At the core of my being exists the need to interact with the world in the most humanistic way possible. As a performer and teacher, I am constantly communicating through music and as a vocalist, more importantly through text. In such a position, teacher and student are unable to evade some of life's most intimate happenings, i.e. joy, love, sadness. This of course takes on many meanings dependent on each individual's journey. I find myself consistently renewed in the joy that is in the process of creative invention.
Creative invention of singing, music and performance take on various forms with each individual. Whatever the starting point, the journey is always best approached through a solid foundation. Organic voice study seems to be at the heart of my teaching. It is holistic in nature, but with great purpose in building voices through the individual. Having the good fortune of studying with several voice teachers in my collegiate career, and being under the tutelage of some well-known pedagogues has provided me with a wealth of methodologies from which I avidly use and believe.
Some experts in our field might fancy themselves to be a Miller disciple or a Coffin devotee, but I firmly believe that all of our well-known, vocal pedagogy pioneers has or have had something significant to contribute and aid in the growth of our profession. With the advent of voice science, we were forced to revisit some traditional beliefs about the voice in light of objective measures. The constant discoveries in our profession motivate my research and teaching.
A mentor of mine once said, "do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life." Each day is a new challenge, a new opportunity for change and growth and because of those prospects, I sincerely enjoy and look forward to "work." Working with singers, building voices, creatively inventing seems far too important to become as mundane as a job.
*above photo is with 2nd year Master's student, Kate Roosa. Photo courtesy of the University of Delaware/Wenbo Fan, photographer.