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Martha Gleason Voice Studio
“I’m truly grateful to have the use of Superscope products in my studio”
Martha’s Voice Studio (www.marthagleasonvoicestudio.com) is located in the quaint, New England town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This hip town with a population of 21,000 and its surrounding communities of approx.250,000 has developed into a vibrant, music and theatre scene that provides aspiring singers, dancers, and actors numerous opportunities to perform stretching all the way to Broadway in NYC.
Martha herself has performed in venues nationwide receiving outstanding reviews and numerous awards for her singing. She is also popular on the local scene performing in venues including Prescott Park, The Music Hall, New Hampshire Theatre Project, and Seacoast Repertory Theatre.
Martha is an accredited member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She has been successfully coaching and preparing vocalists for competitive auditions and performances for over 16 years.
Recognized by her colleagues and students as uniquely gifted, Martha develops not only the vocal skills of her accomplished students, but also their hearts. “Above all, I teach students how to achieve self confidence in high-stress performance settings. I look at all the facets, all the experiences and joys involved in getting up in front of an audience and telling a story. I use an advanced skills based approach that enables my students to project their true voice out into the world,” said Martha.
Before the one hour vocal lesson begins (which includes many physical and technical exercises prior to singing), Martha warmly welcomes her students by transporting them from a hectic, demanding weekly routine into a quiet, comfortable living room setting. In fact, the very first exercise is to choose and brew the proper tea together - followed by decompression and friendly discussions about what challenges they may be facing. Martha then shares coping strategies and anxiety management tools that the student can use in their performing and as they navigate their week ahead.
Martha’s passion is preparing students to excel in today’s live productions of popular musicals in high school, community theatre and beyond. Many of today’s popular musicals feature huge production numbers that require sophisticated instrumentation, digital percussion, and heavily produced digital effects. According to Martha, it is difficult to generate the sophisticated accompaniments necessary for these production numbers simply from a piano. Musicals written in this popular surge of the rock/pop genre, have become highly produced using sophisticated music technology. This is a distinct departure from the great Gilbert and Sullivan, and Rogers and Hammerstein to name a few.
To provide these technologically sophisticated accompaniments, Martha is leveraging today’s technology by utilizing Superscope’s Flagship Music Workstation, the PSD450mkII. She uses it first and foremost as a modern day accompanist. The content she relies on, available on CD and increasingly as digital downloads, can be easily loaded, played, and manipulated for rehearsal and recording in the PSD450mkII. Martha can slow down accompaniments without changing the pitch, loop verses and choruses during rehearsal, and even transpose music into other keys to match a students range. If Martha has a soprano student, for example, with a recorded music accompaniment in the key of C, but there are a couple of notes that are just too high for the students range, she can simply turn the Key Function Adjust Knob two clicks to the left while it’s playing and instantly the accompaniment is in B-flat.
When you consider what is required of a pit orchestra to transpose just a half step in order to accommodate a vocalist, this is an incredibly powerful feature, especially when it is integrated into a professional recorder that can make custom accompaniments for playback on popular personal devices. Martha stated, “This makes more music available to a wide variety of soloists that would otherwise be unable to benefit when original recordings are recorded in unsuitable keys.”
Another long time fan of Superscope, Martha states enthusiastically, “I’m truly grateful to have the use of Superscope products in my studio. I can make custom Rehearsal CDs or USB flash drives for my students to use at home for rehearsal, and all of the support and coaching I provide during the lesson is repeated and reinforced while they practice at home.”
Considering the subject of leveraging technology, Martha is also an early adapter, offering lessons via Skype when transportation is a problem. She’s obviously unafraid to embrace technology in order to remain on the cutting edge in this quickly evolving, online society. What does the future hold for virtual lessons with Martha Gleason? Well, personally I wouldn’t be willing to give up the tea just yet.
Digital Accompaniments (Play Alongs) for Practice and Recording are available from Hal Leonard Music, Music Minus One, (recently acquired by Hal Leonard) and Jamie Abersold. Check out the links below.