Private Voice Studio

 

Benjamin maintains a private voice studio in Bloomington of students of all ages. Voice Lessons can be structured in half-hour, 45-minute, and hour-long sessions depending on the student's preference and schedule.  Students may feel comfortable bringing any repertoire from classical art song and aria, to music theatre and pop.

 

Ben speaks about his Teaching Philosophy:

 

"Teaching is an individual process, and care must be taken to ensure each student’s individual needs are met in a case by case basis. In my experience, I have found that the best results in my students come from the nurturing of a trusting and honest learning environment, creating awareness of students’ habits and natural tendencies, and by not forcing a mold onto any one of them. Creating an environment in which every student feels they can trust their instructor is crucial. An individual’s voice is a very personal and private part of them, and it must be treated as such.

 

Every student who has walked through my door, into an ensemble I am directing, or a camp I am leading is an individual. They have their own stories, their own successes and their own failures, their own voices and their own experiences. 

 

I think my favorite lesson for every student is their very first one. It presents a blank canvas. Each voice or student will then provide the hints of an outline of what they can become. And more than anything else, they are human. They have wants and needs, desires and flaws, good days and bad days and I get to be, for most of them, a high point in their week and the part of their day they look forward to experiencing."

- Fill out the contact form here for rates and availability.

"Every student who has walked through my door... is an individual."

"They have their own stories... their own voices and their own experiences."

Student National Association of Teachers of Singing

 

Benjamin is heavily involved in the IU Chapter of the Student National Association of Teachers of SInging, the flagship chapter for the nation. For the 2013-2014 school year, he served as the chapter treasurer, from 2014-2015 as the Vice-President, and succeeded to President for the 2015-2016 school year. As Vice-President in 2014-2015 Benjamin was responsible for organizing and coordinating the Eleventh Annual New Voice Educators Symposium (NVES). NVES is an opportunity for young voice teachers with less than five years of collegiate teaching experience to present original research in a conference setting. The selected presenters are invited to come present in Bloomington completely free of charge. With presenters from all over the nation, each NVES is testament to the level of opportunity the IU SNATS chapter provides each year. Benjamin himself was a presenter in 2014 with "Nasality in Speech and Singing."

 

As President, Benjamin designed a six-part lecture series with various topics concerning the voice professional or teacher of voice. This year's lectures will include or have included a Q&A session with the two newest IU Jacobs faculty members Jane Dutton and Brian Gill titled "New Kids on the Block," "Vocal Health Myths" with Julia Rademacher, a speech therapist and singer, "Intro to Russian Diction" with Nikolay Vervkin, "Starting a Studio" with Heater Narducci focusing on the demnds of a private voice studio, "Family and Career" with Kevin Murphy and Heidi Grant-Murphy, and "Teaching Young Voices" with Dr. Brent Gault.  Along with the lecture series Benjamin also helps organize the Faculty Caberet fundraiser and NVES for 2016 as well as any other smaller projects and workshops throughout the year. 

 

In addition to his work with SNATS, Benjamin has been an adjudicator at the Great Lakes Regional NATS Competition. 

Bloomington Playwrights Project - Music Director

 

Bloomington Playwrights Project (BPP) is a professional regional theatre company, the only professional theatre company dedicated to producing only new plays and musicals. In the Fall of 2014 Benjamin accepted the position of Music Director for BPP, first joining the artistic team on Make Me Bad by Drew Gasaparini and Alex Brightman, two of the brightest new stars in the broadway community. In summer 2015, Benjamin expanded his role at BPP as the Director of the Youth Music Theatre Ensemble (YMTE). YMTE is a month long summer camp for kids from ages 9-16. During that month the campers will write, produce, and perform their very own original musical, quite a feat even for seasoned professionals. 

 

In 2016 Ben took the helm with Carner and Gregor's Toast, and electronic heavy musical that explores the life of the down and out displaced by Katrina in New Orleans and thier search for a home.   In 2017 Ben will music direct for Goodson and Schonfield's Calling All Kates, a story about Marc, a man left alone the night before his wedding trying to salvage his honeymoon the only way he can: finding another Kate.

"Nasality in Speech and Singing" - NVES 2014

 

"Bridging the Gap: The Purpose of Today's Music Degree" - NVES 2016

 

© 2015 by Benjamin Smith

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