"Always remember that your voice is a supreme gift."
Karen Parks is an INCREDIBLE woman. In addition to a world renowned career as a Soprano, she is also changing lives as one of the world's best voice teachers, coaches and consultants.
Take a moment to read this interview (or check out KarenParks.com) and you'll see why I want all of my clients to study with her!
Beyond your performance and teaching résumés, what’s something we may not know about Karen Parks?
I am a foodie with culinary skills. I love the experience of fine dining, studying the creativity of the chef and then recreating the dishes with my own spin the next time I host a dinner party.
What do you love about the digital era we live in?
I appreciate the speed and convenience of the digital era.
What do you hate about the digital era we live in?
I would hope that with the speed and convenience of the digital era, we have been mindful of the possibility of its threat of development at a pace faster than it is able to preserve its own history. In other words, that our never-ending thirst for new technology doesn't cancel out the previous "older" technology. If so, we may not be able to extract important historical data for critical future research.
As a Fulbright Scholar, I am a researcher at heart. I would always want to know that I, or researchers in the future, could find (digital) archives and study most of our historical past as we have done before the digital era became so prominent.
What’s your favorite place in NYC?
As corny as it seems, it is Times Square at night. I have traveled to many places, including foreign countries and have not experienced the electricity that comes from being in the middle of Times Square at night, with all of those bright lights and billboards. I still say, "Wow!" When I take friends and relatives there who are in town for a visit, they say the same—as soon as they close their mouths! There is no place like it!
What’s your favorite place in the world?
My favorite place in the world is different from my favorite country or city in the world. My favorite place in the world is the archipelago. I have a friend who owns an island there and have visited several times.
There is nothing there that is not needed. Only nature. I had to take time to be still and listen—to myself and what the universe says. It is the ultimate peace, also known as "Rauja."
What are you currently working on or towards?
Wow! Where do I begin?
- I have recently expanded my private teaching studio and now planning to host a masterclass series with guest performers and industry moguls to better prepare artists and offer critical feedback for success in the performing world.
- I am making preparations for my company, Stagebound, Inc., to once again audition participants from June 21-25 for intensive training, workshops, etc., culminating in an Industry Showcase performance at the Stagebound Vocal Intensive.
- I am preparing the vocal curriculum for the Summer Intensive of New York University's New Studio On Broadway, where I will be teaching.
- I am currently working on a fusion recording of classical jazz. My roots are in spirituals, gospel, R&B and jazz; however, my career has been mostly classical. As with my company's intensives, I feel it vital to understand the importance of bridging the genres. I will collaborate with some of the greatest jazz musicians around and have also created a name for this style (will reveal during the launching of the recording). It is all very exciting.
Have a listen to Karen's latest CD! Purchase here.
What's your advice to aspiring singers?
My affirmation says it all...
However, if I were asked to express it differently I would tell the aspiring singer to always remember that your voice is a supreme gift, treasure it as if it were your child—train it, but never abuse it. Take time to know who you are and what you have to offer. This will avoid your allowing others to define your worth. Sing as long as it brings you joy. If/ when you feel it is time to do something else, give back by sharing your experience with others. Finally, always remember the first thing I wrote... your voice is a supreme gift. A true understanding of this statement requires a certain amount of humility. :)
What’s your advice to other teachers/coaches?
My advice to teachers/coaches would be to always be willing to learn from your students and clients. Teach them as individuals.
Even though the voice is, indeed, an instrument it is located inside the human body—with its many complexities and emotions, singers often feel vulnerable. It is our job to assure them that they can use this unique gift to express themselves in an artistic manner. When the student/client no longer feels vulnerable but instead feels empowered, s/he can truly begin to learn, along with technique, the art of expression. The rewards are immeasurable and; thus, why we teach. :)
Why did you choose to “get creative” with us?
I was speaking to a dear friend about my vision for a site and he recommended Tony to me. After the first meeting, I knew he was the person for me. Tony listened and clearly understood what I wanted. He then helped me expand my vision with some things I needed. Now, that's a real pro! It also doesn't hurt that he has the cutest little bichon frise named Max.
How you describe the process/experience?
The experience was amazing! Tony is extremely knowledgeable and efficient. He works so fast it will make your head spin. What I admired most about him during the process was his willingness to learn something new if he felt it could help your business. He is wonderful!
What responses or results have you received from your new website?
Both responses and results have been extremely positive. I am very happy with my new sites and would recommend Tony at Get Creative to anyone with a vision for the very best.
Thank you so much, Karen! I'd also suggest any vocalist looking to study with the best (in order to be their very best) to you!
Here's one of the many successful students (Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and 5-star reviews from Karen Parks' Voice Studio.
If you're interested in studying voice, schedule a lesson with Karen below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.