Voice Teaching Philosophy

There are a lot of different ideas out there about the singing voice.  Many people believe that you have to be born with the talent of a good voice to have it; others think it’s possible to develop it.  Everyone has their own opinion on what a “good voice” sounds like, usually dependent on the kind of music they like to listen to.  Some people think it is a waste of time and money to develop your voice, unless you are a professional singer.  Others believe that being able to sing how and what you want is one of the finest joys in life.

Obviously I am a fan of singing.  I have been doing it ever since I can remember and there are few other things that make me as happy in life.  I have dedicated many years of my life to training, performing and teaching singing in many different styles.  I cannot imagine my life without being able to sing whenever and whatever I want, and I have dedicated my own profession to helping others develop this fulfilling talent as well.

I come from a long line of musicians in my family: singers, pianists and instrumentalists who valued the ability to make music and shared it with their families.  In my own family growing up, my mom was a piano and violin teacher who taught daily lessons to each of her children starting at around age four.  Many of my fondest memories are standing around the piano in my house singing with my dad and other siblings as my mom accompanied.  While most of my 5 brothers and 1 sister are skilled musicians, I am the only one that ended up majoring in music in college and making it my career.  They all instead became doctors, engineers and architects.  As I think back on the choice I made, however, I cannot regret deciding to perform and teach music because it is what I enjoy doing.  Music has the ability to enliven this sometimes dull world, relieve the stress, and provide hours and hours of wholesome enjoyment.  And I am the lucky man who gets to bring this whole world of goodness into my students’ lives!

In teaching voice, I have developed a very “inclusionary” philosophy.  Unlike many other teachers who will only teach the styles that they like and the students that learn easily, I have always reached out and adapted my methods to meet my students’ individual goals and needs.  However, I always draw a sharp distinction between singing style (which can be changed to fit the different vocal genres) and technique (which is basically the same in all genres and keeps the voice safe and at it’s peak performing readiness).  Because I felt the age group was being either neglected or taught, dangerously inappropriate techniques, I created a new voice method for children that gave them real singing technique appropriately adjusted to their age.

I have taught opera singers, folk singers, metal singers, pop singers . . . you name it.  I have taught all of my students to succeed in the styles of their choice by giving them the core techniques that I have learned from training and research, and helping them apply them to whatever songs they want to sing.  Many of these students came to me because they were struggling with serious debilitating vocal issues that other voice teachers refused to touch.  By patiently going back and working on the basics of core technique, we were able to build their vocal talent and help them reach their dreams.

Being a voice teacher is really so much more than teaching people songs.  I am really a “voice mechanic” who has trained to be able to look under the hood, diagnose the problems and work with the student to get everything running smoothly.  I am also a music teacher in the broadest sense, in that I also teach my students to hear and then sing in tune, read music, and sing musically.  I sometimes put on the “acting coach” hat to help students sing and perform songs with appropriate actions and expression.  And sometimes I play the psychologist, helping students overcome any mental blocks that are holding them back and instilling in them the confidence to perform in public.  All of this and more is par for the course of voice lessons.

My students have always become my friends.  How could they not with such an intimate soul-baring process and learning to sing?  I enjoy my time with them and do my best to answer all of their needs.  If you ever have a questions or concern3, please do not hesitate to drop me a line at greg@gbmusic.me.

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