The act of creating beautiful sounds from your own instrument is a profound experience. To be able to share one’s voice with others deepens the act. The more introspective one is, the more one can be open to the depth of a voice lesson with Arden. She draws upon all aspects of her students’ humanness and expertly challenges each student’s self-knowledge.
Being truly present, available for constructive criticism, willing to take instruction, and open to change, are traits that are encouraged and immensely helpful to the process of a voice lesson. It is thrilling and joyous to approach the physical act of singing, as well as the interpretative role as a conduit for the composer and lyricist/poet, with an open mind and an open heart.
Dreams are messages sent by talent.
Barbara Sher, author
The inspiration to open your mouth and sing comes from deep within. If you find yourself in a Vocal Studio ready to take instruction, you more-than-likely belong there.
Use that which works to inform that which doesn’t.
Each vocal exercise I assign students has a specific purpose, and many exercises are custom tailored to meet the needs of that individual. Initially, when I identify a challenge in a student’s technique, I find a strength that matches it and assign an exercise to bolster the strength. Over time, the student gains mastery of the weakness. We then are able to move on to the next level of mastery.
Singing is sustained speech.
With that in mind, I address the total body, person, and patterns of speech. Looking for areas that need development in posture, speech production, attitudes toward self, time management skills and self-concept, among others, and over time using pedagogic tools to address these areas, the goal is that singing becomes an integral part of the person and their life. Just as breath management comes from examining how a student breathes when speaking, supporting a vocal line starts with identifying if the student is speaking in a healthy fashion.
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
One’s self-concept impacts patterns of speech, timbre, placement and overall vocal health. A healthy self-concept leads to life patterns that are healthy. I emphasize the need for consistent rest, hydration, healthy eating habits, recreation and physical exercise. Thinking of the “body voice” informs my approach to pedagogy. A practice regimen that is realistic and practically integrated into one’s daily life is most effective.
“Warming-up” the vocal instrument begins the moment one arises each morning. If healthy patterns of daily living are established, the vocal instrument is ready to be used with a simple and applied set of exercises, most of them physical in nature. I call these “Pre-vocalizing warm-ups,” and my students find that they are successful before daily practice sessions, auditions, concerts and performances.
My goals for each student include:
Healthy, beautiful and expressive singing
An intimate knowledge of their voice and vocal production