Helping Singers Find Their Way
Barbara J. Simon's career path started early. After playing the keyboard as a child, two years in NJ All State Chorus, and winning two 1st Place Dramatic Awards at a statewide contest - she took a year off before college and began teaching for a Wurlitzer store that rented their upright pianos. They offered her a deal – if she taught piano lessons, and the family then bought the instrument, she received a commission. After teaching many lessons, she closed her purse strings over even more income from selling two pianos - and realized there was more than one way to make money with her musical theater skills.
This "think outside-the-box" attitude led her to write her book “Singing – Body and Soul” - providing teenagers with an original art and science-based, playful textbook on singing. The book is endorsed by Stephen Flaherty (Two-time Tony winning composer of Ragtime and Once on This Island's Revival)) who called her text “a wise, witty and accessible book on the technique and art of singing . . .” And a cappella wizard Deke Sharon (creator of the Pitch Perfect movies) gave the book a 4-star review on Goodreads - saying “A breezy, chatty yet still nuanced and insightful series of tips and best practices for singers . . .”
Barbara’s comic performances in two NYU/ HBO-screened films (one on a bicycle, the other in a hoop skirt!) led to a job in marketing independent features at Double Helix Films in NYC. With a personal recommendation from Doug Herzog (Viacom President), she moved on to work with the even zanier Nickelodeon TV marketing department.
Grateful to be able to support younger writers in their love for storytelling, she became a two-time National Judge at the Scholastic Writing Awards for the Dramatic Scriptwriting finalists in TV, film, radio and stage for students grades 7 – 12.
Her ability to translate performance skills, and develop professional singers landed her studio a 2014 Hoboken Chamber of Commerce Business Award Finalist Nomination as an Education Provider – one of the top three school Finalists of the 20 full-time school systems competing.
By blending two years of Musical Theater training at NYU Tisch School of the Arts with the broader independent study program at NYU Gallatin’s University Without Walls, (which included work in humanities, education, writing, science, and spirituality) - Barbara earned her BA degree with honors from New York University. She is still thinking outside-the-box.