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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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To Admire or to Teach?

To Admire or to Teach?

21 To Admire or to Teach?
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter stresses the need for the voice teacher to find the right balance between letting the students know what already is admirable and diagnosing what is in need of correction. By the nature of his/her professional function, the teacher assumes the role of discerning critic, no matter what the level of the student. Keeping a necessary balance between correction and encouragement is challenging, but necessary. Every fine teacher is aware of the need to build the student's confidence, but to choose the easy route of making the student feel good all the time instead of the route of analysis and correction is not only nonproductive but involves a question of ethics. The primary goal of a teacher of singing is not to make the student momentarily happy but to provide instruction that makes future admiration possible. The most successful teachers are those who, aside from establishing a sympathetic relationship with a student, insist on teaching, not on flattering.

Keywords:   voice teacher, student, encouragement, confidence, singing, admiration

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