Jane McMahan

This professor has earned a CULPA silver nugget

Dec 2009

I think this class has the potential to be much better than it was this semester—Jorge Aguilar, our accompanist/coach, was out sick for about two months, so we kept shuffling pianists, which made learning repertoire more difficult than it should have been. It's really too bad that he was out because he's ridiculously talented and the two coachings I did have with him were unbelievably helpful. The bulk of the repertoire you learn in this class is classical song literature, so if that bores you to tears, don't take this class. Jane is a sweetheart, but she's off her rocker. 99% of her critiques are very sweet but occasionally she'll give you a correction that'll be weirdly harsh and esoteric. I don't know how much my vocal technique improved, but she did give me a couple of helpful corrections over the semester.

Mar 2008

MY FAVORITE CLASS EVER! If I could take this class every semester with Jane and my classmates from last semester I would. Jane is an absolute sweetheart (WAY laid back-very cool), although she definitely spews out a few unintentional insults throughout the semester. They're so rude though that it's funny. She is open to hear any and everything you have to say or suggest, and loves to hear from the class. I really looked forward to going to this class every week; everyone was so talented and we all shared a passion for singing.

Apr 2007

It was a small class, but all of us were (and are) extremely passionate about voice. Take this class if you want an introduction to different styles of songs, including French, German and Spanish. You will get to work on them individually with the accompanist and there are performance workshops for those who like to show off their talents. All in all, a great class for a developing singer. Jane and the other students give feedback when you sing, and most of it is quite true. The atmosphere was very laid-back.

Apr 2004

This class is definately one of the easiest As you will get a Columbia...just be aware that you will only get out of it what you put in. Jane is extremely forgetful most of the time, which usually works to the student's advantage. Youl will sometimes wonder if she is clinically insane, and her comments are often harsh and unhelpful. You wont have to do much work, but showing up to this class will seem burdensome enough. This lady has an amazing potential to suck the joy out of singing.

Jan 2002

Definitely one of the easiest classes you can take for three credits. You do have to be very self-motivated to actually learn anything from the class. Most of the time, the class was incredibly boring and unproductive. I would definitely question Jane's actual skill in teaching or in knowing technique at all because she certainly doesn't help singers in this respect or seem to know anything about it in general (although she does make you do useless back bends for breathing which look ridiculous). She is also incredibly flaky most of the time and forgets important points such as the dates for papers (good for the student though). If you're looking for an easy A, the class is fine...just don't expect anything riveting. The class is very laid back. Also expect randomly harsh criticisms from her. As a person she is generally nice and seems to be high most of the time. Personally I would rather have taken voice lessons (as long as she wasn't my instructor)

Dec 2001

You have to be very self-motivated if you want to walk away from this class having learned something. When you are assigned a new genre of song, you can either go to Gabe Wiener [Dodge] and find a new selection or just sing something you've done a thousand times with your private teacher. The international phonetic alphabet stuff is useful, but you don't spend enough time on it in class. You have to buy three books but there isn't exactly any assigned reading, so I don't think I ever did any. Needless to say, the atmosphere in there is pretty low-key. Jane has the best of intentions, but sometimes her comments are insulting. Don't take it personally. Just figure it's the price you pay for one of the easiest A's at Columbia. Oh, and our accompanist was really hot, so that's a bonus!

Dec 2001

Definitely the easiest class I have taken at college thus far [if anybody knows of any others, be sure to post 'em on here.] Jane is nice and has some helpful suggestions, but this course is really what you make of it.