Greta Matassa
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CLINICS

I offer a number of clinics covering a wide variety of topics and many of these are available to school groups, choirs and large vocal ensembles as well as small gatherings of interested singers. Most of these clinics are available by request and some only require myself and computer, others feature my band as well. Many are scheduled throughout the year and offered at my studio. (Check front teaching page for yearly offerings) All are available for hire! Please inquire, gretamatassa@comcast.net

 

"Dear Greta

Thank you so much for sharing your passion and expertise with my students this morning! They all left feeling motivated and encouraged and hopeful in their learning journey, and that is so exciting!" Jackson HS.

GRETA MATASSA'S JAZZ SINGER CLINIC


…she is one of the few
I have witnessed who can actually translate her
craft in a way that
everyone goes home
with something.

—Barney McClure
Pianist, composer, educator

"Hey singers, give me 3 hours and I'll make a better jazz singer out of you!"
Award-winning Jazz vocalist/recording artist and respected educator, Greta Matassa is offering a 3- hour Clinic.
Bring in a jazz standard, sing it for her and let her offer useful critique and hands on practical methods for improvement!

What’s covered?
Stylizing
Phrasing
Improvisation skills - Keep your repertoire fresh and inventive!
Technique
Find new ways of treating melody
Play with rhythmic phrasing - Learn to sing your songs in refreshingly new ways!
Exercises:
Rhythmic - learn to liberate the lyrics - Learn the importance of using a metronome!
Harmonic – sing over chords and hear potential new melodies
Interpretation resulting in a more beautiful freedom of phrasing!
Dynamic and Attack Demonstration - Create interest and that “indefinable something”
Make audiences really sit up and listen!
Scat- examples of scat will be covered
Vocal “aerobic” workout – A warm up routine to gain strength, flexibility, breath control both in body and voice!
Stylistic Study – learn the treatments of the master of Classic Jazz singers:
Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Blossom Dearie, Peggy Lee and others!
Performance anxiety - stage fright, preparation and how to communicate with musicians.
$50, limit 9 singers

 


WHAT YOUR MUSICIAN FRIENDS WISH YOU KNEW!

You may not think you need this clinic but the jazz musicians in your area wish you would take it.
As a professional singer/clinician, I have made a living exclusively in the music business since the age of 14. Although I, like many of you, do not read music, I have been accepted and am indeed respected by many of the country’s top Jazz Musicians as “one of us.“
How is this possible? Participate in this clinic and I will share with you some of my secrets. This is not just another vocal clinic where I will pat you on the back and say you have a pretty voice make a few adjustments and say “now sing it again.”
I mean to share with you ALL my secrets about successfully communicating with Jazz Musicians!
I will cover everything from understanding how much information to give them i.e. counting off tempos, choosing key, establishing style, arrangement ideas visual cues and verbal cues to
Improvisation concepts, vocal health concepts, etiquette when dealing with booking Musicians and dealing with the venues. Business practices, self-promotion, and anything else that I think you’re a musician friends would like you to know!

 

THE JAZZ STANDARDS WARM UP

I have created the best warm up routine for jazz singers imaginable! In this clinic I will take you through this unique approach and help you to create your own personalized warmup using your own repertoire.

Based on my popular "Jazz standards warm up" series, this approach takes you through all the areas of your range and covers the trickiest spots in your tunes. What singers are saying:

 

"Absolutely Fabulous! Greta has discovered a very efficient way to increase your range and polish singer's jazz technique at the same time. Now that I have  The Jazz Standards Warm Up, I am consistently training my voice. I Highly recommend for jazz vocalists of all levels."
Jacqueline

What a great tool this is, Greta! Your method gets right to the heart of what so many singers grapple with...smoothing out that "clunky" gear shift of registers, while at the same time digging right in to the meatiest parts of so many great tunes. Multi-tasking at its finest...can't wait for the second set of 20! Thanks :-) Elaine

Im LOVING Greta's "Warm Up With Standards" - this is genius. Greta takes you through the different registers in your voice, letting you feel out registrations in different keys.  She uses the same "lick" or section of a song over and over, working bottom to top as well as top to bottom. Chromatic runs to blues licks, ballads to swing, she hits on some of the more complex vocal runs in the jazz repertoire, tuning the ear as well as the voice. Thank you Greta - this is a FANTASTIC CD!! Kim


