Pembroke Kiwanis Festival – March 2-5, 2015
On behalf of the Kiwanis Music Committee in Pembroke, Doug Fee and I would like to extend our thanks for your excellent adjudication of our music students. Your adjudication amply demonstrated your high qualification in music, your 20-year experience in Québec, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Europe, and your enormous success with your students. When you started adjudicating in Pembroke – as you stated – you were not experienced with very young students, but being a very bright person, you very quickly caught on and soon engaged our students with your clever analogies, quick wit and humour and gentle suggestions.
We are especially very grateful to you, for generously holding a Three and a Half hour Master Class on Thursday, March 5th. This was the first Master Class at our Festival and I would regard it as the highlight of the Festival. In this class, you not only covered physical aspects of the Voice: like posture, relaxing exercises, breathing techniques, sustaining energy and stagecraft such as facial expression, stage-presence, appropriate gestures (not using them as a crutch) but also linguistic elements like pronunciation, enunciation, articulation, context and meaning and relying on literal translations, not just on abstracts of music written in foreign languages.
Perhaps the most profound insights you formulated related to the heart, the soul and the spirit of music. These are indeed the aesthetic and esoteric elements in music: conveying the human spirit in music, capturing the emotional fervour of the composer, tapping into the pure essence of one’s voice (bell tone), capturing a poignant moment in the life on the stage, projecting authenticity, singing soulfully, living larger on the stage and creating a powerful and memorable impression. Your contrast between loudness and resonance was particularly appealing. It is the caressing nature of your voice and the shimmer of your voice which enables it to reach the farthest seat in the hall.
I was quite astounded when you said, simply and elegantly: “Do not get in the way of yourself.” This seemingly simple advice applies to all walks of life. We are constantly beleaguered by anxiety, fear, inhibition and insecurity and consequently, perform poorly. I am sure our students will remember this prudent maxim.
Pembroke teachers and the students who obviously benefited from your adjudications and Master Class will carry with them abiding memories. They sincerely thank you. We are very grateful.
Co-Chair, Pembroke Kiwanis Music Festival Committee”
Open Studio Masterclass – Sept. 6, 2014
“Dear Stuart, it was a very enjoyable master class this afternoon. All of your singers were excellent. You are a gifted teacher in that each and every student totally transformed their performance after your input. Look forward to attending another class very soon. I would highly recommend you as a vocal coach to all of my friends and colleagues. Thanks again!” Constantine Meglis (COC member)
“Thank you Stuart so much! I really enjoyed this afternoon! You are very talented teacher and wonderful musician. I am lucky I had a chance to visit your master class, still upset that I missed Schubert…but I am grateful that I met you – a great musician, your understanding and feelings in music are very genuine and close to mine. It is very rarely. I liked your singers very much! Thank you again Stuart for such a warm afternoon – this beautiful island of Music.” Irina Isakov (Collaborative pianist, Faculty of Music Univeristy of Toronto)
OPERFEST – June 11, 2013
“I was moved by the talent featured in this performance and am looking forward to the next one. Anyone who enjoys opera would be foolish to miss this.” Robert Delaney – audience member
“Love your coaching!! Loving your musicality and knowledge of style, but especially LOVE your VOICE, Stuart! When do we get to hear you perform? You’ve got GREAT ears!! Tamara’s no slouch, either! She really got everything you gave her – and you gave her a LOT. I did enjoy this – thanks.” David Playfair, PhD Vocal Pedagogy, Professor of Voice – Brandon University
Stuart Graham: Maestro del ser…
Stuart Graham Maestro de interpretación del ser. Mi nombre es Jordán estudio piano desde hace 6 años y mi maestro actual es Stuart Graham. Aún cuando su especialidad es canto, técnicamente me ha ayudado a quitar tensiones, a mejorar mi articulación y por su experiencia como cantante he estado aprendiendo, al tocar, a establecer una conexión entre mi respiración y mi cuerpo entero.Cuando hablamos de clases con Stuart, no importando si es canto, piano o música de cámara, es hablar de establecer una conexión entre el ser humano que eres y la Música, como él dice: “deja que la Música te diga que hay que hacer, no quieras forzar la Música a que suene como tu quieres”. La conexión de la que él habla es el flujo de energía vital a través de todo tu cuerpo y al instrumento convirtiéndose así en una extensión tuya.Desde que estoy en sus manos he disfrutado mucho más mis horas de estudio y por supuesto la clase. Si hay alguien ahí afuera que tenga la oportunidad de tomar clases con Stuart es una experiencia que vale la pena.
