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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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Vocal Tea Parties of the Private and Public Sorts

Vocal Tea Parties of the Private and Public Sorts

44 Vocal Tea Parties of the Private and Public Sorts
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that having a good time at private or public instruction is commendable, but that the teaching of singing is at its best when teacher and student have specific goals in mind. It compares pedagogical generalities, vague suggestions, and personal pleasantries to the old-fashioned tea party held on the lawn in the lazy mid-afternoon of a mild summer day. Voice lessons, whether private or public, must be treated as matters of consequence, not as vocal tea parties. Studying singing means acquiring the technical means for singing, and as soon as any student seeks professional assistance, professional responses are in order. Because vocal pedagogy is not a monolithic structure with a uniform set of concepts and techniques, there is always the temptation for the invited master teacher to avoid conflict in public gatherings of voice teachers by offering “tea-party coaching” and “interpretation,” regardless of the singer's technical level.

Keywords:   teaching, singing, voice lessons, vocal pedagogy, public gatherings, voice teachers, tea-party coaching, interpretation

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