At the core of my current teaching philosophy is the necessity to practice a holistic methodology in serving my singers: one that is respectful of the interaction between the physical, intellectual, and psychological components affecting the art of singing. Those of us who perform regularly understand the effects of issues in any one of the above criteria on expressive singing. A singer's voice is so personal that their self-identity is often determined by the quality of their vocal instrument, regardless of whether they are speaking or singing. For this reason I feel compelled to create a healthy, non-judgmental environment for voice students to "take risks" as they creatively explore the abilities and limitations of their unique voices.
The creative journey that the student and teacher embark on needs to be tailored to each student's current vocal needs. The challenge is finding numerous ways to help students understand or visualize a concept necessary for their vocal improvement in such a way that they can duplicate the process without me in the practice room, or teach the concept to someone else. Without intellectual understanding of basic singing concepts (including breath management, onset, resonation, registration, articulation and flexibility), talented singers will find themselves dealing with vocal difficulties later in their careers as they encounter effects from aging, health problems, stressful life situations, or performance demands from challenging repertoire and an exhaustive singing schedule.
I encourage my students to become full partners with me in their vocal development, so that they eventually reach the moment where they are competent to "teach" themselves and others.