Fresh Perspectives on Voice Training

It’s almost like we are living in a post-apocalyptic world where one has to forage over huge areas to find helpful nuggets to gather into a viable system of voice training. We know that there have been amazing artists right up into the 20th century who only studied with one main teacher, but we seem to be damned to never know the whole of what these teachers taught. Our understanding and faith in a holistic, empirical, natural way of learning to sing has been warped and nearly destroyed by the influence of science, industry, and marketing in all areas of our lives.

Over the years I have found some people who talk about voice training in ways that go far beyond the careful wording and political correctness of academic journals and university voice pedagogy classes. Some of these people are unearthing Old School texts that have gone underground, others are bringing logic to bear in questioning methods and claims, and still others are trying to harness science toward truly practical purposes rather than the constant re-analysis and data synthesis that doesn’t actually improve singing. Below are some of the people that can currently be found online, with truly fresh content and deep ideas.

Justin Petersen is a teacher in Boston who cites many historical texts on his blog, as well as asking and proposing answers to some of the more prickly problems in modern voice instruction. I have learned a great deal from interacting with him and his immense library. He is passionate about working with natural principles to cultivate a voice that is not hindered by manipulation. https://petersenvoicestudio.com/

Tristan Paredes is one of hundreds of YouTube voice teachers, but he stands out in being a fearless, feisty questioner. He is very young, but very astute in recognizing shoddy claims and teaching. His values in voice instruction are generally congruent with the best stuff I’ve read from the 18th century onward, yet he is absolutely of the 21st century in terms of his wild personal style. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi4_eFlo3rvZokGUXB_WoLQ

Michael Mayer is a Minnesota-based teacher with a YouTube channel and website called vocalwisdom.com. He argues persuasively for an approach that uses natural stimuli and reflexes to get to better singing. He raises sensible questions on topics such as: “straw phonation” and “airflow”. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW-vwyxb8YHpexWNO_nTQHQ

Jeannette LoVetri is a plain-spoken blogger with strong opinions and long experience teaching professionals in contemporary and musical theatre genres. She founded Somatic Voicework, which combines a functional, holistic approach with science. Her curiosity and exploration of science tend to be more practical than academic, which is refreshing. http://somaticvoicework.com/jeanie-lovetri-blog/

These people are all trying to keep things real and make useful knowledge available, and I really appreciate that. Their styles range from dignified to potty-mouth, and from laid-back to hyper, but I don’t care. I’m just thankful to have these thinker-teachers out there, trying to make sense and help singers.

 

 

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