© 2017 Bonnie Hart

Teaching Philosophy.

Welcome to my voice studio where you will find comfort and encouragement while pursuing your vocal development. Singing takes an extraordinary amount of PASSION, PERSISTENCE, DEDICATION and VULNERABILITY! I vow only to teach the student who loves to sing and has the desire to learn.

I feel so blessed to be surrounded by amazing voices every day. I find it a privilege to teach the art of classical singing.  With so many genres in our society, it is imperative that singers have strong classical training from the beginning to insure long lasting vocal health.  It is my delight to find the key to how each of my students learns.  Every one of us has a special and unique way of seeing the world.  This of course includes hearing the world.  Although the feeling of resonance and breath support technique remain the same; the metaphors in which to understand them change.  For example, if you are a visual learner, we draw a lot and find ways to ‘see’ sound. 

I am in the occupation of creating artists, or rather cultivating artistry.  Once the courage to let go of sounding like someone else is understood, then a free and honest quality of sound will inhabit the voice. Allowing the artist to be more of themselves all the while inhabiting the characters they sing with greater clarity and empathy.

One of the methods I have created is the concept of ‘sound relationships’.  More than singing, we are sound makers. Understanding the similarities in sensation between genres is essential for a singer to find their own voice.  Being able to say, “I know the difference between when I sing musical theater and when I sing Opera” is a statement select few professionals can even answer.  I, however, want my students to know the difference so they can make the right choice without a shred of confusion and frustration in their classical singing.  Similar to the scientific method we must ask ourselves, what is the same and what is different?

Vocal rehabilitation is another area I thrive in teaching. Many of us come to vocal training with a lot of tensions; Jaw tension, tongue tension, laryngeal tension etc.   This calls for two options to properly rehabilitate the voice. 

The first option is to completely give up all movement and tension in your body; focusing all your attention on the breath.  This is of course effective, but a long process that few have the focus for.   Some students thrive this way however. The second option is to redirect the movement that you wish to change.  Like a child who is playing too close to the stove, it is important to redirect them so that their play is in a safe and appropriate environment.  This is my forte and what I do best.  It tends to move students along quite quickly with the same results as the first option.

Emotional expectations

I love getting to know each and every one of my students.   It is vital to build a strong trust relationship between teacher and student.  You may find your vocal development touches upon your emotional development as well.  Expect to venture outside of your bubble and comfort zone.  Remember you are your instrument!  To find your voice is to discover and rediscover parts of yourself.  In the end singing can be a wonderful physical and emotional release! 

This process of discovery continues in understanding the characters you sing. One finds perspective in noticing the similarities and differences between themselves and their characters.   In the end, you learn about people; how they think and why they do what they do.  This knowledge is invaluable in life for interpersonal relationships and the empathy for those that seem too complicated for most to understand.  The true lesson is understood when you are able to find equal compassion for yourself as you do your characters.

 

Performances

As performers we must find a way to give back the gift we’ve been given.  I have found when a performer is in the midst of generosity, one’s own ego is more willing to let go.  This ‘letting go’ allows anxiety to be lessened and the performer has a greater vocal ability with less tension and stress.