Barbara Mergelsberg

Mezzo Dugazon

Teaching Philosophy-Summary

As a teacher I am a positive and versatile person who encourages students to be open to experimenting and exploring in order to find their own calling. I like the contact with my students and find it exciting to accompany them in their vocal discoveries. I hope to help my students develop their voices in an efficient and healthy manner so they can express vocally in their own personal way and in any given language the emotional messages of the repertoire they are singing.

  "Who dares to teach must never cease to learn."

(John Cotton Dana)

I firmly believe that no one should teach who does not like to learn. The joy of learning is contagious. Teachers should be curious about new vocal literature and stay up-to-date with stylistic evolutions, technology, and pedagogical tools. Every piece of new knowledge makes the teacher a better teacher and the student more likely to learn. Students and teachers alike should all strive to develop their potential to their very best. This is the foundation on which I build my teaching. Right now, I am developing my teaching skills in commercial singing techniques.

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."

(Albert Einstein)

Learning to sing is a vocal as well as a personal journey. Singers bring with them various musical and life experiences along with their vocal and musical talents. It is my task to understand where the student stands in their vocal development, to foster their curiosity, and to help them discover the next level of artistry in themselves. As a teacher, I am responsible for creating a favorable environment for intellectual and vocal growth. Once the favorable environment is present, I guide my students through their musical, vocal, and personal progress.

“The unity of breath, alignment and word is like three children playing in a ring...

If one lets go, all become helpless.”

(Giuseppe Lamperti)

A healthy vocal technique is the first skill a teacher should teach her students. Be it a commercial vocal technique or a classical vocal technique. For classical singing, I believe in a non-harmful vocal production which can be best described as balanced breathing (intercostal-abdominal breathing), balanced breath support (inspiratory and expiratory muscles regulating subglottal pressure), balanced resonance production (the development of the singer’s formant and chiaro-oscuro), and relaxed articulation (jaw and tongue in particular) that will contribute to a beautiful legato and a clear diction. I agree with the ideals of the Italianate model of singing which have led to the international school of singing. To make these vocal concepts understandable, I like to use emotional, sensational, kinesthetic, and rational ways of illustration.

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