SINGING WITH 'UMAMI" SHAPING YOUR SOUND WITH THIS KEY INGREDIENT

Ask someone who thinks that they know what umami is, and They’ll tell you it’s the “fifth taste,” after salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. It’s that other thing, the thing you didn’t even know needed a concept or a name until someone pointed it out. That deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms, among other things. It hits the back of your throat and leaves you craving more.”
NOW let’s talk about vocal “Umami” !
I’ve been thinking about and trying to describe to my students for years that quality that separates an average singer from a great singer, and to me vocal “umami” is the best description I can imagine.
There’s a deepness, effortlessness, rich, committed sound that all great singers have. It reaches beyond basically singing the notes in tune and in time. There’s a way of “addressing” and caressing each lyric that give intent and deeper meaning to the song! This secret is what I want to talk to you about!

It has to do with "turning a phrase", “blooming” your vowels and enrobing your sound with crisp consonants, transparent air/tone ratios, thoughtful use of vibrato and ultimately psychologically giving yourself permission to really ‘go’ that far in delivery!
Time spent listening, emulating great voices and comparing yourself to them is intimidating but can be enlightening!
Then letting me take you line by line through one of your pieces and really tapping into this concept.

RED HOT & BLUESY

 

Learn to sing the Blues!!
I''ll share some of my secrets for giving your songs some grit and soul. By using gospel and blues singers
as a study, we will learn how to add a run or melisma to your improv. Plus some important safety tips on "belting".

I've devoloped some exersises and warm ups that free you up to be more soulful in your phrasing!

HIGH, LOW, IN BETWEEN/ RANGE EXPANDING

 

Most singers wold love to have a wider range and more possiblities with thier voices. This clinic will introduce you to the concepts of building strength and flexibility needed to be a COMPLETE SINGER! Learn healthy ways to expand your range and deal with the problem BREAK area.

 

VOWEL EXERCISES, THE CENTER OF YOUR SOUND

 

Want to get at the source of vocal production? Remove those consonants and be alone with the sound of your voice on the vowels! Let me show you an innovative new concept in practicing your repertoire using a combination of free weights, gravity and breathing exercises.  YOU'LL DEFINATELY FEEL IT WHEN YOU'RE DONE!

 

SONG RE-TREATMENTS


What do you do when all your songs are old and tired?
You re-treat them! Imagine singing the same song many different ways. We'll supply a rhythm section to help demonstrate
treatments like: samba, Back-beat funk, 6/8 or double-time swing. What about taking that ballad heavy repertoire and finding
new rhythmic treatments?

 

LICKS, KICKS AND OTHER COOL TRICKS


How to use motifs, riffs and shout choruses as building blocks for your improvisational ideas.
Many singers avoid any sort of improvisation, assuming they must sing long, complex lines.
making up a new melody is as simple as taking it one bar at a time.
in this class, we learn and practice the important skills of “simple, short and sweet”.

 

TRUST YOUR EARS/ SPONTANEOUS SONGWRITING AKA IMPROVISING

Let's learn a song from the INSIDE OUT!  This is the BEST class I've ever developed to get you comfortable singing and listening at the same time! (A  skill imperative to improvising!)

If you want to feel more comfortable re-phrasing (changing up melodies) and/or scat singing, this is for YOU.

 

GROW YOUR EARS
(Advanced Level)

When we "grow our ears", and quiet our inner critic, musical magic can happen. In this workshop, we invite letting go of patterns and habits that can stifle new awareness and possibilities.
We practice hearing the music as it’s happening and allowing ourselves to intuit and respond without editing.
This real-time improvisation opens the mind, creating new avenues in the synapse roadmap of the brain.
"Big Ears" is a very attractive thing in a vocalist. ;-) Come grow yours! This is an advanced level workshop for Singers. All level of Auditors are welcome.

VOCALESE/JAZZ RAP!


