Choral  Directors  are  from  Mars                and  Voice  Teachers  are  from  Venus:                          Top  Te...
Choral  Directors  vs.  Voice  Teachers           •  A  history  of  complaints           •  Are  these  complaints       ...
GOALTo  build  a  common  language  that  reflects  our  common  goal  of  providing  excellence  in  instruction  and  per...
Tone  Quality“The  choir  conductor  has  the  students  singing  straight  tone  for  45  minutes  straight!”            ...
Individual  Sound  vs.              Group  or  Cooperative  Sound                            GROUP  SOUND  •      Homogene...
QuestionsDo  we  know  it  all?         OR        Are  we  on  a  journey               of  discovery?
People  often  look  at  the  exact  same  research  and  draw  widely  differing       conclusions.
Solo  Selection“The  choir  director  selected  my  student  for  a  solo  and  that  student  has  no  business  singing ...
Common  Ground •  Include  voice  faculty  in      auditions. •  Require  voice  teacher      approval  before  audition. ...
Age/Size  Appropriate  Repertoire“The  choral  conductor  thinks  one  size  fits  all.  The  repertoire  in  the  top  cho...
Repertoire  Selection     “FABULOUS”  Repertoire           vs.     Repertoire  selection       according  to  the  student...
Common  Ground •  Experience  great  master  works •  All  have  preconceived  notions  of  what      those  are. •  Some ...
Voice  Placement“S/he  placed  my  soprano  in  the  alto  section.”                                “The  student  has  th...
Common  Ground •  Communicate! •  Placing  in  a  lower  part  MAY  be      acceptable. •  Special  instruction  by  voice...
Rehearsal  Technique“They  don’t  understand  my  limitations  on  rehearsal  time.”                   "What  do  choral  ...
Rehearsal  TechniqueThe  choral  director  has  MANY  singers  in  mind  at  one  time.                          The  voic...
Singers  Must  Be  Taught     •  The  ART  of  Practice     •  How  to  concentrate     •  Responsibility  for  vocal     ...
Dynamics“They  just  sing  loud  all  the  time.”                          “Voice  teachers  are  asking                  ...
Two  IssuesBeing  asked  as  a  group  to  sing  at  a  dynamic  level  that  is  barely  sustainable  by  a  single  voic...
Vocal  Fatigue“My  students  come  from  rehearsal  and  are  totally  worn  out  for  their  lesson.”                    ...
Two  Types  of  Vocal  Fatigue       •  Muscle  fatigue       •  Tissue  fatigue
D.D.  Michael/Lyons  Voice  Clinic          •  Like  our  bodies,  our  voices  have  individual               strengths  ...
Avoiding  Conflicting  Statements          •    Variety          •    Cool  down          •    LOOK  as  well  as  listen  ...
Vocal  FatiguePoor  planning  on  our  part  DOES  create  vocal  emergency  on  our           students’  parts.          ...
Terminology“Voice  teachers  tell  my  students  I  am  asking  them  to  sing  too  quietly  in  the  piano  passages,  a...
Terminology•  Misunderstanding  of     acoustics  and  resonance  is     pervasive  from  both  sides.•  Nasality•  Formants
Vocal  “Gold”“I  hear  the  choir  rehearsing  the  same  phrase  over  and  over,  wasting  vocal  gold  through  needles...
Outside  Activities“The  choir  tour  always  rules  and  my  students  have  to  miss      NATS  auditions  and  other  c...
Outside  Activities•  HS  directors:    Involve  voice  teachers  of     your  students  in  annual  planning.•  Annual  p...
THANKS!Download  this  presentation  and  a  handout  version  and  continue  the          conversation  at:              ...
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Top Ten Complaints - Presented by NATS at ACDA - PowerPoint PDF

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NATS Executive Director, Allen Henderson, steered a panel discussion on March 10, 2011 entitled, "Choral Directors are from Mars and Voice Teachers are from Venus: Sing from the Diaphragm and other Vocal Mistructions," along with esteemed NATS members Sharon Hansen and Brenda Smith, NATS President Donald Simonson, and NATS Past President Scott McCoy. They presented an additional Interest Session that afternoon: "Choral Directors are from Mars and Voice Teachers are from Venus: Top 10 List - Complaints from Both Sides of the Aisle."

