AIMS Participant Manual

Helpful AIMS Manual

Before attending AIMS and while AT AIMS, use the following for the richest experience possible.

Habit forming Hints for Success in Education and in Music (put a check by each statement that you ALREADY do)

_____Read every assignment BEFORE going to class, do EVERY assigned exercise.

_____Review assignment soon AFTER gong to class, begin new assignments soon after class.

_____ Visit EACH ONE of your professors. Show them you care to understand the material and do well in the course.

_____Visit with professors to whom you are not assigned. Find out what their specialties are.

_____ Go to class regularly.

_____ Sit in the front of the classroom, near the center (the zone of participation!).

_____Take notes. Develop an understanding of what is being said. Rewrite notes and develop a summary.

_____At the first sign of a problem (academic or personal), talk with someone (professor, counselor, private studio professor, advisor, tutor, trusted friend, etc.).

_____ Balance classes with work, practice, meetings, study, party time, etc.

_____ Be sure to set aside time for relaxation and fun.

_____Set blocks of time for practice and study, just as you have blocks of time for class.

_____Use a calendar to keep track of assignments, meetings, rehearsals, deadlines, etc.

_____Stay healthy. Get enough sleep.

_____Set specific goals for 1 day, 1 week, 6 weeks, this year, 5 years, etc. (why are you here?)

_____Ask questions. Take part. Get the most out of every lesson, every class, every meeting.

Success means a lot to you. Remember, Failure = Success. How?

Failure = Learning = Working = Success (Kassorla)

Perpetual Optimism is a Force Multiplier (Colin Powell)

THE ONE MINUTE TEACHER – Spencer Johnson, Constance Johnson ISBN 0-688-06139-7
Sense of dignity and acceptance through self-directed learning.

Take one minute a few times a day to teach OURSELVES what we want to learn.
(Give him a fish or Teach him to fish!)
Most of what we must learn happens outside the classroom.
How to have happier students and more enthusiastic students
Everyone of us is both a student and a teacher

We are at out best when we each teach OURSELVES what we need to learn.

-Set one minute goals

-Give one minute praising

-Use one minute recoveries

-Must live these three


-I think about what I want to teach myself

-I write goals in first person

-I write goals briefly

-I set definite time to reach goal

-I imagine how good I feel as I achieve

-I look at my behavior – Does it match my goal?

-It is not easy to change mental habits

Learning is more fun when I am able to teach myself


-Praise myself immediately

-Tell specifically what I have done right (or approximately right)

-Tell how good I feel and pause to feel that success

-Remind myself I am a good person

-Encourage myself to continue this behavior

Every day we do things right, but we fail to recognize our small successes.

I can teach myself what I want to learn more easily by taking one minute to catch myself doing something right

Usually after unsuitable behavior, we ignore our negatives or become discouraged, or angry.

We must recognize negative behavior before we can correct it.

Apollo mission made it and landed precisely on target. “Was it on course the entire time?” No, it was continually adjusting and We succeed faster if we are adjusting immediately and constantly as we realize we are off course.

The best way to stay on course is to look closely at my behavior and to correct small errors as soon as possible.


-Notice quickly if behavior does not match goal

-Tell specifically what I did wrong

-Silent for a few seconds to feel the “fumble”

-Remind myself that my behavior is not good, but I am still good

-Do not defend my behavior

-Change my behavior and recover.

-PIP Perfect isn’t possible

The more often I have a good attitude the more often I have a good day

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier” – Colin Powell

At beginning of the semester (the class, the week,the seminar, the program), teachers should ask students to write what they would like to see happen during this experience.

Take direction and responsibility for own life. “What I see in my mind is what I get in my life.”

Students have fear of the unknown, of the unexpected, of failure

When goals are explained (what students are expected to know), much fear is removed

Teachers, get report cards (comments) from the students. Teachers, find your weak areas. When students consider their learning unpleasant, information is not retained. Learning should be in a pleasant atmosphere.

Students often feel no one cares, no one understands, no one hears them.

Show students that we care about them as individuals and about their futures.

Children who grow up without warmth and praise become angry, critical adults.

Don’t wait for something to be perfect before the one minute praising

I know I am not my behavior. I can change whatever behavior I feel is bad for me because I always have my good self to draw upon.

Become self-motivated, redirect own behavior, become self-disciplined, have positive self-image, increase self-confidence

Share it with others.


Towards a Career on Europe – Richard Owens 1983AIMS Publication

An early book on auditioning for and explaining the German theater system. Lists only the West German, Austrian, and Swiss theaters. (chapter by TK on practical matters) in AIMS Library

The Professional Singer’s Guide to New York – Richard Owens 1984 ISBN 0-915357-05-4

Many ” New York only” practical lists, but also good for general career advice. Page 16 list especially good for the psychology of singers, their hopes, their fears, etc.

Getting Along with the Germans – Bob Larson 1983 Bechtle Verlag Esslingen/München

A really clever and funny book that laughs at and still loves the Germans. Good for understanding the culture, the mentality, and “Rechthaberisch.”  Light reading.

