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Cristie Strongman

How would you describe your music?

classical, operatic, some experimental music

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

"I am not in a band nor do I do studio recordings nor do I deal with business of music.

Nor sure if this is relevant but I am often the organizer of the ensembles for various pieces, I find the venues, etc."

Describe your gear.

I am an opera singer.

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"I don't know what it's like to be a man so I don't really know how to answer this question.

But I think that as a (classical) singer it's easier for a woman to express one self in song in this society than a man because men are taught to be interested in other things not dealing with feelings. You always find many women and few male classical singers almost anywhere.

Also, it's harder to train tenors because their voices change at puberty and not women's and this is a very delicate type of voice, a more exposed instrument and it's often difficult for a man to want to deal with the training of allowing the voice to crack at first. Just what I have heard men say and what I have heard in practice rooms myself while they perfect their craft."

Related Themes: The First Time

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

Yes. In classical music I think women opera singers had less school training and got more of their knowledge at home and with private teachers. I think now it's sort of a mass comsumtion type of thing of turning out generic material in classical music because it lacks individuality and the attention that one teacher would give a person, now it's multiple students per one teacher and not enough time to perform and get the real experience classical singers need.

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"I never had any real support for my craft, probably why I'm working a day job that is non music related. However, I still take my craft very seriously and work hard at getting better and performing any chance I get.

Advice for a woman musician starting out, let's say she is young: learn piano and solfeg so that you can sigh reade very well, learn to improvise musically, take dance classes for physical coordination and intergration, learn as many languages as you can but consentrate on German, Italian, French, English and some other romance language like Spanish, Portuguese. Learn now to study an operative role on your own and learn to KNOW when you are ready to seek out a voice techer, a vocal coach, repetituer for help and when you can still do the work yourself to save time, effort and money. Get as many full roles under your belt that are right for your voice type. Lean what you sound like objectively. Always record yourself when you can and listen to it afterwards privately and then after maybe with a teacher or very good friend. Have a network of supporters (singer and non singer friends). Learn now to network with everyone! Keep business cards and always have some of your own with you. Always carry a pen. Last but not least - remember that it's supposed to be FUN for you too! :)"

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

My grandmother taught me how to sing since I was 3 years old (she was a pianist and singer herself). Always loved the sound of the human voice.

Related Themes: The First Time