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Top Ten Complaints - Presented by NATS at ACDA - PowerPoint PDF

  1. 1. Choral  Directors  are  from  Mars   and  Voice  Teachers  are  from  Venus:       Top  Ten  Complaints  From  Both  Sides  of  the  Aisle   Or  “The  Farmer  and  the  Cowman  Should  Be  Friends”   Sharon  Hansen   Allen  Henderson   Sco/  McCoy   Donald  Simonson   Brenda  Smith    
  2. 2. Choral  Directors  vs.  Voice  Teachers •  A  history  of  complaints •  Are  these  complaints   substantiated?   •  Are  we  actually  approaching  the   same  ideas  with  different   language?   •  How  are  NATS  and  ACDA   working  together?
  3. 3. GOALTo  build  a  common  language  that  reflects  our  common  goal  of  providing  excellence  in  instruction  and  performance.
  4. 4. Tone  Quality“The  choir  conductor  has  the  students  singing  straight  tone  for  45  minutes  straight!” “The  voice  teachers  keep   changing  my  vowels,  and  they  tell   my  sopranos  to  ignore  my   instructions  about  straight  tone!”
  5. 5. Individual  Sound  vs.   Group  or  Cooperative  Sound   GROUP  SOUND  •      Homogeneous  group  sound  •      Quasi-­‐English  boy  choir,  blended       group  sound    •      Full-­‐bodied  group  sound    •      Cooperative  sound   INDIVIDUAL  SOUND   •    Soloist  develops  best  individual   sound  that  she  can   •    Soloist  uses  everything  that  an   individual  voice  can  show  (power,   vibrato,  range,  dynamic)  
  6. 6. QuestionsDo  we  know  it  all? OR Are  we  on  a  journey of  discovery?
  7. 7. People  often  look  at  the  exact  same  research  and draw  widely  differing conclusions.
  8. 8. Solo  Selection“The  choir  director  selected  my  student  for  a  solo  and  that  student  has  no  business  singing  the  Verdi  Requiem  solos  as  a  Freshman!” “This  is  a  young,  exciting,   ringy  voice  that  can  easily   negotiate  the  tessitura.”  
  9. 9. Common  Ground •  Include  voice  faculty  in   auditions. •  Require  voice  teacher   approval  before  audition. •  Communicate!
  10. 10. Age/Size  Appropriate  Repertoire“The  choral  conductor  thinks  one  size  fits  all.  The  repertoire  in  the  top  choir  this  semester  is  all  over  the  map  in  terms  of  styles  and  periods.    One  voice  does  not  fit  all  styles.” “The  voice  teacher  is  teaching  every  student  in   his  studio  exactly  the  same,  whether  the  student   has  a  naturally  large  instrument  or  a  small  one.     They  all  are  learning  huge  Verdi  arias  this   semester  for  their  juries.    Most  of    these  students   are  not  going  to  end  up  at  the  Met!”
  11. 11. Repertoire  Selection “FABULOUS”  Repertoire vs. Repertoire  selection   according  to  the  students   at  hand
  12. 12. Common  Ground •  Experience  great  master  works •  All  have  preconceived  notions  of  what   those  are. •  Some  masterworks  are  appropriate  for   some  students,  but  not  all  great   masterworks  are  appropriate  to  all   students  at  any  one  time. •  Whether  students  can  adapt  to  tonal   requirements  of  some  repertoire   should  be  a  matter  of  discussion •  Neutral  third  party  involved  when   inflexibility  exists.
  13. 13. Voice  Placement“S/he  placed  my  soprano  in  the  alto  section.” “The  student  has  the  range   necessary  to  sing  the  lower  part   with  ease.  She  will  gain  in  musical   development  and  can  contribute  to   the  ensemble’s  success.”
  14. 14. Common  Ground •  Communicate! •  Placing  in  a  lower  part  MAY  be   acceptable. •  Special  instruction  by  voice   teacher  on  being  successful   singing  another  voice  part.
  15. 15. Rehearsal  Technique“They  don’t  understand  my  limitations  on  rehearsal  time.” "What  do  choral  conductors  mean   about  ‘limitations  on  time’?    They   have  our  singers  for  4  hours  every   week.    We  only  have  60  minutes  with   them  weekly.    In  the  end,  it  is  the   solo  performance  that  counts"  
  16. 16. Rehearsal  TechniqueThe  choral  director  has  MANY  singers  in  mind  at  one  time. The  voice  teacher   works  with  one   singer  at  a  time.
