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How to Stay on Track and Learn Your Role this Winter Break

The holidays are almost here, and while this can be the most wonderful time of the year, it can become much less so with the responsibility of learning a role hanging over your head. Without regularly scheduled rehearsals to hold you accountable, learning a role can feel like a monumental challenge. Stay on track and enjoy your time off with these tips.

Stay organized...

  • Make sure all translations are written into your score!
  • Take the time now to prep your score with highlighting, tabbing, color-coding, writing in subtext and objectives, etc.
  • It is never too early to organize your score, so do not procrastinate. Catching up during the rehearsal period will just take precious time away from actually preparing the role!

Plan your time wisely...

  • Assign yourself chunks of music to learn. Be realistic and take your routine into account--if you work every day, you might want to give yourself smaller daily assignments. If your schedule is open or flexible, give yourself a bigger weekly chunk. 
  • Keep it manageable and be sure to have a back up plan—if you missed a day of practicing or didn’t get as far as you planned, make sure to schedule it into the next week. 

Hold yourself accountable...

  • Stay on track by rewarding yourself for meeting your goals and holding yourself accountable for falling behind. Skip that holiday party if you have not learned enough of your recitatives! Buy yourself that eyeshadow palette you've been coveting for finishing that huge finale!

Don't just learn--constantly review...

  • When scheduling your time, do not forget to schedule music to review and not just music you need to learn! 
  • Even if you know an aria or scene, do not stop rehearsing it. Every sing-through is an opportunity to polish and add another layer of nuance.

Keep your head in the game...

  • Performing a role is so much more than doing what is written in the score. Be sure to take the time to read any source materials and put in the time to research the opera. This way you can truly understand the context of the story and what is happening in the life of the character are portraying.
  • Keep a notebook where you can write notes on your character and any spontaneous insights you may have!

Did we miss anything? Share the holiday spirit by telling us how you prepare over the winter break in the comments!

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