My journey of re-educating myself about the human voice has reminded me that many aspects of vocal production remain a mystery. Due to the relentlessness of voice scientists and researchers, we are learning more, little by little. Research published over the past ten years is providing voice teachers with some ground-shaking information that—if known and embraced—can move voice teaching as a whole further away from mystery.
When we use the word “mystery,” we‘re generally referring to something hidden from our understanding. In addition, an archain meaning of “mystery” is the contraction of the Latin word ministerium or “ministry.” Although strongly tied to religion, “ministry” broadly refers to an act of service to another.
These two definitions have provided me with some fodder for thinking about the role of the voice teacher in the life of the voice student. It is my conviction that my vocation is to serve my students in the solving of any mysteries that rob them of their joy in singing. I believe my job is, as Estill Voice Training says: “Replace mystery with knowledge.” I often tell my students, “My job is to equip you with a foundation of knowledge so that you can identify problems and find solutions on you own, thereby not needing my services on a continual basis.” It is my pleasure to minister/serve my students in this way.
If this approach to voice training sounds interesting and exciting to you, please contact me.