Teaching

As a voice instructor, I believe each student is different and needs a slightly modified pedagogical approach. I adjust my teaching to meet the specific needs of each student. Creating a safe, open, and mutually respectfully learning environment that promotes collaboration is paramount. I strive to teach my students to sing healthfully with their best voice while maintaining a respect for accomplished singers, both past and present. The teaching of singing involves a holistic approach in terms of voice, mind, body, intellect, interests, and goals. I strive to foster confidence, creativity, and self-expression in my students. Vocal exercises and repertoire should be assigned to address these needs. Students must play an active role in their voice instruction, and understand for what purpose exercises and repertoire are assigned in order to promote future independence as a musician.

 

Students should understand their instrument and how it functions. In the case of singers, an understanding of anatomy is paramount. I use an anatomical-based approach. Building the skills needed to produce proper vocal technique is an investment, on the part of the student and the teacher in each voice.

Perfect practice makes perfect. Students should be taught how to practice, as this is not an innate skill. Monitoring student progress through regular evaluation is a must. The most important skill I can teach my students is self-evaluation. The ultimate goal of vocal training is to make the role of the teacher obsolete.

 

I have the particular experience of teaching internationally, and therefore understand that music is not a universal language, but instead a universal experience. I use this perspective to encourage the respect of international genres, particularly those rooted in tradition. My students have successfully studied multiple genres of singing simultaneously, for example: Western-classical, CCM, Hindustani-classical, Carnatic, and Qawwali.

Above all, I am committed to mentoring student growth and development through an environment that promotes discipline, positivity, honesty, and support.

Dr. Smith is currently accepting new students through LeGrand Music Studios in Knoxville, TN.
Online lessons are available. For those ages 10-18, online classes and lessons are available through Outschool.
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