What makes me different from other voice teachers in Philadelphia?
I’m a scientist.
Before I did my doctoral work in Music at the University of Pennsylvania, I earned my bachelor’s degree in biology, as well as music. After graduating, I worked as a biomedical researcher for 8 years on and off while building my career in music. For a long time I felt that I inhabited two different worlds, and wondered if all of that scientific study and background would ever intersect with my musical career.
To my great pleasure, a student pointed out to me that I’ve intuitively used my training in the scientific method all along to continually, through trial and error, broaden and refine the materials that I teach. This is very true. Over the course of ten years working with singers, I’ve streamlined the process of improving the voice into a method that is extremely efficient and straightforward. Most importantly, it’s a method that helps my students achieve great results quickly.
I also use vocal anatomy to inform my teaching. It’s important when working with muscles that you can’t see to have some method of connecting the things you can feel and hear to at least a theoretical concept of what’s going on inside your body. This is called body mapping, and is one of the most important ingredients for a successful course of vocal study, especially for beginners.
I’m a composer.
As a composer who specializes in writing vocal music, I know the voice as an instrument. I know what it ‘likes’ to do, and how to create music that showcases it. This knowledge goes in both directions, because as a voice teacher and singer myself, I also sense what music will best showcase my students’ voices.
I have spent the past 15 years honing my skills in the study of differentiating timbres and sound colors in order to successfully create and orchestrate music. Because I’ve developed my inner ear so well, I’m able to hear the voice in a very complete way, and determine what’s happening anatomically in the singer’s voice to prevent it from performing to its full potential. Based on this information, I’m able to prescribe very focused exercises and teaching to strengthen the voice or to ease any restriction that may be blocking progress.
My teaching philosophy is holistic and nurturing.
Finally, I see my students as whole, three-dimensional people with real physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Vocal health and expression are tied intrinsically to all these different facets of the human being, to our deepest identity as a core self. Music touches us on all of these levels, and our voices are indelibly intertwined with our identities.
Throughout years of teaching, I have witnessed voice lessons help students achieve lasting and positive healing and transformation in many areas of their lives, including their health, careers, and relationships. The most rewarding moments of my career have been the breakthrough moments with my voice students. I am honored to be a part of the process, and strive to create a nurturing environment where students will thrive, using all of the tools I have at my disposal.