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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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Pedagogical Clothing for the Emperor and Empress

Pedagogical Clothing for the Emperor and Empress

8 Pedagogical Clothing for the Emperor and Empress
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the proliferation of so-called “master classes” presented by performing artists who normally do not teach. One grows increasingly weary of the questionable subjective advice proffered young students by successful artists who know how to assemble into one psychological gesture their own personal experiences but not how to communicate that gesture to others. Advice such as “believe in yourself,” “listen to your own emotions,” “follow your instincts,” “just think about the text,” and “be carried by the drama” has little value when the young, talented singer is wishing he or she could better manage an evenly modulated scale, or that his or her remaining tongue, jaw, and neck tensions could be resolved. One does not go simply into teaching just because he or she is capable of singing beautifully. Master teaching results from the acquisition of pedagogical information and skill, not from performance career success. To confuse performance charisma with masterful pedagogy is to exclaim over the beauty of the naked monarch's clothing.

Keywords:   master classes, performing artists, singing, master teaching, performance, pedagogy

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