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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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The “Tricky” Teacher

The “Tricky” Teacher

9 The “Tricky” Teacher
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that “tricky teaching” not based on principles of mechanical freedom may cause detrimental reactions in the singing voice. Given the diversity of vocal problems and the individuality of the singing voice, it may at times appear that no two voices can be taught in the same general fashion. On the contrary, every voice must obey certain functional laws if freedom is to result. Compensatory “tricks” may randomly be attempted, and on occasion may momentarily serve to correct some technical problem. Imaginative teaching is necessary, but inventive teaching based on chance exploration of adjustments to the singing voice is plain wrong. Too often it is erroneously believed that such “creative” teaching is easier than taking time to learn how the vocal instrument really works. However, all technical suggestions must be judged against the measurement of functional freedom. Playing “tricks” on a singing voice is not part of the game rules of any respectable vocal pedagogy.

Keywords:   tricky teaching, mechanical freedom, singing voice, singing, inventive teaching, functional freedom, vocal pedagogy

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