- My listening
- My technical knowledge
- My widely varied performing experience
All my life I have been a teacher. I was the boy in summer camp who showed other kids how to swim! One of my Yale professors looked at me in mid seminar and exclaimed, “you are a born teacher!” And much of what I teach I have learned by observation — by watching and listening to colleagues, teachers, and students. I began teaching voice as a major part of my musical life a few years after I got to New York and slowly expanded it to fill any time that performing did not occupy. As performing receded teaching became my full time focus. I currently teach one day a week at Yale and privately in NYC and New Rochelle — and on screen, any place that the bandwidth will support!
My role models for teaching are Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones) and Counselor Deanna Troi (Star Trek: Next Generation)! To paraphrase each: I hear and see and know things; I’m sensing tension! My primary tool is empathy. I observe you making sound, I hear you making sound, and I imagine making that sound — and I feel what needs to be adjusted to make a freer, more exciting sound. I have a wide range of technical study and experience to draw on but the gut reaction is primary. And sensing where you are coming from connects my work to yours.
I have also been a performer all my life, in many styles and contexts: Anglican church choir from an early age; Glee Clubs and college singing groups (including the Yale Whiffenpoofs); opera (including a tour with New York City Opera); operetta (including tours with New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players); early music (New York Ensemble for Early Music); contemporary music (resident tenor with The Turnpike Camerata); oratorio; recitals; and 11 years with The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble (including a number of their recordings). My album of English and Irish Ballads is available from CD Baby.
As a result I know how to play a role, put over a song, sing with an ensemble, or vanish into a devotional piece — and it is my delight to show you how to do that too!