I have a suggestion for judges at every level, from middle school festivals to the Met auditions: You are on the best ground if you report on what you hear, without giving ways to fix it. You do not know the context of that singer’s study, their history, their challenges, nor their ability to translate […]
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 […]
The online forums are perfect cages for the exhibition of mental imbalance. There is so much meanness, pettiness, insult, and defensiveness. How did so many teachers and singers become so nasty? There is so much pain and fear evident in these places.
In the forums, people are blaming Adele for ignoring healthy technique and ruining her voice. Folks, this is so not cool. People are acting as if she has a vocal death wish. Look, it’s not our business whether she was singing like a bad girl or whether the exhausting tour schedule got to her, or […]
Voice teachers, please get over yourselves. The people who get certified in Method A say that Method B is bad while those devoted to Method C laugh at both of them. The devotees of Madame X scoff at anyone who is certified in a method. Some teachers are meek while others fight for attention like […]
Is it emotion? If so, what about a singer’s performance evokes emotion? Can it be feats of strength? Sensitivity? Fascinating ebb and flow of the lyric? Are exciting singers “loud”? Can soft singing be exciting? Can a voice be beautiful but not exciting? Exciting but ugly?
I realized a while back that trying to convince you to discuss vocal pedagogy using my terms is unnecessarily selfish. There are not enough days left in my life to make such an effort worthwhile. At this point I’m delighted with 80% “agreement on terms”, and moving forward with discussions to the best of our […]
A detour from voice topics to something “meta” When someone questions something I state, I may at first usually feel annoyance, anxiety, or confusion. I want to engage people but can be somewhat shocked when it actually happens! Lately, I have been questioning those feelings using Byron Katie’s four questions. It has helped me to […]
Recently a voice teacher posted a controversial statement on his Facebook page. When others responded to it, he allowed comments that agreed with him and removed those that did not. This has been his pattern in the past. He is accustomed to writing large articles and posting them on his website without an opportunity for […]
Some instrumentalists claim that singers have lousy rhythm. Some say that singers are sloppy musicians and don’t pay attention to details. Why do they say that? Are singers really deficient when it comes to observing accurate rhythm? I have worked with singers as an accompanist and coach for many years, and I have seen again […]
The voice is always in a state of becoming. It changes as our bodies change, as our emotions change, and as our environment changes. How can there be a perfect standard when we are never finished becoming-growing-developing? There can be a high standard, developed from wonderful examples, but even our heroes were always changing in […]
Many singers are extremely loyal to their voice teachers and coaches. Many of us in the business search long and hard for people we can trust to be part of our support team. It is only natural when we come to the person who is the best collaborator we have had so far, that we […]