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Guest Blogger: Robert Marks

Guest Blogger: Robert Marks Robert Marks maintains a busy vocal studio in New York City, working with performers of all ages and levels of experience. He also teaches performance workshops throughout the US and Europe. He was a pianist with the original Broadway production of ANNIE, and spent two seasons as the Associate Conductor of the St. Louis Muny Opera. For several years, he was the host and musical director of the acclaimed YOUNGSTARS performances of professional children in New York City. His well-known clients have included cast members of almost every current musical on Broadway, and stars such as Lea Michele, Natalie Portman, Laura Bell Bundy, Constantine Maroules, Britney Spears, Ashley Tisdale, Debbie Gibson, and Sarah Jessica Parker. He holds a degree in speech pathology, and has taught at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, the Professional Development Program for the New York Singing Teachers’ Association, and at Nashville's Belmont University as a special guest artist. As a vocal coach, his clientele ranges from beginners to Broadway cast members, as well as singers of cabaret and pop music. He is an expert in helping performers present themselves to their best advantage in auditions and onstage.



BWW Blog: NYC Vocal Coach, Robert Marks - 10 Audition Tips
December 28, 2012

For my last blog post of the year on this website, I've selected 10 of my favorite musical audition tips to share with you. For more tips and advice, follow me on Twitter (

BWW Blog: NYC Vocal Coach Robert Marks - Stage Presence: What Are They Looking For?
December 24, 2012

What is 'stage presence'? It's a quality sometimes called charisma, charm, or magnetism. It's that 'it' factor or 'X' factor that makes you compelling to an audience. It's not necessarily physical beauty, although attractiveness can certainly be a factor.

BWW Blog: Robert Marks - What Makes a Good Audition Song?
December 20, 2012

Wouldn't it be nice if there was one song out there that would always get you a callback?

BWW Blog: NYC Vocal Coach Robert Marks - Vocal Health
December 17, 2012

The vocal mechanism is extremely delicate and can be easily injured. Frequent yelling or shouting, poor singing or speaking habits, excessive throat clearing, and many other behaviors can lead to voice problems. This is especially true for young singers. For example, cheerleaders are often asked to cheer as loudly as possible, and are often hoarse after a practice or game. Trying to speak over loud music (at rock concerts, for example), can also hurt the voice. It's never too early to learn the importance of treating the voice with care.

BWW Blog: NYC Vocal Coach Robert Marks - Stage Parents
December 13, 2012

Immortalized by Rose, the quintessential stage mother in Gypsy, stage mothers (and fathers) have often been characterized as pushy, annoying, meddling, gossiping individuals who will stop at nothing to help their children get ahead in show business. Well, yes, I've encountered some of those types of parents, but in my experience they have been in the minority. During my four decades in the industry, most of the parents I've come in contact with have behaved professionally and fairly, while continuing to do anything necessary to help their children achieve their career goals.

BWW Blog: NYC Vocal Coach Robert Marks - 'Youngstars' Professional Children's Showcase
December 10, 2012

Before the musical Annie came to Broadway in 1977, few shows besides Oliver and The Sound of Music featured singing and dancing kids. There was the occasional child role in shows such as The Music Man and Peter Pan, but nowhere near the number of opportunities for skilled and talented kids on Broadway today. So in 1980, when I got a call to be the musical director and host of a New York City revue of professional show business kids, it was something new and different. As a matter of fact, the show would be taking place at the aptly named Something Different, New York's first "Dessert Nightclub" on the Upper East Side. The club was owned by Patricia Young, and besides the uncommon alcohol-free menu, the entire waitstaff was comprised of singers, who performed all night long.

BWW Blog: Robert Marks - Vocal Coaching Young Performers
December 6, 2012

When I first opened my New York City studio in 1977, I had just been hired as one of the pianists for the new Broadway musical, Annie. Many of my fellow voice teachers were quite upset that kids were being asked to belt in that show, feeling that only classical "head voice" singing was healthy. Also, at that time, most voice teachers and coaches would refuse to work with any student who had not reached puberty. They were under the impression that voice lessons could "ruin" a child's voice, which for many years was a widely accepted belief.

BWW Blogs: Meet NYC Robert Marks - Becoming a Vocal Coach: My Story
December 3, 2012

I've been asked many times how I happened to get into the business of helping performers show themselves off to their best advantage at auditions and performances. Not having been a singer myself, it's a logical question. The quick answer is that in a way, I fell into this profession. I was only 16 years old at the time.