Urgent! Stop Certification and Trademarking!!!

I heard today that some teachers of singing are “strongly against” certification of teachers of singing and of the idea of trademarked approaches or branded methods of teaching singing.

My, my! What can we do???
Certainly, trademarking is harmful. It makes the people who are not trademarked look bad and hurts them and interferes with their ability to do whatever they do. Trademarked methods cause all kinds of obstacles in the profession because they force everyone to teach the same way, like machines and robots, and they reduce the process to a very low norm, bringing everyone down. Trademarked methods that grant certification say that the person granting the certification has decided that she knows more than everyone else and that she is the only right one and that the people who get her certification are automatically better than the people who don’t get it. Really, how can this be right?
Absolutely everyone should keep making up terminology and exercises at random as students come along, assuming that each person and each lesson is an entire new universe and that we as human beings never ever have any consistency in our vocal production. We should realize that everyone is always totally unlike every other person on earth and that no consistent approach to teaching can ever be effective. And we should remember as well that all human beings are identical, having the same equipment, and that everyone should fit into a pre-conceived mold and arrive at the same kind of vocal destination.
All music should be regarded as being the same, because it’s all just notes and rhythms and it all has to be sung by a human being with a larynx and lungs. Trademarking methods and certifying people who study those methods is an insidious attack on free thinking and the free marketplace. How dare the people who turn teaching into a commodity get away with this behavior, when we all know teaching singing is an art form, a mystery and a very personal expression!
It’s a shame, since the people who are busy creating trademarked methods and certifications are typically not those with terminal degrees but only simple life experience. They may not know the significant ingredients of voice science, vocal literature, or have artistic sophistication, which, as we all know, are very important especially in “non-classical” singing. They have been known to get things from different styles mixed together at random and pollute the pure expression of song.
We all should be firmly against trademarking of approaches to vocal pedagogy in any forms and absolutely against any university, conservatory or department that allows any method to offer certification under its imprimatur. We should assume that such institutions do not know any better and are being duped by the perpetrators of these “trademarked methods”. We should assume that even prestigious schools with long histories and strong reputations for excellence do not understand how foolish the support of any such individual is and how much damage is being done by trademarked methods and certification of teachers of singing. Why, even the oldest organization of teachers of singing, The New York Singing Teachers’ Association, has a Professional Development Program that certifies those who complete its courses! How unfortunate.
My, my!!! My, my, my, my, my, MY!!!
And just in case there is someone out there who doesn’t know, I have a trademarked method, Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method, that certifies all who take the courses I offer.
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8 thoughts on “Urgent! Stop Certification and Trademarking!!!”

  1. Trademarking has a long history actually. Marchesi, Garcia, Lamperti et al. They all wrote letters of certification to those students who were trained by them to teach. In the case of Garcia, the teacher had to present 5 students who had been trained and were performance ready. Another 5 were presented who were harmed by other methods and taught according to Garcia’s teachings. Rigorous? You bet! Only a few received this certification.

  2. I can understand some of your reservations about certification and trademarking, and the points you make are worthy of consideration, however, it still really bothers me that almost anyone can hang up a sign and just start teaching voice. It can be extremely difficult to find a good teacher, and sometimes money and time is wasted with someone who is not really doing good work, or may actually even be giving advice that harms a person’s voice.

  3. Avocational Singer:

    I have a trademarked method and I certify everyone who takes my courses.

    Obviously, this was written as satire, and the last sentence was meant to help those who missed the point.

    You might like to watch Steven Colbert sometime.

  4. Your posts are always refreshing when I visit them on occasion. May I say that your efforts are much appreciated by myself, and I would rush to get certified with you if I had the time, and well, ….
    Indeed, things need to change, and things are changing…slowly. Thank you for everything you do and stand for…..change is necessary.

  5. Considering that earning a Doctorate and teaching in the good old boy network in academia have traditionally been the signs of “trademarking,” all these people running around outside that framework must be stopped! They must not be allowed to think, experiment, prove and experience outside the “system.”

    Because, god forbid, that’s where science and art actually LIVE. Outside the system.

    Carry on!

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