Stuart como persona, es muy paciente y antes de decirte que lo haces mal trata de analizar tu técnica entrecierra sus ojos y observa desde diferentes ángulos como si fuera un fotógrafo, después de eso sabe que es lo que tienes que cambiar.Cuando estoy en clase con él, no siento estar en una clase donde tienes miedo a equivocarte para no ser regañado o de alguna manera sentir que tus esfuerzos diarios han sido infructuosos, estar en clase con Stuart es tocar para un amigo quien te va a decir qué le falta a tu interpretación y lo mejor es que te dice como se tiene que sentir para que cuando ya no estés en clase sepas que encontrar musicalmente. Escribió por Jordán Valdez, Querétaro, México
Stuart Graham has transformed me! He is an outstanding vocal coach who guides you “to live in the moment” instead of just getting through a piece of music. He inspires you to discover the intent in the music and reflect that intent through song by communicating from the heart. He challenges you to raise the bar on your learning in every class. He is the only teacher I’ve met who can take the abstract and make it concrete…so that you know exactly what you need to do technically to experience e.g. proper breathing. His techniques have not only opened me up to a whole new world of song but he has helped me “to find my voice” resulting in a deeper confidence in my professional work as a facilitator/consultant/speaker in the corporate world. Be prepared to reap the benefits of an uncharted journey! Kim Finkelstein, Breakthrough Business Performance
My association with Stuart has led to an incredible growth in my development as an artist above and beyond the technical aspects of physically singing, although these as well, have undergone great advancement in the time I have studied in the studio. Increased musical sensitivity, awareness, discovery and the resulting improved capacity for nuance are now vastly larger components in my journey.
The opportunity to have lessons in a performance space is a tremendous benefit in terms of exercising my voice to satisfy a larger venue.
The discoveries I make participating in the regular performance opportunities of the program are fantastic for developing my confidence in front of and rapport with an audience. I learn by doing and all the program’s efforts are directed towards this goal of communicating with the audience.
Stuart Graham teaches and leads by example. He allows me to see the inner workings of the career of a professional artist. I witness the goal setting, promotion and marketing aspects of the business of singing in addition to the constant striving for artistic excellence. I consider my association with Stuart and his studio an enlightening opportunity to round out my vocal and performance training.
This all-encompassing approach to training is invaluable to my advancement as an artist. Martha Spence, mezzo-soprano
I first met Stuart after a concert he gave at a church on Yonge at St Clair. I was prepared to dislike it. But, I found myself pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the performance!
“When the Student is ready the Teacher appears”
Stuart never misses an opportunity. If he sees an opening for passing on information or making improvements he takes it. It was there on the back of his concert program that I learned that he was a teacher and was offering courses with a chance to perform.
There it was. I was looking for a new coach and I was ready to learn.
And learn is what you do in his studio.
Stuart has a simple approach to singing:
This is the approach we take when we are about to sing.
It’s all about the attitude. You must have the correct mindset when you approach a piece.
In this way you set in motion your complete focus on one thing the task at hand.
If it sounds simple well, it is and it isn’t. But, with Stuart, he breaks it down until it becomes easy to understand and implement.
As a student of singing, I was searching for that teacher who could help me get over the last remaining hurdles in my artic growth. What I found here at AtelierS was a perfect blend of student teacher interaction. Here I am treated as an equal as an artist perfecting her craft. I am free to ask questions and allowed the space to grow. In the masterclass situation, we are able to observe each other’s progression. Here is where we learn see the lessons in action. The playing field is leveled as we are reminded of the simple rules of singing: by exciting ourselves we excite each other.
I am constantly amazed at how “life mirrors art” or vice versa. This is what I have learned so far: You must be willing to change and not take things too personally. You must be willing to make change on the fly emotionally. You must be willing to get out of yourself and let the art take over. And finally, you must be prepared.
I’m looking forward to our final concert and to work with Stuart again in the future. Helene Ducharme, soprano
Atelier S continues to delight its audience with performances by vocal artists of exceptional talent. Each program is a revelation of the artist’s range, style and ability. I have never been disappointed! Michael Spence, audience member
Stuart is the first teacher to explicitly speak about ‘Singing your spirit.’ As a result, I sing with more joy, color and comedy. It has certainly helped me in my business. Paul Huschilt, Professional Speaker, Storyteller, Trainer www.paulhuschilt.com
Congratulations Stuart and his artists
Attended “Requiem” recital on April 4 2007 at College Street United…a wonderful experience. This recital was very appropriate, timely and thoughtful, a perfect prelude and companion to our reflection during this time of passing and rebirth, Easter and lest we forget our fallen saints of Vimy. Stuart and Atelier S, transporting us through sombre songs of Requiem, humbly emphasize, echo and remind us, at this time, that the forces of life and love conquer death over and over again. Stuart, your ambition, creativity and professionalism continue to impress, astound and inspire and it contagiously resonates in the huge talent of and performance by your students. Well done. Looking forward to the next recital. Thomas Perala, audience member