It Doesn’t Matter How Smart You Are // Meredith Colby

How to Help All Your Students Learn More Easily and Faster It’s happened to you as a voice teacher. It may have happened to you as a voice student yourself.  You’ve asked your student for a new or modified behavior or skill, or recommended treating a phrase a certain way, or introduced a technique.  Your student tries, and it doesn’t work. The student immediately does … Continue reading It Doesn’t Matter How Smart You Are // Meredith Colby

Vocal Production for Singers: Using Layering and Effects to Shape Your Sound (Part 2) // Kelly Hoppenjans

In the first part of this series, we discussed the different vocal layering and arranging techniques common in pop vocal production, in order to help singers produce their own vocal arrangements. Just as crucial to a successful vocal arrangement are the effects a producer uses. A judiciously applied reverb, delay, distortion, or autotune can affect the style and overall sound of the vocal, and make … Continue reading Vocal Production for Singers: Using Layering and Effects to Shape Your Sound (Part 2) // Kelly Hoppenjans

The Delicate Balance of Technique and Artistry // Laura Donohue

I’m fascinated with the complicated relationship between Technique and Artistry, in part because I strive to help my students stay connected to (or discover) their own artistry. But the other reason is personal: as an artist and songwriter, myself, I feel as though I am often chasing wildness.  I have an insatiable appetite for learning; at the same time, I frequently find myself seeking freedom … Continue reading The Delicate Balance of Technique and Artistry // Laura Donohue

Amping Up Your Ear Training To An Eleven // Wendy Jones

The importance of having a good ear and excellent rhythm is of utmost importance in any style of music but in my experience, the depth of harmonic and rhythmic understanding required to sing commercial music has proven more intense than in my classical studies. Therefore, I feel it is imperative that the teacher of commercial voice train vocalists to take a deep dive into harmony … Continue reading Amping Up Your Ear Training To An Eleven // Wendy Jones

Teaching Stripped Bare // Daniel K. Robinson

This year marks my twenty-sixth year of teaching. Granted, when I first started teaching voice in the mid-nineties, I only had a couple of students. And if memory serves, I really didn’t know what I was doing. Still, my first two gracious and willing singing students gave me a start into a career of voice instruction that I continue to enjoy and develop in to … Continue reading Teaching Stripped Bare // Daniel K. Robinson

The Importance of Rhythm in Singing Modern Black American Music Styles // Alison Crockett

As voice teachers, we commonly work on how the voice sounds, feels and how to produce the sound necessary to create a beautiful tone that can be reproduced consistently without difficulty and strain. We as a community are starting to embrace teaching techniques that allow for health, well being and good sound production within modern music styles and singing practices. We are no longer afraid … Continue reading The Importance of Rhythm in Singing Modern Black American Music Styles // Alison Crockett

Before you create that popular musics voice teacher position…

Please stop creating positions for popular musics voice teachers in your mostly classical voice department if you’re not going to provide the students with the full range of resources and training they really need to be successful in these genres. Will they be required to write and sing their own songs as part of their lessons? Will there be songwriting professors on faculty to help … Continue reading Before you create that popular musics voice teacher position…

Vocal Production for Singers: Using Layering and Effects to Shape Your Sound (Part 1) // Kelly Hoppenjans

Vocal effects have come a long way since the days of reverb chambers, tape delays, and the autotune explorations of Cher and T-Payne. As the effects have become more advanced and nuanced, vocal production has become a recognizable aspect of a singer’s tone, in addition to their vocal qualities. It’s hard to imagine T-Payne’s voice without the autotune (though we can hear it, and it’s … Continue reading Vocal Production for Singers: Using Layering and Effects to Shape Your Sound (Part 1) // Kelly Hoppenjans

The Thing About Repertoire // Kat Reinhert

One of the most frequent questions I get from voice teachers asking me advice about teaching in popular music spaces is: “What repertoire should I use?” The first time someone asked me this question, I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t actually understand what they were asking – or even WHY they were asking it. But, after thinking for a minute – I said:  WHATEVER THE STUDENT … Continue reading The Thing About Repertoire // Kat Reinhert

The Gendered Singing Voice: Burn it all down! // Jessye DeSilva

In recent years, I’ve become somewhat of a “gender killjoy” within my vocal pedagogy community. I wouldn’t say I ever set out to be THAT person, but I’m happy to accept the role. I am myself a nonbinary queer person, and so you could say this issue is personal for me. By “killjoy,” I don’t necessarily mean that I’m out to spoil everyone’s fun, but … Continue reading The Gendered Singing Voice: Burn it all down! // Jessye DeSilva