Singers and trainee teachers often ask which ‘system’ they should be studying in order to be the best possible singer or singing teacher that they can be.
At VIDLA, we believe that all of the well-known systems have a great deal to offer, along with many of the smaller ones. Speech Level Singing, Estill, Jeannie Deva’s ‘Contemporary Vocalist’ course, Brett Manning’s ‘Singing Success’ (which is firmly rooted in SLS), all have much to teach us, along with the individual pedagogies of great teachers such as Dena Murray, Joan Melton, Meribeth Dayme Bunch, et al.
The VIDLA ethos is that singing and teaching students should be exposed to a wide range of pedagogical approaches, so that they can approach their art, or the teaching of their students, from the most viable perspective at any given moment. This is why we include units which allow research into so many vocal perspectives; quite simply, what works for one student may not work for another.
Thus it is that we never say ‘Estillian concepts are better than SLS’ or ‘this teacher’s approach is superior to that teacher’s approach’. Singing and the teaching of singing is not a ‘one size fits all’ arena, and we firmly believe that all experienced and well-educated singing teachers will have something to offer – and that it behoves us all to stay in touch with current ideas and research, as well as retaining the best of the traditional approaches.
As an Academy which specialises in training singing teachers, we take pride in promoting the work of a wide range of important vocal pedagogues, and hope that our students will draw from this the ability to draw on exactly the ‘right’ technique needed at the opportune moment.