–Have sung all their lives but don’t understand that singing through the lifespan is like being active in sports. You need to tend things along the way or you can’t play.
–Don’t know much about their bodies or biological cycles other than what they hear in media or what their doctors tell them.
–Work with singers through midlife and aging: coaches, teachers, performers, choral conductors, music directors and medical personal.
–Are colleagues, students and medical professionals. We are writing the book we wish we’d had as we moved through our changes.
A very T-A-L-L order? Yes.
That’s why there are three of us writing in collaboration. We are really excited about the very unique way of co-authoring we’ve created! It takes longer than if we each write a chapter, but it’ll be worth it!
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We have more academically-educated singers and voice teachers now than at any time in the history of vocal expression, and dare I say it? Very little teaching from an Undivided Self, which means very little useful and true wisdom.
Learning to get to this place this requires TIME.
It’s a sort of alchemical process to find personal, musical and pedagogical ah ha’s! amid the deafening noise of information, data, and a cult of personality. These things don’t work well with singing. Because singing is about first finding silence of stillness and then becoming a channel for bio-electric energy, all human expression and divine connection.
I think many teachers ‘head’ know this–but they don’t FEEL it or EMBODY it.
There is a crying need for a 1:1 Experiential Learning Program outside of academia to allow teachers and singers the time they need to create this alchemical process. To learn to teach WHO they ARE as well as WHAT they KNOW.
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We are still wooing the right title.
Writing with coauthors Nancy Bos and Joanne Hayes Bozeman has been one of the most rewarding collaborative experiences of a long life spent in collaboration. Combining the voices of three powerhouse artist/educators who are researchers has taken a huge investment of T-I-M-E. But building a solid infrastructure for the book and becoming vulnerable to each other (check out Brene Brown’s The Call to Courage) are birthing our idea into reality.
We are writing a book for Great Aunt Betsy who sings in her church choir, for the college voice professor who has always sung well and then, well, doesn’t. For the community musical theater singer, to the elite classical and popular music singer. For the voice teacher or singer who’s own voice has gotten better and better and may not understand what is happening with others who have a different experience. For the medical community that knows nothing about menopause and voice changes because it is outside of their health model. For the used-to-sing woman who is just fine with how her voice is as she gets older and doesn’t think much about it.
So the challenge has been how to combine our three author-voices, our interviewees’ individual stories AND a curated list of reliable information into one voice–
–to reach all these singers.
It’s happening and we can’t wait to share it with you!
I owe this idea to a recent conversation on The New Forum for Professional Voice Teachers. Many on this forum sing, train and teach both classical and popular genres of music. We have a wide assortment of training methods, resources and approaches stored in our mental libraries and our own music-making.
Recently someone posted Regina Spektor’s “Us,” to illustrate her technical approach to one part of the song. One of the comments was that some passages were “straight out of Lutgen.”
So I went a-looking…..
Lutgen was a German composer who wrote many books of vocal training exercises in the mid 1800’s. The exercises were for those studying European classical singing of the time.
Intrigued WHY my colleague would relate Regina Spektor to Lutgen’s 18th century vocalises, I looked them up. And there it was. Lutgen exercise #1–
Listen to Spektor and then see how the above exercises could be used to help someone sing parts of this song. Or ask your young students to listen for these exercise patterns in the song. This might be a great project for them or you when you need to work less strenuously. You can also search for Lutgen exercises on Youtube. Some enterprising music educator has put up keyboard renditions of all the Lutgen exercises!
Help your students find patterns between 1) CCM singer/song-writers and 2) classical vocal patterns found in old exercises! A little sleuthing is lots of fun.