In my private lessons, I try to teach, not any specific school's technique, but a rather way of finding one's own, natural vocal technique. Singers vary, and their techniques--beyond sound, foundational principles that promote vocal health, stamina, and that impossible-to-define "beauty"--vary as well. Because of this, or perhaps despite this, I do not call what I do "voice lessons." Rather, I prefer the historical designation of "singing lessons." Learning to sing, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was as much--possibly more--about the art of singing, artistic, emotional and intellectual, as it was about producing optimal sounds. Optimal sounds are important, but they are the beginning, not the end, of vocal study. Vocal artistry requires, in so-called "classical music," a good technique; a good technique is not, by itself, artistry. This being said, naturally the fundamentals--breath and breath management, resonance, register balancing, etc.--will constantly be addressed.
When appropriate, I use the exercises and discipline of the eighteenth-century castrati to build voices‘ power, range, control, dynamic and coloristic ranges, as well as durability.The beauty of this venerable method is that it allows each voice to achieve its own particular apex, as the focus is on discovering the way each individual sings and the way each voice sounds best.It is a teaching style that is as appropriate for a beginning student as it is for a professional singer wanting a tune-up or to refine certain aspects.I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions, and am more interested in uncovering the individual voice, as it is only through this medium, plus the soul and the brain, that singers become individual artists. As a musicologist, and as a performer, I try very hard--insofar as it is possible--to strip the modern knowingness from my singing-self's perception. This means that I intentionally use, and also attempt to think in, the terminology that preceded the medical discoveries, brilliant though they were, of Manuel Garcia in the 1840s.
Nevertheless, I do utilize modern vocal pedagogical methodology, and use techniques and theories that arise from the "new," more functionally oriented vocal pedagogy. The position of the larynx--a point of intense interest to most modern teachers--is also of concern to me. Believing that the most flexible voice is one that can, at will, utilize either higher or lower laryngeal positions, I teach more of a "self-aware" larynx than either the "high/neutral" common in much of historical-practice singing, or "low/settled/stable" larynx prevalent in most modern operatic schools. In this way, though the coordination is admittedly somewhat more difficult, the singer has access to a far greater variety not only of colors and shading, but of an increased dynamic potential as well (loud to soft and back again). Although this approach is crafted toward the needs of the modern singer, singing music written before ca. 1840, it also works well in most classically oriented (as well as working surprisingly well for some kinds of music theater and various pop styles) genres up to and including the modern day.
If you wish to explore your voice's further potential with me within this general framework, either live or via Skype/Zoom, please feel free to contact me.