When I was a public school music teacher, I joined my colleagues in annoyance with the number of school days spent testing children. With schools’ rankings and “grades” being partially dependent on test scores, administrators are very concerned with getting the highest scores possible. There is a bustling industry around predicting what is on the […]
For this article “mechanistic directive” means: an instruction for a specific physical action to make some aspect of singing work differently. Example: Make a widening stretch in the soft palate when singing an ascending interval. Useful: If it makes singing more beautiful with less effort. If after many conscious attempts it starts to become automatic. […]
Sometimes when I’m talking shop with colleagues they will tell me about a recent course, workshop, or book that they have learned from. Sometimes they may say, “You probably know all about that.” That is never true. If I have made the study of a topic my life’s work, my niche in the vocal world, […]
I’ve been at this blog since 2010. Hundreds of posts, many ideas explored and revisited, both successes and flops. You can’t predict people’s reactions. When I post about general principles, philosophy, and the mindset of the voice teacher, I tend to get generally positive reactions. When I post a more nuts-and-bolts “how to” type of […]
When teacher works with student, he needs to keep in mind that he is trying to help the student to do something that she has never done before. Each party is bringing these three potentials to the lesson: the desired behavior (in the future) the possible manifestations and scope of achievement (in the future) the […]
Hello Singing Friends (pro, avocational, everyone who sings!), If you have a few minutes, I would be honored to have you take my “Vocal Satisfaction Survey” which is part of a research project and the book I am working on. It is anonymous. Thanks!
When discussing politics, pedagogy, problems, conflicts – The hardest thing is to not let our hearts harden. Sometimes we must work very hard to cultivate lightness, humor, kindness, truth, love, and openness. Let’s work together.
When you are in a lesson or coaching, and have a question, ask it! Never be afraid to try to improve your understanding. Even the most articulate, thorough, well-spoken, right-as-rain teacher will say things that are not easy to understand at first. Sometimes that amazing teacher will make a mistake. The more you probe and […]
This is really simple. Find the best teacher you can who is a member of an accredited post-secondary institution and go to that school. This teacher needs to have had visible success helping young people to sing better. This person will be your mentor for four years. They will be responsible for your vocal health […]
We have a hellacious level of confusion in talking about vocal technique due to the conflation of the universal and the personal. In teaching, we must minimize this and make the boundaries between the two very clear. Everyone has a larynx. The anatomical structures and functions are the same for all. There are variations in […]
I have often discouraged imagery-based instruction in this blog. The short reason is that people will interpret an image in many ways, and even when they seem to be on the same channel as the teacher, they may be guided to a way of doing things that is not the most easy and high-functioning way […]
Many, dare I say most, voice teachers use a lot of imagery in their teaching. “The resonance moves from out of the mouth up to the nose, then the eyes, then the top of the head, then the back of the head as you ascend the scale.” “Imagine that your voice is a laser beam.” […]