I have retired from voice teaching as of June 2023. After teaching private lessons on various instruments and voice for 41 years, it is time for me to move on. Whether I was teaching woodwinds, strings, or piano, the goal was always to “sing on the instrument”. When I was given the opportunity to repair my relationship with my singing voice, and to help others to do so, it became a natural way to continue my private teaching/coaching career. I only scratched the surface of singing and teaching singing, but it was good.

After my singing gigs were canceled by the pandemic, in 2021 I picked up the double bass again, after not having played it for 21 years. I’m now playing in symphony orchestras, chamber performances, and am composing, which I am enjoying immensely. As my voice ages, and my enthusiasm for managing all the moving parts of a voice studio wanes, it feels really good to ground myself with the resonance of a bass. I play better in general, having taken the time to study and teach singing.

What a wild ride music has been! And will continue to be! In the last year I have been exploring composing for “singing bassist” – strange, fun pieces that require the bassist to sing on both his instrument and his voice. I also composed some songs on texts of Khalil Gibran, which came out rather well. I’m really enjoying playing the orchestral repertoire again, and the friends I have made through that.

As the political and social times have gotten so strained and weird, I have tried very hard to navigate toward love, respect, and joy. The voice teaching profession has become extreme in so many respects lately. It is full of tension – from pedagogy to marketing to politics, and I can no longer take the bait and involve myself in these constant conflicts. I am lucky. I am exploring new territory all the time and am finding good bits everywhere. I wish that everyone could find these things.

To all of my students, all of my colleagues, all of my readers, and all of my friends: Thank you, thank you!

5 Replies to “Onward!”

  1. Wow Brian! I have never read your blog, but you popped up on my twitter feed. I must say, your story is very encouraging and inspiring in the sense of “just moving on,” and “going ahead and doing what you love.” Thanks.

  2. Brian

    Someone asked me about voice lessons, recently, and before I committed to a recommendation, I thought it would be a good idea to see if it interested you.

    So sorry to see this announcement. You are the finest kind of instructor, in all ways, and I’m glad you are still active in the other aspects of music that you find fulfilling.

  3. I landed on your page as a voice coach with some similar experiences in vocal restoration of my damaged instrument. I love how you talk about the relationships across the body and soul in singing, physical and mental. I look forward to hearing your bass2 compositions, I always wish i had studied the cello, and I could see that collaboration be amazing too. Much love in your artistic endeavors.

  4. I really enjoyed reading your post. I am in a similar situation. I have teaching singing many years. Now I am learning an appreciation for the mindset that you have. You have truly found your joy.

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