  17. 17. Singers  Must  Be  Taught •  The  ART  of  Practice •  How  to  concentrate •  Responsibility  for  vocal   technique •  Importance  of  resting   between  periods  of  exertion
  18. 18. Dynamics“They  just  sing  loud  all  the  time.” “Voice  teachers  are  asking   my  students  to  sing  too   aggressively,  their  voices   stick  out  in  my  choir.”
  19. 19. Two  IssuesBeing  asked  as  a  group  to  sing  at  a  dynamic  level  that  is  barely  sustainable  by  a  single  voice Being  asked  to  sing  at  high   dynamic  levels  while   minimizing  vibrato  and   holding  to  “pure”  vowels
  20. 20. Vocal  Fatigue“My  students  come  from  rehearsal  and  are  totally  worn  out  for  their  lesson.” “The  voice  teacher  keeps   telling  several  of  my  sopranos   just  to  mouth  the  words.”
  21. 21. Two  Types  of  Vocal  Fatigue •  Muscle  fatigue •  Tissue  fatigue
  22. 22. D.D.  Michael/Lyons  Voice  Clinic •  Like  our  bodies,  our  voices  have  individual   strengths  and  weaknesses. •  Some  vocal  mechanisms  are  made  of  “cast   iron”,  some  are  made  of  “porcelain.” •  Cast  iron  is  NOT  BETTER  than  porcelain.    A   delicate  vocal  mechanism  can  be  a  good  thing. •  Don’t  compare  one  person’s  vocal  endurance   to  another’s.     •  Louder  voices  are  not  necessarily  more   talented  (nor  do  they  necessarily  have  more   stamina).
  23. 23. Avoiding  Conflicting  Statements •  Variety •  Cool  down •  LOOK  as  well  as  listen •  Communicate •  Vocal  Distress  Meetings? •  Students  are  still  learning  to   manage  their  voices
  24. 24. Vocal  FatiguePoor  planning  on  our  part  DOES  create  vocal  emergency  on  our   students’  parts.
  25. 25. Terminology“Voice  teachers  tell  my  students  I  am  asking  them  to  sing  too  quietly  in  the  piano  passages,  and  with  too  little  vibrato  in  the  loud  passages.” “My  singers  are  always  asked  to   ‘tone  it  down  ,’  taking  the  ‘soloist’   out  of  the  voice  by  reducing  the   singer’s  formant  and  inhibiting   their  natural  vibrato.”
  26. 26. Terminology•  Misunderstanding  of   acoustics  and  resonance  is   pervasive  from  both  sides.•  Nasality•  Formants
  27. 27. Vocal  “Gold”“I  hear  the  choir  rehearsing  the  same  phrase  over  and  over,  wasting  vocal  gold  through  needless  repetition.” “If  singers  are  vocal  athletes,  I   need  to  work  on  timing  and   stamina  like  a  sports  coach   would.    If  we  have  to  repeat   sections  to  get  everyone  on  task,   it  simply  must  be  done.”
  28. 28. Outside  Activities“The  choir  tour  always  rules  and  my  students  have  to  miss   NATS  auditions  and  other  competitions.”“The  high  school  musical  was  scheduled  the  same  weekend   as  NATS/MTNA/Music  Club  auditions  preventing  my   students  from  participating.”“During  opera  staging  and  tech  week  I  basically  lose  two   weeks  of  productive  rehearsal  because  my  singers  are   simply  worn  out.”“I  hear  from  students:    ‘We  are  having  a  NATS  competition   and  so  I  cannot  sing  in  choir  today.’”
  29. 29. Outside  Activities•  HS  directors:    Involve  voice  teachers  of   your  students  in  annual  planning.•  Annual  planning  should  involve   ensemble,  opera,  AND  voice  teachers.•  Consider  a  cycle  for  major  works/larger   operas,  etc.•  Be  prepared  for  the  inevitable  “special   opportunity.”•  Most  NATS  and  choral  events  are   planned  well  in  advance.
  30. 30. THANKS!Download  this  presentation  and  a  handout  version  and  continue  the   conversation  at: http://acda.nats.org allen@nats.org
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