Training

EILEEN FARRELL
EILEEN FARRELL

It was a great privilege to study with EILEEN FARRELL at THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MUSIC. Miss Farrell was one of the greatest voices of the 20th Century. I loved while at my voice lessons she would share stories from her glorious career. My favorite was one of Toscanini during a performance. He placed a finger to his heart as if to a violin string indicating that she put more of her soul into the sound. Singing from the heart. There is no greater singing lesson to learn. Miss Farrell was more than my vocal instructor. She became a mother to me, and insisted I call her nothing else but “Ma”. I have a pin on my piano from one of her CD Premiers Parties. It says Eileen Farrell’s Here. Yes, she will always be with me.

New York City

Conrad Osborne
Conrad Osborne

When I moved to New York City, I met CONRAD L. ORBORNE and continued to study with him for the next 20 years. Conrad is an opera critic and has a depth of knowledge about voice and opera unparalleled to anyone I have ever met. It seemed he had every recording of every opera role by every singer who ever sang it. He grew up in the balcony of the old Metropolitan Opera House and heard every great voice of that era. Conrad guided me through all aspects of the technical and as well as experiential applications of the voice. It was an invaluable evolutionary process from one level of vocal development to another. Conrad was not easy to please. All we did in the studio was strive for perfection.

REGISTRATION

Conrad was a vocal pupil of CORNELIUS REID, the legendary voice teacher and pedagogue. Reid’s teaching was based on the books of the singing masters of the Bel Canto era. It was also based on the natural physiology of the vocal apparatus. Registration work focuses on the smooth and balanced unification of the head and chest coordinations within the larynx, overcoming the differences and yet reflecting the influences of both.

BREATHING

I feel that the journey to becoming a teacher evolves through the mastery of one’s own challenges. One of those challenges for me was breathing, which led me to the works of CARL STOUGH and KRISTEN LINKLATER. Carl was a renowned choir director in the 1960’s in New York City. His expertise was sought out by NY Presbyterian Hospital for their emphysema patients. His breathing technique helped many of those patients walk out of that hospital. These exercises get the toxins out, help restrictive muscles relax, and allow plenty of oxygen in. Kristen Linklater’s work created the foundation for gently freeing the breathing body and opening the natural voice. I have devised many of my own exercises through the years searching for the perfect approach for each individual. We are wind instruments. Everything is breath…

RESONANCE

Understanding which muscles we need for singing and which muscles we don’t need is crucial for the production of free sound. We carry tensions everywhere in the body, and it is a puzzle for most of us to pinpoint the ones that are getting in our way. Sometimes, all we need to do is let go. Discovering the work of DAVID BLAIR McCLOSKY was a revelation for me. The quality of our sound is greatly influenced by our acoustics. Possessing muscular inner awareness and relaxation is essential for optimum and free sound.

BOBBY MCFERRIN
BOBBY MCFERRIN

JAZZ

BOBBY McFERRIN embodies the art of Improvisation. I was so fortunate to study with him at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, and it was love at first sight. With Bobby, I experienced the unbounded joy and freedom of improvisation. It felt like being let out of a straight jacket and set free to fly into the vocal universe. I was hooked, and continued to study jazz and improv with two wonderful improvisational artists, RHIANNON and KIRK NUROCK. Rhiannon is a force of nature. There is no place she can’t or won’t go with her voice, and she always lands on her feet. Kirk is a loving and sensitive artist who gave me the technical grounding for jazz improvisation. Every step with him was non-judgmental. With jazz, you have to feel safe enough to play like a child without the fear of falling. That is how you learn.

WHOLENESS

A significant element of vocal freedom is found in the search for mind/body/spirit wholeness. It is the journey inward that enables us to freely unveil ourselves to the world. This is a personal journey beyond the studio, and one in which each individual must find his or her own path. That which you are, so you express and experience. Who we are in each moment affects the sound that emerges from us. As one becomes whole and free on the inside, so does one’s voice blossom. The teaching that I value most of all was from the IM SCHOOL FOR THE HEALING ARTS where I was ordained as a Certified Energy Healer. It was there I learned that we have blockages within us on many levels that can be cleared. I continue the study of energy with Sufi Master ADNAN SARHAN. Adnan is an Enlightened Master. I am so grateful for his teachings and presence in my life. Energy has no boundries. It is through and around us and affects the self on every level of functioning. This knowledge infuses my teaching.

THE MUSIC

And then to the song! Understanding of the dramatic elements of the composition is what brings a song to life. Each song is a monologue with actions, objectives, imagery and personal substitutions. My 20 years in Musical Theatre has prepared me to share with you all that I have learned from the many of roles I have sung throughout my career.
ALL TRAINING IS IN PREPARATION TO GO BEYOND TRAINING. IT IS THE EFFORT WE MAKE TO REACH THE EFFORTLESS.

IN SUMMATION

As I strive to help as many singers as I can, and as a singer myself, I have been on a quest to understand the miraculous functioning of the body and voice. I’ve studied the works of Oren Brown, William Vennard, Marcella Marchesi, F.Matthias Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais and so many more. In order to better understand the demands of pop culture singing, I obtained a Level 2 Certification to teach SOMATIC VOICEWORK tm/sm The LoVetri Method, a Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Approach.

I am a member of NYSTA, NATS, AEA, SAG and AFTRA.

And so it goes… a brief summary of my vocal journeying thus far. I carry each one of these teachers, mentors and guides with me every day. I draw from their wisdom and I am grateful for their guidance. They inform my teaching when I search to help another singer in my care, and I look forward to passing that knowledge on to you.

Most Sincerely,

Sue Anne