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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Raise Your Voice

Madeline Beeson’s parents like to say she started singing even before speaking. She now fosters the next generation of singers through vocal lessons at Beeson Studio of Voice in Downtown Evansville.

An Owensville, Indiana, native, music has defined Beeson’s life. She’s starred in 32 musicals throughout her schooling and attended the Music Academy International Young Artist program in summer 2018. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music and vocal performance from the University of Evansville — where she served as treasurer and vice president of membership for the Beta Epsilon chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, an international music fraternity for women performance — in 2019.

After graduating from East Carolina University in 2021 with a master’s degree in music with concentrations in vocal pedagogy (the study of the art and science of voice instruction) and vocal performance, she returned to Evansville with her husband Craig to open her studio on the first floor of the Court Building at 123 N.W. Fourth St., Ste. 22 in June 2021.

Through weekly 30- or 60-minute sessions, in person or virtual, Beeson gives students a deeper understanding of their voices. The studio accepts students of all ages and experience levels, representing Beeson Studio of Voice’s tagline: singing is for everyone.

“I want to make sure my students are working toward a goal,” says Beeson. “And each student has a different goal.”

When did you decide to share your passion for music through lessons?

I’ve always been singing and interested in singing activities. My first real interest was musical theater and community theater, and that’s really where I fell in love with music. And I always knew that I wanted to do something with that when I grew up, I just didn’t know what because the wonderful thing about art is that there are a million different things you can do. You can teach, you can perform, you can be behind the scenes. The world is kind of your oyster.

So, I just fell in love with working with, especially, younger people. It’s been a really great experience working with people who are older and hearing kind of what got them interested in music in the first place. So, it’s really cool to be able to work with people of all ages and all experiences.

How did vocal pedagogy change your understanding of singing, and how does it influence your lessons?

Vocal pedagogy is a fairly new thing. Even some of the greatest singers of all time … for the longest time people (have asked) them how they do what they do, and they’ve not been able to give them an answer because they don’t know physically what’s going on when they’re singing.

I really want to make that just a natural part of my teaching. With the younger students who have never taken lessons before, I have the privilege of introducing that to them at a young age, because one of the things I struggled with when I was a young kid is, I didn’t know what to do. I was straining or pushing to achieve a certain sound. It’s taken me at least six years to unlearn all of that stuff. My teachers didn’t do anything wrong; there wasn’t language, or not everybody knows the language, around fixing these problems.

Live performances and the music industry have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. How has it affected your work?

I did a couple of Zoom lessons when I was in my master’s, and those are a little bit challenging. But one of the great things that did come about all of this is the ability to connect with people online, and we’ve all kind of had to learn how to adapt with technology. And now that we are sort of coming out of it, we have that skill that we didn’t have before. 

If I had a student who can’t come in, has to stay home for whatever reason, I could still have that lesson with them if they wanted it. A lot of us didn’t think about that being an option a long time ago, but it just kind of became normal.  

Your motto is “singing is for everyone.” What advice do you have for singers at the start of their musical journey?

During your lesson, I would be acting as not only your teacher, but your cheerleader. I am here to support you, and we are going to make mistakes together, and I’m here to kind of be the comic relief or be the support, be your advisor.

Also, I just want to encourage people to try new things. There is no wrong thing to sing, there’s no wrong style of singing. Music is so personal; that’s what’s great about it. Everyone has a different story with music and how it’s affected their life. Embrace that artistic side of you and that thing that makes you who you are.

Music Maker

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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