Did you know that Pat Brush, our director, is also a voice teacher? We’re very lucky to have her!
“I help the student find the natural production of their voice that is sustainable throughout their life”, says Pat. She learned the “natural” method of singing from a teacher who was taught by renowned mezzo-soprano Giulietta Simionato in Milan.
The “natural” method was the way opera singers sang in the days of Enrico Caruso (around 1920). With time, it became fashionable to sing louder, thus putting more and more strain on the vocal cords. That greatly increases the risk of injury, which explains why modern day pop stars such as Adele often loose their voice and require vocal cord surgery.
See this article in The Guardian for a more detailed description of the vocal method (re-)discovered by Lisa Paglin and Marianna Brilla in the 1970s. It contains a comparison of “O Sole Mio” performed by Caruso and contemporary singer Rolando Villazón (who has suffered multiple vocal injuries).
Well, it’s taken me a year to find this article but I’m glad I did. The “natural” method I believe is what my young teacher is reintroducing me to. At 70 I’m taking voice lessons again and it’s not easy. It’s also not easy to accept that my top notes (mezzo-soprano) are not there anymore. Growing old is not for sissy’s! This article as well as the one referenced in The Guardian are eye opening. I’ve been struggling because I am not fitting in the with the “contemporary” style of singing (loud and louder) and welcome the “natural” method.
I’m 73, not a singer but would like to be. Where do I begin?
How do I know if a teacher is “natural method”?
I reside in Central Florida.
No, getting old isn’t for sissies 🙂