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Welcome to the 2017 Northwest Voice Conference: The Art & Science of the Performing Voice! The conference is in Alder Auditorium at 1310 40th St NE, west of the UW Campus.
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Friday, April 21 • 11:15am - 12:15pm
You Can’t Tap Dance in Pointe Shoes: Considerations for Technique and Treatment for Classical and Contemporary Singing Styles

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There is unfortunately a long history of classical singing bias in Western voice pedagogy, in which contemporary vocal techniques such as belting have been shunned and maligned as “dangerous,” “harmful,” or “pathological.”  Classical singing was thought by many to be the highest form of singing, applicable to any other singing tradition.  Fortunately, we now know better, as there is abundant evidence demonstrating that belting is no more inherently “harmful” for the voice than classical singing, and that the techniques for each differ acoustically and physiologically in significant ways. However, old habits die hard, and there is still much to be clarified in terms of application of this knowledge in the studio and clinic.

Dance provides a useful analogy: everyone knows that years of studying classical ballet will not automatically prepare a dancer for a career in tap, and vice versa.  Although athletes will often benefit from cross training, the necessary skill for one sport does not automatically translate to another without training.  The same principles are true of singing: different styles require different training, but with appropriate training, singers may cross styles safely, successfully and effectively.  

This presentation will briefly review the history of classical singing pedagogy and the relatively recent emergence of pedagogy for contemporary singing styles.  Additional topics will include: 

  • Physiologic and acoustic characteristics of classical and contemporary singing
  • Aesthetic ideals for different singing styles and implications for the studio/clinic
  • Typical training backgrounds and practice habits of singers who engage in different singing styles
  • Comparison of performance expectations and vocal load across styles
  • The facts about singing style and voice injury
  • Developing and implementing effective rehabilitation plans for singers of differing styles

Learning objectives:

Attendees will:

  1. Describe the major differences in physiologic and acoustic characteristics of classical and contemporary singing
  2. Articulate differences in aesthetic ideals for different singing styles and implications for teaching singing/voice therapy
  3. Enumerate possible differences in training backgrounds of singers who engage in different singing styles and implications for teaching singing/voice therapy
  4. Compare performance expectations and vocal load across styles and implications for vocal health
  5. Describe appropriate exercise/therapy regimens for singers of classical and contemporary singing styles

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Leda Scearce

Dr. Leda Scearce

Speech/Language Pathologist, Duke University Medical Center
Soprano Leda Scearce has been featured in leading roles with the National Opera Company, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Long Leaf Opera Festival, Triangle Opera, the Ohio Light Opera Company and Whitewater Opera Company, and has appeared as concert soloist with orchestras including the North... Read More →


Friday April 21, 2017 11:15am - 12:15pm
Alder Commons Auditorium 1310 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA, 98105