Bio

I’m an enthusiastic scholar of old and new pedagogy, voice science, and performance practice. I study and perform, making bridges between the theoretical and the practical. I have researched countless books, articles, and blogs, and had many productive discussions and debates with colleagues. As I became more aware of biases, entrenched camps, and editorial liberties, I revisited singing treatises of the 18th and 19th centuries in their original languages, to learn firsthand what they really said (and didn’t say). I have clocked myriad hours of listening to singers, both recorded and live, finding clues about what has changed and what is constant in the world of singing. In 2010 I began this blog, which is centered around the question: “Why does so much voice instruction not make sense, and what can we do about it?” In 2018, my findings became a book, Sane Singing: A Guide to Vocal Progress.

After fighting to find my voice, 30-plus years of teaching many kinds of music, two master’s degrees (music and instructional design), and a determination to learn everything I can, I’m a much happier singer and a still-enthusiastic teacher. In my private studio and in group settings I work with people from widely varying backgrounds and all ages. Regardless of the genre they sing, I am passionate about helping them to make sense of vocal study.

A condensed resume:

Teaching:

  • Private voice teacher. Have prepared students for successful college auditions at top schools such as Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, Boston Conservatory, Elon, and Berklee. Work with professional soloists, actors, and teachers.
  • Vocal Coach (musical and audition preparation) for students, amateurs, and professionals.
  • Public School Teacher – orchestra, band, and general music.

Writing:

  • Vocalability (this blog) where I write about singing and voice pedagogy, since 2010.
  • Book (2018): Sane Singing: A Guide to Vocal Progress. Sane Singing is a guide to finding training that works, as well as giving advice on how to assess one’s own vocal progress.
  • Self-Assessment Protocol for Singers (2018): Selected for Poster Paper Presentation at biennial conference of National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Performances:

  • Tenor with Cantate Chamber Singers.
  • Solo recitals – special interest in Latin American and Spanish art song and new music.
  • Opera and musical theatre roles.
  • Tenor section leader at churches and cathedrals throughout DC Metro area.
  • Pianist for auditions, seminars, and recitals.
  • Symphonic and chamber music on flute, bass, piano, and viola.

Education:

  • M.M., Music Performance, Bowling Green State University
  • M.A., Instructional Systems Design, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • B.M., Music Performance, University of Iowa
  • B.S., Music Education, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Graduate coursework in Vocal Pedagogy, Shenandoah Conservatory
  • Vocal Study with David Christopher, George Gibson, David Jones, Mary Walkley
  • Coaching with Gillian Cookson, Jorge Robaina, Richard Crittenden

Non-musical interests include cooking, spirituality, politics, psychology, fitness, travel, fine dining, and artistic expression of all kinds.