I strive to be a lifelong learner, so my teaching is constantly evolving – improving. I firmly believe that voice science and bel canto tradition can coincide, and even help each other. The more we know about the voice, the less guess work we do as teachers. But technologies offering spectrogram analysis or MRI imaging of the vocal tract while singing do not replace a voice teacher’s good, diagnostic ears. I further believe that celebrating uniqueness is crucial to our art form moving forward to help bolster our audience base through increased inclusion and diversity – in the voice studio, our pedagogies, and the literature we teach, program, and perform.
I teach both vocal pedagogy and studio voice at DePaul University in Chicago, IL, and have taught vocal diction in four languages. My experience has included ages ranging from private high school students through doctoral students and professional singers, and has mainly focused on undergraduates and Master’s students. I very much enjoy investing in young artists as they develop their technique and find their voice. Each voice is as unique as its owner, so my teaching is highly individual. Every student must be taught in a way that enables him, her, or them to be the best artist s/he or they can be. This is not the same for every student, so I strive to accommodate different types of learners, and to build their technique as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Rooted in the International Italian School of Singing championed by the late Richard Miller, my teaching is based upon bel canto principles and fueled by the texts we sing, the science of how the voice woks, and the wedding of these two things in artistic harmony. All voices must learn to, within the context of their own voice, sing the entirety of their pitch range, the entirety of their dynamic range, and be able to handle both sostenuto and coloratura passages with great technical facility. In order to do so, the physical coordinations upon which singing is based must be developed as the bedrock of the voice.
On a personal note, I am a singer with asthma, so singing efficiently is tantamount for me. I find this need for efficiency enhances my teaching. I work in a positive and constructive manner in the studio, and take great joy in the success of my students whether that be on the operatic stage, in the classroom, a place of worship, or as a recreational or therapeutic singer. My students have gone on to win many competitions including the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, and are singing at opera companies and in theatres all over the country.