Principles of Voice Teaching
-Where the mind goes, the voice will follow.
-There is one way to sing 'great', there are many ways to sing 'good'. There are thousands of 'good' singers out there who have many different methods of using their voices. There are very few 'great' singers and the vast majority of truly great singers of any genre (Placido Domingo, Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett, Linda Eder, Ella Fitzgerald, Luthor Vandros, Martina McBride, Robert Plant) all support their voices in fundamentally the same way. Work towards getting students to emulate the attributes of the great singers as closely as possible.
-When teaching pop/rock singers, do not address issues of resonance until a student's vocal cords are vibrating correctly throughout at least a 2 octave range and even then only to the degree necessary for pop singing, which is very little. The amount of resonance a singer utilizes depends upon their style of singing: opera requiring the most amount of resonance of any singing style, rock requiring the least.
-Never compromise the singing position to accommodate the vocal cords. Maintain an excellent position and the cords will eventually get the idea.
-If it's working unusually well, leave it alone (If it ain't broke don't fix it).
-Achieving initial results by whatever reasonable means necessary is the fastest route to getting it ultimately (you can always refine it later).
-Don't play the instrument before it is built.
-A student's progress is a voice teacher's number one responsibility. Therefore, a teacher should accept fault if a student is not progressing by admitting to the student that they don't possess the knowledge to advance the student further.
-There is no point in telling a student to support if they don't know what that is.
-In the early stages of study, a beginning voice student must have permission to make mistakes. (Let the voice crack, rasp, flutter all it wants) Ultimately, the voice will be rock solid and the student will have achieved true vocal freedom.
-Short of an incredible miracle, it is extremely unlikely that a student who does not possess a great natural voice will progress by working the already existing voice. Voice building is necessary under these conditions or the student's voice will probably sound more or less the same after years of study.
-Which is better: Tell a student to open their mouth until you are blue in the face and hope they'll eventually do it, or give the student an exercise to strengthen the specific muscles that open the mouth so that they will open their mouths whether they like it or not? If a student has a deficiency in their technique, give them an exercise to correct it.
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