawdust, Trinity Church on Wall Street, Washington National Cathedral, Tanglewood Music Festival, Ravinia Music Festival, and so, so many more! A specialist in new music, she has collaborated with composers Libby Larsen, Tom Cipullo, James Matheson, Juliana Hall, John Musto, Reinaldo Moya, and Glen Roven. Her upcoming commissioning initiative – The 40@40 Project – will bring to life 40 songs by 40 composers. Find out more about her at https://www.laurastrickling.com/
December 6th, 2021 | 11 mins 42 secs
arts coaching, classical singing, micro actions, music business
“If this, then that… Right? What kinds of things do you want? What are your biggest goals? Then, what kinds of ‘if this, then that’ statements can you set up so that they’re helping you get closer to it? This is such a core ‘micro action activity’! It’s just these little things in which you set up cause and effect statements for yourself.”
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.