"Remarkably, Laurel has a unique understanding of and passion for teaching skill sets of pitch and rhythm that are often assumed to be un-teachable. I have sent Laurel many students who had gifted voices but seemingly un-trainable pitch and rhythm issues. Miraculously, they improved greatly under Laurel’s skillful mentoring." - Kristine Ciesinski, internationally renowned Soprano and voice teacher.
How is this program different than other ear-training or voice methods?
This method was designed specifically for the person who sings out of tune and/or struggles with rhythm. It emboldens the student through a process that produce positive results without discouragement, embarrassment or frustration. This training is a precursor or an adjunct to traditional training.
I have been told I can’t sing. Can your method help me?
Absolutely! This teaching method was designed for YOU! While I was developing this program I heard over and over again, “you don’t want to teach me, I’m the worst singer”. And I replied, “Yes I do, you are my perfect student”. If it were not for the wonderful students who were willing to work with me the past several years this program wouldn't exist. I am eternally grateful for all they have taught me.
Why did you develop this method? What brought you to this work?
I love to sing and had the opportunity and privilege to participate in music from a young age. As a music teacher I saw results in my classroom that surprised me. Children “slipping into tune” over time. As a private voice teacher I wanted to provide my older students that struggled musically the opportunity to overcome these issues and sing with confidence and joy. I was profoundly influenced by that classroom experience and had been shown a possibility of change I didn’t know existed. This strengthened my compassion for this group along with a desire and tenacity to continue trying until I figured this out. It has been a wonderful journey and I am thrilled to share what I have learned.
Can you tell me more about your methodology?
In the fall of 2011 I began exclusively teaching students who had musical challenges. I had been working on a training solution for out of tune singers with good results for years. Through these experiences I learned that when a person sings out of tune or has trouble with rhythm there are a number of challenges they face in their music making. These include challenges with diction, vocalization, singing, tone-perception, focused listening, aural skills, cognition related to music and coordinated movement, among others. The extent of the challenges are individualized. We use developmental, multi-sensory and multi-modal strategies to teach to these needs including specialized vocal and aural training, kinesiology, tactile and visual learning, music perception, cognition training and more.
Why do you call your training system a therapy?
The exercises start by building foundational skills, one at a time, combining those skills slowly together to form a cohesion of musical ability. The exercises are pragmatic and sequential. They are carried out slowly and carefully, asking students to focus intently on each task. A few years ago I had an injury which required physical therapy. I realized what I was doing in my voice studio was similar in nature to what I was experiencing in my rehabilitation. In talking with speech therapists and reading, to my surprise, I realized that over time I had developed a therapeutic teaching method. This method has not been reviewed by any governing body and I do not claim to diagnose. I assess whether an individual can improve the skills that are covered in my program.
Will your method be available for on-line learning?
The best results come from one-on-one, in person instruction. However, supplemental on-line materials for trainers and students will be available in the future.
Have studies been done on your method?
Certified trainers will be encouraged to participate in a long-term study through data collection that will be set-up as part of the teacher training program. In the future we hope that other means of study will become available.
Are you writing a book about your method?
Yes, I am planning to write a book to the general population regarding these issues in the future. I will also continue to develop and conduct instruction, student lessons, lectures, seminars, workshops and certification training.
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