Saturday, April 16, 2022

Lessons Learned

For some reason I have been watching a lot of Joyce Didonato master classes on YouTube lately. They are wonderful. At one point, I think I approached her people with the idea of watching them all and distilling her teaching into one article, but that never happened. 

Well, it's happening now.

Everything comes down to these principles:

  1. I used this photo a number of years ago
    for another article. 
    Photo:  Paul Dukovic
    Make sure your technique is rock solid. Do what it takes, even if it means making a painful change in your life. Your vocal technique must be so automatic that you no longer think about, while still thinking about it all the time.
  2. Do the work, do the work, do the work. Know what you are singing so thoroughly that you can sing it backwards hopping on whatever foot a director asks you to, on alternate Tuesdays and Thursday upon presentation of visiting card. (A quarter for anyone who gets that reference.) Practice 40 different ways to interpret each phrase, and then practice 40 more.
  3. Use the language. Know which words deserve special emphasis. Make yourself uncomfortable with how much you emphasize the language. Use the consonants while keeping phrasing and legato and a sense of arc for the entire aria or role--it's not a contradiction if your breath is moving in a healthy way. People will rarely advise you to do less. 
  4. Take the right actions and let go of the results.  True for all of life, really.

There. Feel free to pay me $200/hr now, like many teachers and coaches charge.

Many great artists give similar advice, but few do it so eloquently and with a such a sense of understanding for the process of a young singer that we hear from dear Joyce. 

I am, and have always been, Pro-Joyce!

Here is an amazing example:

No comments: