Over the past year or so, I’ve seen more and more interest from colleagues to find blogs classical singers should follow in particular. It’s entirely possible I’ve just noticed it more due to my own work here. I like to think though that the rise in interest is due to an increasing amount of musical bloggers. Furthermore, I believe singers and teachers alike are discovering how useful many of these sites can be.
Now it’s true, there are a lot of blogs out there that maybe don’t say much, or unfortunately even have harmful content. However, there are so many that deserve some love, I wanted to give them a shout-out here today.
Please keep in mind that this is by no means a complete list. I decided to start with these six because they have a lot of time and content behind them, plus I personally have regularly read their posts for a while now. I fully anticipate that I will want to write another post like this in the future with a new list of amazing blogs though.
#1 Mezzo with Character
Cindy Sadler and her work at both The Business of Singing and Classical Singer Magazine is an industry standard in so many ways, and her blog is no exception. With thought-provoking posts such as her Us vs. Them series and her Why You’re Not Going to be a Professional Opera Singer series, it’s hard to not be simultaneously inspired by and cautious about the professional world of opera.
Full disclosure – I have some posts on here. However, I would never have agreed to share some of my content on Jenna Douglas’ beautiful blog if I didn’t love it. From the viewpoint of a Canadian collaborative pianist, Jenna writes all kinds of posts from interviews to reviews to general think-pieces and op-eds.
The content is so complete (partially due to the help of guest contributors such as myself) that you could spend hours on Schmopera and never get bored. If I had to choose amongst my favorite posts, I would probably select any of the aria and song guides and then the more general musical guides for singers. Schmopera also recently opened a shop, and I’m not going to lie – I kind of really want one of these shirts (and my birthday’s coming up – any takers?!).
#3 Jennifer Rivera at the Huffington Post
Another industry standard, Jennifer Rivera’s pieces at the Huffington Post give insights to the world of opera that many outsiders (or even singers) wouldn’t get otherwise. I mostly love her tell-it-like-it-is style which lead to pieces such as this one or this. I also love that she considers herself a multi-faceted singer through her arts administration work, especially in a world that inexplicably frowns upon the singer who wears many hats.
#4 Rags to Reasonable
I LOVE Chris Enns’ Rags to Reasonable. It’s helpful, easy to read, consistently updated, and just overall great. I’m also not-so-secretly obsessed with the use of Lego® figurines in his pictures, but that’s just the cherry on top. In fact, the only thing I wish was different about this blog is that he was in America instead of Canada. That way, he could help me navigate a lot of the financial headaches that Americans in particular have to deal with (I’m looking at you privatized health care). So let that be a shout out to you, Chris. There’s work for tenors over here Stateside, and if you ever choose to come on over, you’ve got a friend right here!
#5 Beyond Talent
This blog, by the author of Beyond Talent, Angela Myles Beeching, is underread by the classical singer community in my opinion. Her weekly Monday Bytes offer nice check-ins for musicians of all levels. These posts are quick and easy to read with actionable steps to take at the end of each one. My favorites so far are Getting Your Gratitude On and Your Blue Ocean.
#6 The Bulletproof Musician
Easily the best blog on here for my fellow bookworms and nerds, Noa Kageyama’s The Bulletproof Musician is all about using sports psychology to help musicians practice and perform as effectively as possible. Many of his posts involve simplifying scientific studies regarding effective practice (or something similar), and relating it back to the work of you specifically as a musician.
Again, this was by no means an exhaustive list, and I fully anticipate writing another post in the future. However, I do believe Cindy Sadler will be creating a resources page with a complete list once her website updates on February 1st, so watch out for that. In the meantime, I’d like to list some honorable mentions just to make sure you check out these blogs too:
What are your favorite blogs for classical singers or musicians in general? What are your favorite posts from the blogs I listed? Are there any blogs you follow that aren’t geared towards singers or musicians in particular, but are helpful anyway?