This Friday I will be going to Winchester, VA to participate in Level 1, 2, and 3 training with Jeannette Lovetri’s program. (http://www.thevoiceworkshop.com/shen.html) It is an intensive 9 days of the study of vocal pedagogy for “contemporary commercial music”. That term makes me wince a little, but it is probably better than “nonclassical”.
Why? There are two main reasons. I DO sing styles other than classical on occasion, and many of my students ONLY sing genres outside of the classical world. I long ago abandoned the idea “if you can sing classical, you can sing anything”. It’s no truer than to say, “If you can dance ballet, you can be a hip-hop video dancer.” Yes, there is much strengthening and discipline that one learns in the classical arts that is good to have, but there is a “going beyond” that has to happen to sing in these other styles.
When I venture outside of classical singing, it is for old American standards and musical theatre of various eras and types, which I sometimes like to give a jazz or crooning treatment. I’m not saying I’m good at crossing over, but then again, I’m not saying I’m particularly good at classical either! All-about-me aside, it is an interesting exercise to have to prepare two 16-bar cuts for this institute, and I look forward especially to getting deeper into how to train women for belt style. It is definitely a bigger deal for women to cross over than for men, technically speaking. And it is definitely a bigger deal to teach those women than the men. I have had lots of female students tell me that I have helped them with their pop style singing more than any other teacher, and I feel like I know next to nothing! I have used what I know about vocal function and training to help as much as I can, but I could use the guidance of those more expert in these matters.
I have read Jeannette Lovetri’s blog postings which go back several years. She asks the right questions and deals with the issues that concern me. She hits the nail on the head about all the smoke and mirrors and misinformation in current vocal pedagogy. People I know have gone to this institute and recommended it strongly. There will be attendees from all over the world coming to this class. My inner Perpetual Student is excited!