My approach to singing is one of Arts and Sciences. I never learned so much about singing as when I took the Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing during my studies as a Post-Baccalaureate student of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Throughout my undergraduate years of vocal studies, although I had excellent training in many ways, I had never been exposed to the voice as a science. I had never seen the anatomy of the vocal structure, or the respiratory structures that aid it (the diaphragm, the lungs, etc.). With just one course, I became enlightened to a new way of singing: a more aware, and thus, freer way of singing. I still baffle at how a student can study the voice, but not know what their instrument looks like. I was able to draw conclusions about my own singing voice based on the way in which the systems work together. I was able to recognize why teachers used metaphoric terms like “chest voice” and “head voice” to describe where to direct your sound.
Because of my visual understanding of the voice, my methods of teaching and singing have been made easy! I believe that if singers can visualize what their voices are doing, and if they understand how their systems work, they will be able to better control and produce the sounds they desire. This process, of course, takes training and practice, but will be one of full knowledge and without guess-work.