He was the stereotype of the bumbling, gruff, intellectual professor. He didn't attempt to make things warm, like Akina did (who was so sweet and put me right at ease). Made me fill out a form with what roles I've performed and the training I had. (Mostly blank except I did put in Ballet Austin's Musical Theatre class). I told him to just treat me as a beginner.
He asked me what kind of warm-ups.. and I'm like.. : 1-3-5-1 kind?
Then he proceeded to the really difficult warmups, with notes going everywhere... and instead of a few notes in between to catch the next key, he just played one quick chord between exercises and moved right on.
Struggling during warm-ups already. Bad sign.
I had assume the class would be sort of like Akina's, since this teacher, Larry Oubre, was also teaching the Musical Theatre duet class, but now that I'm looking at his website, makes sense that he sang with the Austin Lyric Opera.
He had books with covers familiar to me, familiar to most kids who grew up learning a classical instrument.. usually warm-ups by Haydn or Bach. Except his was "16th and 17th Century Italian Arias". He opened a page, then expected me to sing an Italian aria. At this point I was just really amused inside. I told him I do not sight-read. I can read music, but I don't sight-sing. And no, I'm not a soprano.
Finally he opened a Musical Theatre book (yay! English!), where we bounced around several songs.. and when we were at Elton John's Can you feel the love tonight, I gave up after a few bars because it just sounded bad. That's when he told me the problem wasn't with the song, but with how I was singing it. And for some reason, I am completely unfazed. In fact I think I'm delighted. When this guy finally praises my singing, at least I know he'll mean it ;-)
Anyways, I ended up with lots of homework: Danny Boy ("It'll be interesting to hear a girl sing this."), As Long as He Needs Me from Oliver, Reflection from Mulan, 2 Italian Arias from the 1700s (!!??!!), some Latin song and a Henry Purcell song that he made me copy I'm not sure why.
I was looking really bewildered by all the homework assignment and he was like: "Since you've sang before". I'm not really sure where he got that impression... since I really was lost most of class. But.. hrm.. this should be fun.