My primary responsibility revolves around teaching individual voice lessons. This vital task requires creating a personalized, differentiated, and psychologically safe learning environment. In this role, I often wear different hats in my teaching: a teacher, mentor, language coach, and cheerleader. In the following paragraphs, I will briefly discuss four pillars that shape my teaching, and explain how my teaching impacts student learning.
A safe learning atmosphere: Singing involves a carefully coordinated and synchronized mix of physical, emotional, and intellectual activities, which makes the art of singing intensely personal and complex. Thus, it is essential that I, as a teacher, create a personalized, differentiated, and psychologically safe learning environment, which in turn empowers students to experiment, engage, and learn.
Healthy vocal techniques: Four key ingredients make up successful singing: Beautiful tone, linguistic fluency, musicianship, and stage presence. As a teacher, I place strong emphasis on healthy and durable vocal techniques using credible scientific approaches. Unlike traditional vocal pedagogies that rely on imitation and imagery, my teaching is evidence-based, and informed by knowledge of the physiology, anatomy, and acoustics. Taking into account students’ strengths and needs, I incorporate a healthy coordination of breath management (appoggio), vowel modification (aggiustamento), articulations, and resonance (imposto) with the goal of enabling students to achieve a comprehensive understanding of their voice as well as pedagogies.
Linguistic Fluency: A certain level of linguistic fluency consisting of a mix of pronunciation (diction) and story telling (expression) is required in effective singing. In my teaching, I incorporate effective techniques to help my students articulate authentic language sounds without compromising free and beautiful tone. Using practical, hands-on translation and articulation assignments, I provide my students with opportunities to gain an understanding the meaning of the texts, appreciate how composers create their music, and experiment with specific pieces of music themselves. I find that these experiences empower students to learn, experiment, improvise, and learn and grow.
Stage Presence: My students often struggle with performance anxiety when they are called upon to perform. My role then becomes one of a mentor, coach, and cheerleader. In these roles, I help my students overcome performance anxiety by making sure they have a solid foundation of vocal techniques as well as linguistic fluency, and offer them personalized guidance, encouragement, and support every step of the way.
Teaching Effectiveness: I have a track record of being a highly effective teacher as documented by student evaluations, national as well as institutional teaching and performance awards received in recognition of my work as a teacher and performer. Examples of such awards include, but not limited to the following:
· Teaching and Learning Awards, The Center for Teaching Excellence, UT Tyler, 2017-18
· A semifinalist, The American Prize, Opera Directing and Performance Categories, 2016
· A finalist, The National Opera Association, Collegiate Opera Scene Competition, 2015
A quote from course evaluation:
· “Dr. Park is a vocal mechanic! She is drawn right to the vocal problems and helps you fix it. She is very effective and vocal progress is most definitely achieved.”
· “Dr. Park is very diligent to try different methods to help a student understand in the best way possible. Performing for other students in studio class is also very helpful.”
· “Dr. Park is very good at analyzing a singer’s issues and giving a student multiple pathways to fix that problem. She is very knowledgeable of the inner and outer workings of a singer, and explains them very well to young singers.”