To be honest, studying voice in college was an exercise in frustration – a waste of time compared to the success I experienced with woodwind instruments. I concluded that I didn’t have a talent for singing, quit voice lessons, and stuck to the horns for the rest of my music degree. After not singing for over a decade, I ventured back to the musical theatre stage, where I felt somewhat safe vocally. Eventually I came to revisit the classical repertoire that first attracted me to fine singing, and began to aggressively research voice teaching methods and seek out experts to learn from.
While always an avid scholar of the latest (and the earliest!) developments in the areas of pedagogy, voice science, and performance practice, I continue to study and perform, making bridges between the theoretical and the practical. I have researched countless books, articles, and blogs, and had many productive discussions and debates with colleagues. As I became more aware of biases, entrenched camps, and editorial liberties, I revisited old singing treatises of the 18th and 19th centuries in their original languages, to see what they really said (and didn’t say). I have clocked myriad hours of listening to singers, both recorded and live, finding clues about what has changed and what is constant in the world of singing. In 2010 I began a blog, vocalability.com, which is centered around the question: “Why does so much voice instruction not make sense, and what can we do about it?”
After fighting to find my voice, 30-plus years of teaching many kinds of music, two master’s degrees (music and instructional design), and a dogged determination to learn everything I can, I’m a much happier singer and a still-enthusiastic teacher. In my private studio and in group settings I work with people from widely varying backgrounds and all ages. Regardless of the genre they sing, I am passionate about helping them to make sense of vocal study. It is my hope that Sane Singing will help you to chart your course through the bizarre and overgrown jungle of modern voice training. Get your binoculars and machete ready!