This site is a special place for my students, friends and colleagues. I will share thoughts, and I will also share musical examples on this site.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reason number 1.12 billion to hate NATS

I grow tired of hearing, "NATS is good for the students."

In what way? To learn early that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can put out a shingle that says "Voice Teacher" and get the chance to tell young people what's what? To learn early that 98% of people teaching Voice have do bloody clue as to what they are listening for, or what they're talking about?

Having a few high notes does not a voice make. A trained horn will be uniform from top to bottom. For people in Alabama, that means that it will sound like one voice from the bottom register to the uppermost extent of the voice.

It also means, that in the midst of the training, you should go from sounding like a child to sounding like an adult with depth and color throughout. If I hear one more senior woman with absolutely NO bottom or core in her voice, and still sounds like she is a sophomore in High School, I will vomit.

Singing is work, and sometimes, especially with big voices, it will sound like work. Our job is to make the audience think it's easy.

One piece of advice I could give any young singer: Really research the teacher that you want to work with. The biggest problem with vocal music in the academic circles is that you definitely don't get your money's worth. Why is that? It's because the vast majority of collegiate teachers should be working at McDonalds or finding a sugar daddy to care for them in their old age. It is a certain waste of money, unless it is Yale, MSM, Julliard, or possibly Indiana.

Check the teacher out first. See if you are compatible, and if you can learn from them Then, when you begin lessons, surrender your voice to them. Listen to them and try what they are offering. Especially when it works when they show you...

1 comment:

  1. Wow - I have been reading through your blog and am amazed by how much I agree and empathize with you. I am also a singer/teacher, and cannot stand the state of either in this country.

    NATS has such an opportunity provide quality teachers with the means to advertise their skills (through certification, curriculum development, etc.), but instead just exists to accept our dues and then invite us to conferences. In other words - they just exist to make a dime off of any kind of voice teacher. They leave students completely unprotected from bad teaching, of which there is entirely too much!!!

    Maybe if enough of us feel strongly enough about this we can effect some change. I am doing my best to get like-minded people together over here in Los Angeles to fix that very thing. Do you attend the conferences?

    Anyway, good luck with your endeavors, and thanks for your comment on my blog.