On Retraction & Depression, Muscular and Otherwise - The Liberated Voice

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05/07/2015

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Sarasmusicstudio.wordpress.com

Thank you for this article, Claudia. You've highlighted a couple of the biggest issues in the vocal world: that we have a huge amount of terminology that may or may not be used the same from one teacher to the next, and also that misunderstandings in terminology often lead to pedagogical disputes that too often result in a wider rift between teaching styles (and teachers, unfortunately).

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and expertise here. I've said time and again to colleagues... it's less about the words that we use and more about the ideas that we are trying to express by using those words. Terminology varies widely, and while we certainly should do our best to use our words clearly and precisely, we should also keep an open mind as to the *meaning* behind the words so that we can continue to bridge the gaps between pedagogies.

Claudia Friedlander

Voice teachers use words like "support," "placement," "cover" etc. that do not have agreed-upon biomechanical definitions and may mean very different things to different singers/teachers. This is one reason why in my own teaching I do my best to describe things objectively, using appropriate anatomical descriptions for what is actually happening. Because singers experience such wildly varying sensations and different levels/kinds of awareness of what is going on while they're singing, *they* have to use very personal and subjective language to describe what is going on. But as a teacher I have to do my best to translate what they're saying into objective anatomical terms, at least for the sake of my own understanding.

Scientific and biomechanical terminology should *not* vary from one teacher to the next. I agree that in an article discussing anatomical details, I should not have been ambiguous in the way I used the word "depress". I'm not arguing for more flexible use of pedagogical terminology - I will be more precise in the way I use this language going forward. I was just dumbfounded that Martha volunteered this correction while having nothing whatsoever to say about the content of my article, especially considering that she has herself been researching solutions for tongue tension issues recently.

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