Great voice teacher with great ears that guided me flawlessly through my process of transition from baritone to tenor.
My role as a voice teacher is to impart specific, practical ideas in order to lay a strong technical foundation, while simultaneously fostering individual artistic growth. Students should be given the tools necessary to achieve the high level of self-awareness and confidence needed to succeed as a modern classical singers.
Singing technique is based firmly on the tenets of breath support, onset, and placement of the voice. When I first assess a voice, I begin by evaluating whether or not the individual has a sufficient support system. Assuming there is work to be done, we will use a combination of breathing exercises, anatomical discussion, and perhaps some limited demonstration to build a stronger base. Some students respond to a physiological understanding of the mechanism, while others work best with abstract imagery. I am comfortable working in both realms. Without a working knowledge of proper support, singers will restrict their artistic abilities and shorten the longevity of their careers. Once a basic understanding of breath support has been established, we can begin to address the initiation of sound at the vocal folds, onset. A clean, easy onset is desired and can prevent a myriad of vocal health issues. In my experience, a breathy or overly aggressive onset is often remedied with a more complete understanding of support. Along with support and onset, placement, or resonance of the voice, demands equal attention. Finding the proper balance of chiaroscuro for each vowel is something that each singer must be continually aware of. Proper placement allows singers to be heard over an orchestra or in a large room and brings clarity to the text.
A reliable and efficient technique is only the first step in becoming a successful singing actor. A diverse set of skills is necessary to achieve this goal: a nuanced understanding of language and the ability to use the inherent characteristics of each language to their full potential, in-depth character analysis and dramatic studies, and an innate musical sensibility. By fostering these skills and coupling them with each singer’s ongoing technical journey, each student will be given the freedom to comfortably explore their own individual artistic intentions.