Book Excerpts, Read by the Author
Excerpt from Appendix II: Internet Resources for Singers
FACEBOOK SINGER GROUPS AND COMMUNITIES
Art Song Liedership Group for the 21st Century
(The) Business of Singing Forum
Born 2 Sing Kids
Colleagues in Singing and Performance
“A place for serious discussions about the idea of singing and performance.”
(The) Daily Listen: Great Singers, Great Singing
Estill Voice Training
Find Your Singing Teacher
Functional Voice Book Club-LIVE!
Middle School Chorus Directors
Music Teacher’s Resources
Music Teacher’s National Association
Musical Theatre Voice Teachers & Coaches Network
(A) New Forum for Professional Voice Teachers
(The) New Forum for Classical Singers Group (NFCS)
Opera Singer Memes
Popular & Commercial Music Voice Teachers
Professional Voice Teachers
Singing Answers for Teachers and Students
Singing Lessons for Little Singers
Vocology In Practice
Voice Geek Group
Voice Teacher’s Community
Voice Teachers for Young Singers
Voice Training for Nonclassical Singing
Excerpt from Chapter Six: The Teacher Connection
AATS Voice Teacher Guidelines. According to the American Academy of Teachers of Singing (AATS), voice teachers require specific qualifications in order to teach beginner through professional singing at the highest level. I’m including these qualifications in full to help the new voice student avoid poor choices.
The following two lists of qualifications will help serious students of classical music and musical theater choose a proficient voice teacher. Written by the National Music Council of the AATS and originally published in 1975 (updated in its present form in 1997) as “Qualifications for Teachers of Singing,” this guideline lays out the skills teachers should have in teaching classical and musical theater students:
A thorough general and musical education, including sight-singing and ear training. A teacher must be musically literate.
A substantial background in vocal study with competent teachers of singing over a period of at least five years. Musi- cal and vocal instruction should include a minimum of 90 hours each year.
A complete anatomical knowledge of the body (not just the vocal tract), because the vocal system relies on the whole- body support system for the production of tone. For too many decades many have relied on phrases passed from studio to studio, generation to generation. Students repeat these phrases like mottos, not truly understanding the seman- tic implications nor the physical follow-through. Books or models of the entire anatomy should be used in teaching, to make clear the actual positions and possible functions of the organs and muscles.
An overview of the contiguous arts and therapies that can ease tensions and aid in such things as posture control, i.e., Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method, Rosen Method, massage therapies, dancing fencing, acting, etc.
Sensitivity to accuracy of intonation, quality of tone, and nuance of color.
A broad knowledge of vocal repertory, and styles of interpreta- tion appropriate to opera, oratorio, art song, ballad, folk, song, and musical theater. (Note: Have the prospective teacher sing you a part of the same song in three different styles and have them explain what makes each style sound different.)
Ability to classify a voice. It is generally acknowledged that this important decision dare not be taken hastily. Younger voices take their own time to develop since the larynx itself is still in the formative stage. Correct teaching will allow the voice to reveal its own classification. Caveat: one should not assign music too demanding for the sensitive voice, i.e., freshman voices should not sing senior music.
A thorough knowledge and command of the English language; complete mastery of English diction in song through correct articulation, enunciation, and pronunciation; knowledge of at least three languages (Italian, German, and French) encompassing basic grammar and good performance diction.
A basic understanding of psychology and its effective use in the teaching of singing, including a sympathetic, discerning, and analytical approach to both personal and professional problems of the student.
The ability to demonstrate with his or her own voice the correct principles of good tone production and inter- pretation. (It must be remembered that many successful and prominent teachers have not been established vocal performers, and many noted singers have not achieved success as teachers.)
Some competence at the piano.