The cradle of bel canto

Many years ago I worked as a section leader at St. John's United Methodist Church in Kansas City. It was a truly wonderful experience and one of my happy memories from my time there was listening to the children's choir. There was something about those sweet, innocent voices that never failed to pull a tear [...]

What Julia Child Taught Me About Teaching Voice What does Julia Child have to do with singing and great voice teaching? Craftsmanship. There is a special sort of delight in watching a craftsperson in the height of their art. Whether making a dish, painting a picture, or hand-crafting furniture, there is a special sort of hypnotic joy in observing these people creating [...]

The Vocal Marketplace

When I work with singers towards greater vocal freedom, a frequent question is "How am I going to sing for a market that wants X (insert quality of sound here)?" The human brain loves compartments and patterns. It might give us a sense of 'control' over our environment, and a sense of ease to 'know [...]

Tone in Our Words, and Words in Our Tone

The title of this blog post comes from an admonition of Herbert Witherspoon, writing in his book 36 Lessons in Singing for Teacher and Student (1930): The vowel is the tone, the tone is the vowel. We put words in our tones and tone in our words.Herbert Witherspoon Witherspoon's wisdom is reflected in this moving [...]