Tag Archives: Student


There are many great speeches and songs about dreams, for instance, “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and “I woke up this morning with my mind on freedom..”

I woke up this morning myself dreaming very specifically. I don’t mind sharing my dream. It’s very specific, and lately, they usually are.

My dream was about my voice teacher Miss Florence Kopleff. We visited each other. We were outside walking. You see later in life, she could barely walk. I think that a leg was amputated from what I heard but she could walk briskly with me. We had a very nice conversation. She was my voice teacher at GSU in the late 80s and early 90s. We spoke about our time there. I didn’t tell her but she knew about my new position at the performing arts school that I will be at as faculty in the Fall.

We were able to honestly discuss my work at GSU as a student. You see, we didn’t get along as teacher and student. She was a screamer and I always shut down which I believed hindered my growth as a vocal student. I moved on to another studio after undergrad in college and did fine afterwards. However to this day, I don’t like people screaming at students even if they are passionate: I hear the scream but not the meaning behind the words.

You see: Miss Kopleff was a gifted singer. However, I had trouble learning from her. I should have went to another voice studio but I wasn’t placed in one. I wasn’t the only student who had trouble with her. I saw students walk out of her studio before. The personalities crashed, even with the best singers.

When she died, I hated her. I have since accepted my responsibility as a student in her vocal studio and asked forgiveness from God and moved on. However, maybe she knew that and we were able to speak honestly and freely with each other.

She told me what not to do and some of my issues in the past. I also spoke about my MA work later in life. We were walking the whole time outside in what seemed to be Washington D.C.

I asked if she wanted a cupcake. For some reason, I was thinking three cupcakes for Miss Kopleff, myself, and a third (maybe for Robert Shaw, the great ASO conductor).

I couldn’t think of the word: Sprinkles which is a cupcake company but could come up with the word, Cami-Cakes: go figure.

We stopped at an outside eatery. We met these young boys all in a straight line in front of us and one teenager in the middle called out Miss Kopleff by name: it was Pres. John F. Kennedy, Jr. However, he was a young kid in high school. He spoke to Miss Kopleff directly. Then, Pres. Jimmy Carter spoke to us. He was closer to me. Their features were very clear. These were young boys or teenagers. He was also a young kid, a teenager. He was to the right of Pres. JFK, Jr. a few boys were seated, then Pres. Jimmy Carter was seated. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was about 8-9 years old to my far left with a few (maybe two or three all together) other African-American boys. They seemed to be the only African-Americans there. In my Spirit or Soul, I knew who he was but it was not spoken aloud. He was giggling with some of his friends.

There was a whole line of young boys from what I could see in a straight line talking (some to her or us directly) as I was standing next to Miss Kopleff. Then, I woke up.

That was ten minutes ago since I wanted to preserve this dream in my blog and type it for posterity.

Maybe Miss Kopleff wanted to speak with me and knew that I had laid my issue with her to rest. She also knew my future and was happy for me although she never mentioned it.

I purposefully didn’t write everything that we spoke about since that is between us. Miss Kopleff will remain one of the most influential people in my personal development. I learned a lot of what I like and didn’t like as a student and now as a faculty member in the performing arts.

May she rest in peace, and may I move forward with great work in my present and future. I’ve accomplished great work in my past with multi-cultural and Latino students for the past twenty years. I’m happy to work with performing arts students in my future.

Ms. Geter


Posted by on June 21, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Memorial to Vanessa Hart, audiobook narrator and voice talent

Vanessa Hart unexpectedly died on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. Her sister, Dana, posted on Facebook the news. The family will post her obituary in the LA Times on Sunday, February 16, 2014.

We studied for five months from June to November 2013. She told me towards the end of our sessions that she wasn’t trying to take my money. lol I just wanted to take my time and learn from her. I knew that once I started teaching, that it would get difficult and it did. However, it was ALL WORTH IT. I’m so glad that I LOVED training in audiobooks. I loved words again. I enjoyed telling the stories in every paragraph and enjoyed my character research. The audio computer issues…not so much. I had plenty of those and George Whittam, Vanessa and I (along with Zach Herries with Mosaic Audio) had to really try to figure out my issues. That took time.

I was going to meet Vanessa here in Atlanta for the VO Atlanta 2014 convention with Voiceover City Atlanta in March 2014. Vanessa was excited and I was going to help her while she was here. However, I never got to meet her. I knew her well as a student though. Once, I canceled my session with her but she didn’t have time for a replacement, and I felt like a little girl in the 7th grade when I had to tell her that I ran out of money for the session. I had to explain to her that I didn’t pay her, nor my utilities for the month. I couldn’t pay anybody. lol Thankfully, I was able to pay everyone quickly soon after that incident. I had to slowly get back to her good graces after that. That was the only time that she was upset with me during our five month training session. I’m just glad that it wasn’t the acting that she was upset about. ­čÖé

So, I didn’t get to meet her but we knew each other well. What a treat to study with the great Vanessa Hart. She was a master audiobook narrator, actor, and voice talent. I’m so thankful that I had the courage to send a Facebook message on Christmas Eve 2012, asking if I could study with her. I wanted to start during the summer, and we did. My audiobooks demos are on ACX (audiobook creation exchange).

So, I will toast Vanessa after completing a book. I will complete many with prayer and tenderness, knowing that I trained with the best.

Thank you for your time spent with me, Vanessa Hart! It was ALL WORTH IT.



Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Voice Overs


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I’ve taught K-12 for 18 years. I’m looking ahead to the future. I’m not sure what the future brings though.

Would I retire from teaching? Yes. It could be at year 20, 25, or by a miracle, 30.

Why do I talk about retirement now? Well…a person realizes that to concentrate on an area, you have to give it your best. It’s total focus. Although, I’m unsure if I’m able to do that in this economy. Flexibility is a huge issue. I’ve never had true flexibility in any job. Maybe, it’s time to review my goals for the present and future. I’m thankful for my past up to the present. I love what I do: teaching chorus and drama to kids. I also love working in entertainment: VOs, music, and film/television.

However, students pay attention to what they see and hear. That means television, films, and radio. If you’re not on their entertainment radar, you’re not important to listen to. This doesn’t mean that every student thinks in this way. However, I get the student’s attention outside of the classroom. That means when I show them my professional credentials, they pay attention. They recognize BET (Black Entertainment Television); radio spots for products that they own in their homes, or professional singers/bands that they listen to and if I know them.

However, I’m thrilled when I see my current and former students do well as singers as soloists and in choral and/or performing magnet programs and actors on film and television. They do get recognized and parents will send me letters or I’ll see their names on Facebook from agents that they booked television shows, and I’m grateful that I was a small part of their success.

Currently, a former music student, Brandon H., works with Usher in the New Look Foundation, and Storm R. is a child actress in recurring roles for BET television.

I’m a strong believer in working in education and the community. I’ve done this for my entire career. However, parents, students, and school systems seem to lack the respect that teachers should receive. I’ve always placed education first and entertainment second. Now, the switch may come sooner than later.

If you’re tired, it’s time to leave. I believe in this, although, I’m careful with this word. I’m not burned out. Just tired of gun violence and gun security; lack of respect in education; lack of respect for teachers; working 7 days / week because education doesn’t pay all the bills, etc.

I love it all: education and entertainment. Change comes at a price. However, change is constant and never ends.

So, I take one moment, day, and year at a time. Everyone’s path is different. As long as people like your work (very important), I hope to continue working for life in education and entertainment OR entertainment and education, but making sure that I enjoy what I’m doing too.

Life is too short.


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Posted by on February 10, 2013 in Arts Education, Uncategorized


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