All people are empowered by learning to use their voice. This belief is at the heart of why and how I teach. I am passionate about my discipline because singing can be transcendent and allows us to connect with others in an extraordinary way. Therefore, I am driven to cultivate musicians who embrace their humanity through their emotional intelligence and artistic command. My approach to teaching voice revolves around the three components of evidence-based pedagogy: utilizing historic practices and voice science research, drawing from my experiences in performance, education, and research, as well as evaluating the individual needs of the student. I continually seek opportunities, such as the NATS Intern Program, to refine my instructional skills as an artist teacher. Just as I hope for my students, I am a life-long learner.
The three-fold approach of my teaching philosophy has grown over the course of my career. Bel canto training has a rich pedagogical tradition. As such, we can draw on the approaches of historical treatises as a guide for healthy, sustainable vocal technique. The anecdotal understanding of the master pedagogues must be contextualized with current research in voice science. Evidence from vocology research empowers me to draw a line back to methods outlined by master teachers such as Garcia II, Marchesi, Miller and many others. As a performer and life-long student of singing, I can empathize with challenges that students regularly face and may encounter in the future. Students’ needs can be broken into intellectual, physical, and psycho-emotional categories. To the first, I facilitate learning by establishing a goal-based partnership with each student. Using guiding and open-ended questions throughout lessons, I encourage each student to be curious and intentional about the singing process. This method challenges students to better evaluate their growth and recognize changes in their vocal technique. My studio space is designed to be engaging, with room to physicalize the music, healthy acoustical properties, and a full-length mirror for students to observe their alignment and production habits. Lastly, it is vital that the learning environment is a creative space where trial and error are encouraged without judgment, and students can bring their whole person to the lesson and to the music.