A month ago, I completed the mandatory New Zealand Managed Isolation Quarantine (“MIQ”). (New Zealand does not have Covid-19 in the community. Therefore, the country sets about quarantining every person who arrives in New Zealand from overseas, in isolation, for two weeks).

Naturally, during my time in MIQ, I could not vocalize. Therefore, I set about choosing to correct something about my singing that was silent: I was not maintaining a noble posture when I sang.

Once I was released from MIQ I began to integrate this new habit into my singing.

To cut to the chase, the noble posture is yielding results far beyond what I could have imagined. I can’t wait to post some sound files once I have a better space to record in. The noble posture was a habit I desperately needed in my singing. It has stabilized my body; a noble posture allows me to maintain appoggio.

For me, Vennard’s famous book ‘Singing: The Mechanism and the Technic’ sums up this positive change:

Mechanistic pedagogy is applied behavioristic psychology. Behaviorism is a philosophy based upon the famous experiments of Pavlov, who conditioned the salivary reflexes of dogs. This concept assumes that personality is the sum of simple units of behavior called reflexes, and that experience conditions these into various behavior patterns, various habits. The mechanistic voice teacher assumes that singing is a complex skill made up of simple skills, and that when a singer is less than perfect it is because one or more of these skills is deficient. He therefore sets about, first to analyze singing itself…and second to analyze each of his students to see which skills need development, what new habits must be formed and what old habits need to be changed.

Vennard, William. Singing: The Mechanism and the Technic. Carl Fischer. 1967. Para. 758.

Published by Deborah Wai Kapohe

I am a classical singer and guitarist. I have created a project called 'The Lilli Lehmann Project'. The project, lasting from 2020 until 2023, aims to refresh my voice and prepare me to be a singing teacher. The scope of the project is that I am studying Lilli Lehmann's singing book, bibliography, recordings and her reviews, as well as other historical vocal pedagogy. I have chosen this platform in order to blog about my discoveries, demonstrate techniques and exercises, and perform pieces of music. I have done so because I wish to be transparent. I think that if a student is prepared to learn from me then I should stand up to public scrutiny.

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