Teaching Philosophy:

The field of vocal pedagogy has expanded dramatically in the past fifteen to twenty years.  With an upsurge of creative work by composers in both classical and musical theatre genres, students often need to master demanding repertoire with wildly divergent stylistic and vocal demands. A current musical theatre performer is expected to present classically oriented “legit” repertoire, as well as a flexible mixed voice that can encompass a broad range of contemporary styles -- often, while dancing. A classical singer is also expected to be able to sing in more vernacular styles, which require a somewhat different approach to text and to sustained sounds. The contemporary voice teacher needs to be familiar with the technique and practice of all of these styles.

While I have trained and performed primarily as a classical singer with an emphasis on new music, much of my teaching, and recent pedagogical study, has been focused on musical theatre. There is a new sense of common interest in the field among singers, teachers, scientists, athletic trainers, and voice pathologists. We are at an exciting point in which all of these disciplines play an important part in developing the complete performer. This is fascinating and rewarding work, which I have studied with gifted teachers who have determinedly knocked down hard and fast boundaries, while still respecting the traditions of each genre. One common thread that emerges is the importance of finding and maintaining flexibility throughout the range, so that the voice can grow into its own identity as the artist matures.

I’ve also been fascinated by the research that has recently been published concerning the positive psychological effects of singing. It’s now an accepted fact that singing, particularly with other people, can have beneficial effects throughout our lives. So, no matter what stage of life we find ourselves in, we benefit from singing.

The details:

To inquire about lessons, please see the “Contact” page and send me an email. I’ll get back to you promptly. Professionals and amateurs are welcome. My home studio is in Groton, New York, about 20 minutes outside of both Ithaca and Cortland. The initial diagnostic session is free of charge, and we’ll discuss a plan at that time. Repertoire is determined by the interests of the student as well as the needs of the voice as it develops. Technical exercises, identified as to their specific purpose, are integrated into a study of repertoire, determined mutually with the student.