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Teaching Philosophy 


Photo: Divatography 

My goal as a voice teacher is to create a positive environment in my studio where my students can reach all of the goals that they set out to achieve.  It is important for my students to feel a warm, welcoming atmosphere, where they can make mistakes, take risks, and ask questions. The art of singing is a whole-body experience and it is essential for students to train and practice like an athlete would train for a high-level event.  I encourage my students to do some sort of physical activity that has an emphasis on the abdominal muscles (i.e. yoga, pilates, tai chi, weight routine), so that they feel what it is like to use the whole body as well as strengthen their core muscles. This directly relates to an appoggio based breath support, which is the technique I utilize in my own singing and in my studio.  I teach my students to use their entire body when they sing. I believe that students should practice physicality with gestures, so they can get connected to their whole body and feel a strong gravitational center.  As a voice teacher, I foster a healthy vocal technique and I believe that it is necessary for students to understand how the muscles work for inhalation, exhalation, and phonation. Utilizing gestures or movement will encourage the student to create a natural and free sound, so nothing is locked and can release tension.  In addition, I believe that it is important for students to have kinesthetic awareness of the process of singing. After a student has grasped a basic understanding of alignment, the body, and breathing, I tend to focus on phonation and resonance, especially having a clean onset after the inhalation.  Singing relies on good muscle coordination, so careful practice and patience is needed.  The process cannot be rushed, but I feel it has gotten easier as my teaching experience has increased. Students in my studio have a solid foundation, which can be applied to any style of music that they wish to sing.  

Every student has different needs and it is crucial to cater each lesson to the particular student.  Therefore, I find parallels in my student’s lives and singing. For example, if a student plays a sport, I use elements from that activity, which has aspects that are similar to vocal technique.  It is essential for students to be able to relate vocal technique to something that they understand well. The process of singing can at times be hard to grasp, especially for a beginning student, so it is very important to be able to connect it with something that is in a student’s daily routine.  I do not use the same set of technical tools for every student. Every singer learns differently and it is important to be aware of how each student learns and to then choose the appropriate tools that will best serve the student. As a teacher, I have a great responsibility to inspire my students and to encourage and support their journey.  

@2022 by Jamie O'Connor. All rights reserved. 

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