Join us for an exploration of vocalese. Songs like Twisted, Doodlin’ and Moody’s Mood for Love were originally an instrument improvised solo,
and lyrics were subsequently added later to become a new piece in the jazz repertoire.
We will hear some examples of classics and learn to write your own vocalese over your favorite song!
If you've already taken the "Trust Your Ears" workshop, this is a great "next step" to that process.
If you have NOT taken the "Trust Your Ears" workshop...don't worry...you'll be able to jump right in.

 

NO NET !

How well do you (REALLY) know the songs in your repertoire?

Vocalists often lean on accompanists without even knowing it.
In this workshop, we eliminate the crutch of a pianist leading you through chord changes
or a drummer spelling out the rhythms. Bring your best known and loved songs. Locate and eliminate “train wrecks” that can happen
with your own band, with a new musical partner, or in a jam environment.
Practice holding your song's form, chord changes and rhythm in your own body. Learn how to stand on your own two feet — then FLY!

MAKE MINE LATIN

You don't have to speak a foreign language to embrace and embody the latin style.
Greta will cover the basics for singing in common latin styles (bossa, samba, rhumba) and the not-so-common (montuno and cha cha).
She will teach you how to differentiate the styles, sing in syncopation and become your own rhythm section.
Learn the secret of vibrato-to-straight tone and breath-to-voice tone to get that sensual latin sound.

 

LESS IS MORE/ ELEGANCE AND SUBTLETY

The key to a successful performance is keeping your audience listening. Even the most beautiful timbre or lovely lyrics can become tiresome if delivered with too much predictability.
When we give ourselves permission to “get off the 1/4 note” and “stop filling every measure", we instinctively
choose more authentic phrasing. Learn how to use space, asymmetry and dynamics to engage your fans and create more meaning in your music.

FAST/SLOW or “JUST RIGHT”

Learn to love the tempos you call on the bandstand regardless of whether they are “ just right” or not!
The fact is you will never count off exactly the metronome marking BPM that you likely practice with, so why not learn how to “deal” with, and love the tempo you get! This new clinic offer Greta’s insights into how to prepare for the subtle changes that must be made to make various tempos work on your songs. Never fear your count-off’s again!

THE ART OF SINGING DUETS

A big thank you to Greta for teaching us how and when to harmonize, how to find a key that worked for both of us, and to pick tunes, arrangement, and voicings for greatest effect.

The class was informative, the other participants were inspiring, and Greta was, as always, a gifted teacher who uses humor to bring out the best in her students

— Amy

An afternoon clinic with Greta Matassa, $50 (limit 8 singers)
That's right, I have another idea for you. For those of you who ever wondered how to make a duet with a fellow singer really work and be as fun as I can make it look on stage! Many of you are gigging now and occasionally you may want to pair with a fellow singer to share the fun, the expenses and to benefit from a shared audience. So let's learn how to make work for you!

We will pair off and make some music together! We will learn about :
Finding a compatable key
Sharing the form
Harmonizing with each other
Unison
Call and answer
Scatting together
Finding good songs for dueting

You can reserve a spot as a pair (if you have a partner in mind), or I will pair you off during the clinic.
And yes, girls can sing with girls, guys and girls, guys and guys, chipmunks and squirrels…

 

SWING IT HARD

As Count Basie said, “Tap your feet!”.Don’t just swing, SWING HARD! Dig deeper in to find the “groove’’ and feel the “pocket” with swing styles. In this class, Greta will lead you closer to an authentic swinging style:
Greta’s "call and answer" to hear, see and feel what it’s like.
Study of big band sounds, (shout choruses, motifs and lip-synching with master swing singers.
Understanding attack (that pulsing beat).
"Tap dancing” with the words.

DARING DYNAMICS

Get comfortable with being BIG. In this class, Greta will lead you OUT of your comfort zone and into intensity and excitement. If you’ve attended the “Less is More” workshops, this includes the flip-side of that coin…knowing when and how to selectively choose “More is MORE”. NOTE: "Less is More" is NOT a pre-req for this class.We’ll explore dynamics of sound and how to create drama with peaks and valleys in your tunes.

