Teaching Hearing the Voice

Richard Miller

in On the Art of Singing

Published in print September 1996 | ISBN: 9780195098259
Published online May 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780190268374 | DOI:
Teaching Hearing the Voice

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This chapter considers how to teach someone to hear the voice as a singing technique. To teach someone to hear the singing voice and to discriminate among timbres and the physical and acoustic maneuvers that produce the differences among them is to allow each individual singer to do his or her own self-teaching. It is not the teacher who must teach the voice, it is the student who must develop an ability to hear the voice. Teaching how to hear the voice means to heighten awareness of the sounds the singer is making, to alert the singer to the wide variety of sounds a voice is capable of producing, and to point out why some of those sounds are more beautiful and more efficient than are others. In the process, the voice teacher is teaching that person's ear and not his/her larynx. Then the singer must bring together, in a total kinesthetic response, those factors that produce the preferable sound. Although it may seem like dealing in a neat game of semantics, the two definitions of the voice teaching occupation—teaching voice and teaching hearing the voice—represent essentially different orientations in vocal pedagogy.

Keywords: singing voice; singing; self-teaching; student; singer; voice teacher; sound; voice teaching; hearing the voice; vocal pedagogy

Chapter.  470 words. 

Subjects: Applied Music

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