Philosophy of Teaching for voice students

It is my experience through many years of teaching that students who can play, sing, or compose well generally love making music. Particularly as students reach middle school and hear other students singing, they want to sound good in front of their friends and family.  So … if you want your student to love making music, you will encourage him or her to learn correctly as soon as they begin lessons. They will then have the best foundation for years of happy music production.

I love music and want my students to love it too … and I can best help them to enjoy their music by teaching them to play, sing, or compose well. In each lesson the successful accomplishments of each student are stressed, while shaping the student’s practicing to eliminate bad habits. Music is chosen to stretch the horizon of the vocal student and develop their musical style and technique, allowing students to select pieces they  enjoy. Good performing is stressed …. students learn to read music, count correctly, perform dynamics, and create musical performances. Stage presence and facial expression are coached. As students progress in their studies they will have opportunities to help make wider choices of pieces to study.

Areas of music that are covered in voice lessons include vocal development, healthy singing techniques, note reading through solfege, sight-reading, rhythm, diction, intervals, literature, and foreign language skills. Students in piano lessons learn note reading, rhythm (even and accurate counting), interval reading, scales, triads, arpeggios, sight-reading, ear training, transposition, and improvisation. The skills from piano lessons transfer significantly to vocal lessons which is why many students elect to study both piano and voice.

I also believe that the success of a student’s music education is the result of a partnership between the student, the teacher, and the parent. The student must commit him or herself to regular and correct practicing, the teacher must teach the student both what they should practice and HOW to practice it, and the parent needs to be an active encourager while carefully not becoming a nagging parent. It is extremely important to me for parents to talk to me when they sense problems in the music studies. Frequently I can make a difference in how a student does their practicing IF I am aware of a problem early.