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Methodological Approaches To Singing Lessons

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  Articles > Methodological Approaches To Singing Lessons
Muse with Lyre
Muse with Lyre
      Vocal repertoire has its singularities and specific characteristics when compared to instrumental music. The singer doesn’t sing the music exclusively, the words he/she sings demand a special approach to be understood and experienced as an aesthetic phenomenon. Therefore, the application of a wide range of methodological resources can be very helpful to the process of preparing vocal music for performance, specially those that consider experiential approaches.

      However, the main reason that justifies the application of methodological resources based on experiential approaches in teaching vocal music, besides dealing with the poetic side of the composition, is the fact that, when we sing, our whole being, in its ‘body-mind-soul’ totality, becomes a musical instrument moved by the desire to communicate and express the artistry of vocal music.

      Experiential approaches as methodological resources mean the actions taken to provoke the singer’s perception, making him/her live and experience the feelings and motivations of his/her character or persona of the song he/she is performing. These resources have a strong interdisciplinary profile, and may have relation to theatre and/or dancing techniques which can give the singer the opportunity to see and to feel the vocal music in a creative way, awakening or refining his/her vocal expressiveness which will widen his/her musical and artistic horizons.

Singer with a Glove
"Singer with a Glove" by E.Degas (1878)
      It is important to say that all these non-musical approaches do not substitute the work with the melody, rhythm, harmony of the vocal music, or the work with diction and intonation of the phrases, or even the comprehension of style, music history, etc. On the contrary, the experiential methodological approach will support the normal program of study, and will certainly help to render the whole process more comprehensible and efficient.

Teatro San Carlo
The Teatro San Carlo in Naples (Italy)
      If we unfold creatively each component of the composition, we will broaden the expressive possibilities, making contact and communicating with other artistic languages. In this way, the singer will think in an extended way about his/her musical instrument, not focusing only on his/her technical shortcomings, but on the pleasure of singing and expressing the vocal music and himself/herself through it. This approach to music has the result of relaxing possible tensions of the body, producing in most cases the best possible technical achievement of the singer or of the student at his/her level. Here it is very important to say that the work on the tone, achieving an optimal technical skill in singing, is an indispensable work in the classroom, and is the source of all artistic possibilities in singing. Once again, the relevance of the work with experiential methodology is achieved when it is used as a complement to all the already established vocal pedagogy.

      The art of singing shows us that it is not possible to separate the object of study from the subject that studies it. When we deal with a vocal composition, analyzing its components and its background, and searching for the best ways to interpret this composition, we strive to bring it to life. However, we can only communicate and express the vocal composition we are about to study, when this work becomes part of ourselves and when it is a component of our personal experience. This way we can transform and renew the possibilities of interpretation of vocal music.


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