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BA, Swarthmore College, Linguistics and Biology
2011 - Performed with Arabic Music Ensemble
2013 - Performed Afropop/Avant Garde Neoclassical Composition at Swarthmore College
2014 - Deep Water (Jazz Band: Currently Lead Vocalist)
2014 - Brinjal Band (Middle Eastern Fusion Band: Currently a Lead Vocalist)
I'm your friendly neighborhood nerd whose geekbait of choice happens to be the linguistic, psychoacoustic, anatomical, sociological (the list goes on) workings of the human voice. My academic background in music and voice (9 years classical piano, BA in Linguistics and Biology with a premed concentration, various choirs, Arabic Music Ensemble, Self Study with interviews with top voice researchers) is as unique as my custom catered curriculum will be to YOU. I apply CONCRETE research from any and ALL fields of study concerning vocal production to ensure efficacy in my curricula towards the end goal of making you sound as close to the singing voice you hear in your head as is SCIENTIFICALLY possible.
My very first voice student ever is still very near and dear to my heart... he was not born with this supposed magic singing gene that often mystifies singing as some exclusive bloodline art form. He sang in a couple choirs but canonical pedagogy never taught him melisma like Stevie Wonder, use the brassy aryepiglottic sphincter posturing of Amy Winehouse, or how to use whistle tones after puberty like Mariah Carey.... just the standard posture and diction. By learning the anatomical mechanics of these understudied techniques and tonal modifications, along with patiently catering to his individual learning style, he learned how to do these things and more. Having no natural background in singing, this student himself actually taught me how to teach from the ground up. I have carried this insight from private lessons at my alma mater in 2011 to my present studio position, which is open to ALL genres as I have taught this student the elasticity to handle the vocal demands of just about every genre I have ever experienced. I take great pride in this, but I knew things would only get better from that first student.... seeing as he is me.
For students eleven and up: I like to start off with a clean sample of my student's singing voice. This sample is preferentially analyzed before the bias of extensive student-teacher contact. My analysis dissects and profiles the voice for any damaging vocal behaviors which are addressed immediately through reconditioning, stylistic propensities and proficiencies, areas for growth, and affinity towards given genres. I explain this analysis to the student upon meeting, after which I inquire about their vocal history and goals. If timbre is among their initial salient vocal goals, I target this first so to increase compliance with drills for subsequent goals (if students like what they hear when they do drills, they are more likely to do them). In this event, I mitigate their current timbral propensities with that of the student's intially desired genre. The targets here include aryepiglottic sphincter contractility, ventricular fold contractility, velar closure, tongue posturing, as well as pharyngeal volume. After accomplishing this, we move on to ground work in technique and ornamentation, usually expanding and/or connecting ranges and registration and learning ornamentations (to include note attacks and offsets, vibrato, tremolo, flutter melisma, yodeled passagios) upon which the student helps decide. As the student establishes mastery with these principle timbral settings and techniques, new ones are introduced to the student and evaluated by them for entry into the curriculum. Through personal engagement and customization, I do my best to assure that each segment of curriculum I introduce feels relevant and exciting to each student. For younger students: The approach here varies more widely, but has a consistent basis on implicit learning. Through mimicry and discussion, students take a hands on exploratory approach to vocalization, challenging themselves to imitate increasingly difficult noises as I attempt to expanding their internal concept of how their voice works. In addition, I tend to like to do implicit work on scales and timing.
Strangely, my goal is not to teach students how to "sing". Singing is not some monolithic entity that one can tether to a singular result. Rather, as a teacher I strive to equip my students with the toolset to vocalize as befits the musical tasks they may undertake. Whether that means learning to execute vibrato on a strohbass C2, or if that means modifying a flageolet B6 into a metal scream with a strident dist tone, I am here with the research and first hand vocal experience to help you reach YOUR specific goals.
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