- Title Pages
- 1 Imagery and the Teaching of Singing
- 2 Five Principles for the Successful Teaching of Singing
- 3 <i>Covering</i> in the Singing Voice
- 4 The Open Throat (<i>La gola aperta</i>)
- 5 Breath Management, Diction, and the Vocal Legato
- 6 Diction and Vocal Technique
- 7 The Performer as Voice Teacher
- 8 Pedagogical Clothing for the Emperor and Empress
- 9 The “Tricky” Teacher
- 10 Woofy Baritones and Tinny Tenors
- 11 McPedagogy
- 12 “What You Need Is More Support!”
- 13 “Simplicity” in Singing
- 14 Teaching <i>Hearing</i> the Voice
- 15 Si canta come si parla?
- 16 How Singing Is <i>Not</i> Like Speaking
- 17 Thinking Phonetically (Values and Pitfalls of the IPA)
- 18 A Parable of the Foolish Baker
- 19 The Choral Conductor as Teacher of Vocal Technique
- 20 The Law of Contingency and Vocal Pedagogies
- 21 To Admire or to Teach?
- 22 Patching the Vocal Garment
- 23 Mysteries and Miracles
- 24 The Flat-Earth School of Vocal Pedagogy
- 25 Sharpening Up Some Old Pedagogical Saws
- 26 Open Windows
Mysteries and Miracles
Mysteries and Miracles
- (p.68) 23 Mysteries and Miracles
- On the Art of Singing
- Oxford University Press
This chapter considers the use of “mystery” techniques in voice lessons and whether they will produce miracles for the student. It argues that skillful singing depends on repeatable maneuvers that permit artistic imagination to emerge, and not on mysterious maneuvers that are magically elicited through Svengalian influences. The presence of an audience, and the excitement generated by performance circumstances, can at times enhance coordination to the improvement of vocal sound (or inhibit it). There is, indeed, a kind of magic that surrounds an excellent performance; performer and listener experience a mysterious unity. But mysteries and miracles are not the source of performance enhancement. The voice teacher who believes he or she is dealing in secret discoveries regarding the technical aspects of singing reveals a lack of information about the voice as an instrument, and knows little of comparative vocal pedagogy.
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