"I recently attended one of Carolyn Val-Schmidt's classes and I must say I'm glad I made that choice.
My litmus test for a good voice class is “Did I take away at least one gem?” I mined several from Carolyn's class, especially one that was revelatory to me and has already helped me in my singing performances.
When Carolyn works with a singer/performer, she asks questions that inspire him/her to dig more deeply, to understand who he/she is when singing the piece, to know the “backstory”, to understand what he/she is conveying and feeling from moment to moment. Carolyn's approach is gentle but deliberate, patient but focused. Every student I watched work with her came away with something they could put in their own “singing bag of tricks”.
Each… was smiling after working with her, some even laughing. The nervous ones were calmer, even relieved. The more seasoned ones had been “tuned-up” and looked inspired, motivated. When I worked with Carolyn, inspired by her “Socratic singer's style”, I found my creativity heightened, coming up with a song scenario that I had never thought of for a musical theatre tune I had sung many times.
Did you know that you can 'fill those spaces' when you're not singing, preparing to sing again in a song? That you never have to “wait” to sing? Now, is that a gem or what?"
"Your masterclass was incredible, you are so knowledgeable and intuitive. I really do hope you are going to give another one. It was amazing what your young people produced after a few suggestions from you, amazing."
-Dana Rouse, Adjunct Voice Faculty Cal Lutheran University
"Thank you, Carolyn. I do want to convey a wholehearted, fully alive Frida. Thank you for your generosity in reviewing the character underneath the music with me, line by line, note by note. What a difference that made! I had not had the courage to do that, and now I think I will be able to do it for future roles. Thank you again for your excellent insights and interpretive directions. I'll be studying the opera all the way over, embedding more of our discussions in my images of the scenes."
“I am so grateful I was able to work with you this past week, it’s been a gift for you to share your knowledge with us. Thank you for your kind words, I felt like I really owned my character on stage.”
– Berenice Amador, Student, Santa Monica College Vocal Dept.
"It was absolutely delightful having you with us, singing with your rich, gorgeous voice, and sharing so much humor! You gave us all a lift with your special presence."
– Judith Townsend, Celestial Opera Founder
“…She geared her presentation to the levels and needs of each individual group, and she injected an element of humor into the session that kept the students actively listening to her every word.”
– Tom Pease, Former Choral Director, Taft High School
“She had the students engaged immediately and was able to move their voices to the next level with precision and expedience. [They] loved her analogies…truly one of the best vocal clinics we’ve had in years.”
– John Mosley, Former Director of Music, Agoura High School