Germans – George Bailey 1972 ISBN 0-380-00140-3

A wonderful book, full of information about Germany , the Germans themselves, why they think and act as they do, everything from Thomas Mann to Autobahns to the love of the Forest to Bathroom humor. often very funny.

Musical Europe – ed. Marianne Adelmann 1974 ISBN 0-8467-0031-X

eighteen countries, their musical sites and sounds, good for musical tourists too.

The Music Guide to Austria & Germany -Elaine Brody & Claire Brook 1975 ISBN 0-396-07127-8

similar to Musical Europe above, but only 2 countries

Kein’ Angst Baby! – Gail Sullivan & Dorothy Maddison 1994 ISBN 0-9643787-0-1

A valuable book with much information, written by two singers with practical advice. Some typos and a bit of mis-information that TK corrects elsewhere.

Making Music in Looking Glass Land – Ellen Highstein 1997 ISBN 0-9629075-9-6

Again, lots of practical information, not just for singers, but all classical musicians.

Auditioning in the 21 st Century – William A. Killmeier & Nada Radakovich 2001 ISBN 0-595-18668-8

Specifically for singers wanting to work in German speaking theaters — lists, addresses, Fach, money, taxes, very good. A few typos and some odd roles listed in Fach lists.

“Aria Ready” – Carol Kirkpatrick 2003 ISBN 1-878617-50-8

An excellent singer “self-help” book, very good, delves into the acting side as well as singing and analyzes singer situations.

A Guide for Student and Teacher to Reduce Performance Anxieties in the Undergraduate Singer – Thomas King Thesis 1992 University of Mississippi

over 100 ideas for building good self-image, changing stage fright into stage energy, finding out what singers are afraid of and why, remedies for every problem. Also excellent bibliography of helpful books and articles on performance anxiety. In the AIMS library OR contact TK

What the Fach?! 2nd edition –  Philip Shepard up to date, excellent information for auditioning, traveling in Europe, lists, voice types, — also available electronically. Visit

Also excellent are: H. Wesley Balk (Performing Power), Robert Caldwell (The Performer Prepares), David Craig (On Performing), *Stuart Dunkel (The Audition Process), *Shirley Emmons and Alma Thomas (Power Performance for Singers), *Timothy Gallwey & Barry Green (The Inner Game of Tennis, Music, Skiing, etc.), *Katô Havas (Stage Fright), *Eloise Ristad (A Soprano on her Head) * = especially recommended by TK for stage fright issues | fachlist.html | |

TK Travels in Europe since 1973
I have visited all of these cities (69) with opera houses

* = saw production(s) there  (30 total)

Die Schweiz
Zürich, Luzern, Basel (3)

Salzburg, Linz,*Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, *Wien, *Graz, St. Pölten (7)


*Braunschweig, *Dresden, *Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Staatsoper), Schwerin, *Passau, Regensburg, *Nürnberg, Würzburg, *Lüneburg, Hannover, *Münster, Onsabruck, Bremen, *Bremerhaven, *Essen, *Dortmund, *Duisburg, *Düsseldorf, *Wuppertal, *Hagen, *Köln, *Bonn, Koblenz, Mainz, *Frankfurt, Mannheim, Heidelberg, *Stuttgart, Ulm, *Augsburg, München, *Gelsenkirchen, Krefeld, Saarbrücken, Mönchengladbach, Oldenburg, *Lübeck, Flensburg, Kiel, Wiesbaden, *Oberhausen, *Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Aachen, Trier, *Hildesheim, Hof, *Bielefeld, *Hamburg (Staatsoper and Operettenhaus), Detmold, Darmstadt, *Leipzig, Eisenach, Erfurt, Weimar, Freiberg, Chemnitz, Zwickau, Plauen (59)

69 total

TK auditioned in (9) Flensburg, Oldenburg, Bremerhaven, Krefeld, Aachen, Luzern, Nürnberg, Ulm, Würzburg and sang in (3) Lüneburg, Oberhausen, Kaiserslautern, plus guestings in Frankfurt (old house), Fürth, Ludwigshaven, Hameln, Schweinfurt, Hanau, Wolfsbüttel, usw.


Write thank you notes often!

Keep your addresses current

Patrons can

-Be a physical presence
-Get the word out for you
-Contribute “Other” (Not money)
-Contribute MONEY

Who are patrons?

-Alumni associations
-Your students
-The parents of your students
-Colleagues at your “other” job
-Civic leaders
-Little old ladies (Little old men, too)

How to use patrons

-Concertize privately for them
-Ask their advice
-Ask for in-kind contributions
-Ask for money
(Explain how much you have & how much you need & ask them to support you. It need not be a specific amount)

Music contacts

Conductors, Voice teachers, Coaches, Stage Directors, Chorus directors, Church musicians, Music professors, Composers, Other singers, AND FINALLY Other singers of your voice type!

from Auditions Training Manual
for the
American Institute of Musical Studies
Graz, Austria
Dr. Thomas King, Teacher 1985-2010
c Thomas King 2008

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