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Spring 2017 Compliment Exchange

This has been a crazy summer for me! Many people already know this, but my mother passed away very unexpectedly in the middle of May. This made it a very difficult summer for me and my family, which was compounded by the fact that I graduated with my Doctorate from the University of Iowa the same week my mother died and was married the next month! To say it has been a whirlwind would be an understatement.

One of my saving graces during this difficult time has been my students and the amazing families I get to work with on a weekly basis. My end of the school year recital was schedule just a week after my mother's funeral, but I wanted to hold the recital because I knew it would bring me joy and I love seeing my students show off what they have been working on all year!

This was the second compliment exchange recital I have held at Saunders Vocal Studios and it was a success! What is a compliment exchange recital you ask? Well, each student, parent, and audience member is asked to take a compliment sheet at the beginning of the recital and they must write one nice thing about the performances they hear. I loved this event because I get to see what my students are starting to pick up and how their ears are growing as singers. I also like this event because the parents have to write something nice about each performance as well. Parents want their students to excel and do well, but don't always take the time to actually formulate how much progress they see and hear, so this recital is an excellent way for everyone to listen closely and have fun! :) After the recital is done I type up all of the compliments and give them to the singers in their lessons. I had one student who pointed to her face with a big smile and say "Look at how big my smile is after reading these :)."

I had 13 singers (about half of my studio) perform on this recital with about half of those singers presenting their first public performance. I am immensely proud of each and every one! Below are some photos from the event and some of the compliments written about each student.


“Excellent enunciation, very crisp and clear!”

“Great job moving from soft to strong voice. It helped make the performance interesting!”

“Great smile and sweet voice. Very pretty singing and good eye contact with the audience.”

“You had great posture and we really like the way you moved on stage (moving your arms and getting into your song!)”

“Awesome job. It was very enjoyable to listen to. Nice dynamics. It’s hard being the finishing act, but you really brought it home.”

“Great tone! We liked seeing you sway with the music and feeling the song.”

“Nice open mouth, good movements and character, really confident, good breathing for long notes.”

“I like all the movements and facial expressions. It is such a fun song to listen to and I am sure to sing as well.”

“This is one of my favorite songs! You have a nice solid voice— it stays right on and keeps me listening and wanting more. Nice job!”

“Very poetic and mesmerizing voice! Nice vibrato, and beautiful dynamics.”

“Wow—I know how challenging it is to sing in another language. This is very good.”

“Sweet, sweet voice! Your confidence grew as the song went on. Great note at the end.”

“Your voice is so amazing. Great job on the high notes. You really got up there! It was spectacular to listen to.”

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