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On the Art of Singing$
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Richard Miller

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195098259.001.0001

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11 McPedagogy
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the so-called vocal McPedagogy, a form of nonsubstantive instruction in singing. McPedagogy consists of quick solutions, tricks, and gimmicks, largely based on mythological notions as to how the vocal instrument works. It is Pedagogy with Ease, pulled out of a bag of idiosyncratic invention, an alluring will-o'-the-wisp that entices many insecure voice teachers and singers. Popular “How to Sing” manuals and articles, with recipes for serving up fast nourishment for choral and solo singers, currently abound. McPedagogy is the quick fix for the problems of the singing voice, and fails to take into account the two basic principles of technical instruction: diagnosis and prescription. McPedagogy is on the way out, both in American and European vocal circles. The artist-teacher who requests that the student think purple or chartreuse, or who requests that floating tones emerge from chimneys on tops of heads, is no longer taken seriously. Today's student wants specific information, not McPedagogy.

Keywords:   singing, vocal McPedagogy, voice teachers, singers, singing voice, technical instruction, diagnosis, prescription

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