 

TRADING WITH THE BAND

Trading with the band doesn’t just mean “scatting 4’s with drummer”.You can scat trade 8’s 4’s and 2’s with any player in the band if you know how to get started. The audience loves to watch band members interact and even egg each other on in trades. Learn how to respond to 8’s, 4’s, 2’s (and keep track of the tune!)


 

 

BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS (Intros and Codas)


A 3-hour clinic with Greta Matassa and band, $50 (limit 8 singers)

Having trouble finding your way in when you're singing with a band? Are you doing just fine til you get to the end and suddenly have no idea how to end the song!?!

In this 3 hour clinic we will discuss and demonstrate the various possible intros and codas that you may encounter on the bandstand. Understand how they work, and even how to ask for what you would like ?

Help with: finding your tempo and counting off, conducting fermata's, communicating with body signals and when to have an arrangement charted.

We will also cover "solo" etiquette, how to know when to come back in! Trading fours etc.

ALL VALUABLE INFORMATION NO SINGER SHOULD BE WITHOUT!

"TAP DANCE THE WORDS" UNDERSTANDING RHYTHMIC PHRASING


A 3-hour clinic with Greta Matassa, $50 (limit 8 singers)
The fun of rhythmic phrasing. Understand how to teach your body to be a good drummer. Play with the words like Fred Astaire's feet! We'll explore the difference in swing and latin grooves. Learn and how to play "tug of war" with the bar line. I'll show you concepts of attack that let your tunes really swing. And then there's the William Shatner exercise…..!

 

FORGET THE DARN WORDS AND SCAT


An afternoon clinic with Greta Matassa, $50 (limit 8 singers)
You know you want to try it, but it seems so scary. Well, I'll show some fun ways to get started scatting, using your own sense of swing, sense of harmony and sense of humor! We'll take some songs we all know in common and using a variety of exercises, I'll free your tongue up, so help me!

 

CONVERSATIONAL PHRASING: The Art of Ballad Delivery


An afternoon clinic with Greta Matassa, $50 (limit 8 singers)
The art of ballad delivery. Why does it sound like Carmen McRae is talking to you while she's singing? Why does Frank seem to be in room with you on "One for my Baby" ?
You don't have to have "lived it" to give a heart-felt delivery .
These singers have are some tricks up their sleeves and I'm going to show you how it works!

 

Clipper AndersonBASS ACCOMPANIMENT FOR SINGERS (New)

Singers, wanna learn to sing with a bassist only? One of the coolest treatments in jazz arrangements is the sparse sound of vocals with a bass accompaniment. You will learn about root chord movement and how to imagine the rest of the chord, tracking where you are in the tune, rhythmic treatments such a "two feel" and "walking," and how to phrase within a more spacious setting.

Work with one of the top bassists in the country, Clipper Anderson.
(His new CD, "The Road Home" is currently #20 in the country!)
For this two-hour session you will have Clipper as your accompanist and I will assist you in understand how to make the most of singing in this setting. I will also record each of you.
Clinics offered monthly. Please inquire.

GRETA'S SINGERS CLUB

Oprah has her Book Club, and I think it's high time we created a Singer's Club. A discussion group that meets once a month or so to talk about and share some of your favorite singers and why you love them! As I've told many of you in the past I'm a "self-taught" singer.


“Oh, what a night!
`
I was buzzed up like I used
to be in the early days.
Greta, you are relaxed
in your teaching, coaching
and support"

—Dorothy


That is to say, almost everything I've learned and made a career out of singing, came from studying and learning from the Great Jazz Singers. I'd like to have the opportunity to share with you some of my favorite recordings of these singers and talk about what I've learned specifically from them. I'll share with you some of my own techniques of creative listening and observation. Some way's of using these recordings for practice and problem solving in your own jazz singing. The cost is $20 per session. These sessions are at least an hour and possibly more once we get talking! You can record the whole discussion! Please feel free to bring in your favorite recordings and we'll open the whole thing up for listening, discussing, laughter, argument, enlightenment and possibly some wine! (with the exception of you minors!) If you'd like to participate, please email me and we'll set up an evening (probably sunday's) ASAP. Limit 5 people per session.

 

 
 

 
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