Dr. Perry Santos graciously gave an excellent 90-minute presentation on vocal health at our just completed Level I Somatic Voicework™ training at the University of Central Oklahoma. His information was aimed directly at the participants (teachers of singing, new and experienced) and was very “user-friendly” in that it allowed us to more fully understand vocal function. Giving us clear examples of laryngeal anatomy and physiologic function, as well as instruction about vocal hygiene and illness, he supported the coursework with his lecture. There is always something to learn, as each medical expert presents in his or her own way vital information that we need to know.
Every doctor has their own point of view about what is most necessary for us to know as teachers of singing. That slant, whatever it may be, is what makes the information interesting. It is ever so that we work with the same larynx and vocal folds but how we look at that is as variable as human beings are in what they like and why they like it. One never knows what point of view will be most pertinent and what piece of information, presented in a new and different manner, will connect the dots and create a new awareness.
It is an honor and a privilege to have had nine world-class laryngologists lecture for my courses. I know of no other course of Contemporary Commercial Music vocal pedagogy where that is so. The medical specialists who know the larynx and who work with professional voices are unique and their expertise is vital to us all. Dr. Peak Woo, Dr. Gwen Korovin, Dr. Scott Kessler, Dr. Michael Pitman, and Dr. Chandra Ivey of New York; Dr. Glendon Gardner and Dr. Norman Hogykian of Michigan; Dr. James Burns of Massachusetts, are now joined by Dr. Santos, and we will add, in spring, Dr. Craig Zalvan of Sleepy Hollow, NY, to the roster of laryngologists who have lectured for at least one of the Somatic Voicework™ Levels.
These medical experts do not have to agree to come to any course, they do not have to give us their free time to provide lectures for the participants. They do so because they care that singing teachers get the best, latest information available in order to assist their students. Their motivations are completely selfless and of the highest order. I cannot adequate thank them for their contributions, but I am always profoundly grateful.
If you are contemplating taking a course in Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy, please attend one that invites a world-class medical expert to be one of the faculty. If you can’t find another, you are welcome to take Somatic Voicework™. We always have one.