High Performance Specialization

in Research-based Voice Pedagogy

Sonaura’s HP Specialization in Research-based Voice Pedagogy is a robust program designed for voice teachers and other professionals working with singers. It is a holistic curriculum that addresses the mechanics of the vocal instrument, the application of theory to practice and the positive learning frameworks that promote learning and singer development. Ultimately, the course answers these two questions: how does the voice work and how does one learn to work a voice?

The content is based on industry-standard pedagogical texts and peer-reviewed research literature. The rigor of this curriculum is aligned with the top voice pedagogy graduate and post-graduate programs in the country.

This program is also radically inclusive. The information serves all voices, not just particular voice types or genre-specific vocalisms. Included is information regarding balancing the vocal system for maximum efficiency and how various resonance strategies create diverse array of vocal color options, always with singer sustainability as the underlying core value.

About the Curriculum

The Fusion of Art and Science

The primary focus of this program is on the application of theory to practice. As the field evolves, there are exciting developments in our understanding of the voice and how we can help the singers in our care – no matter what kind of music they want to sing. 

This program was designed to help you if these are the types of questions and topics you want to tackle: 

  • Why are some of my singers out of tune, or have intonation issues some of the time? What is the most efficient way of addressing it? How can I help those who can’t sing the line with naturalness and musicality?
  • What causes singers to push or strain? Or struggle to access their range? What corrective techniques have the highest efficacy rates? How can those techniques be tailored to the uniqueness of each singer?
  • What can I do to further minimize fatigue in my singers? What causes it and what are the early signs? What are some effective preventive measures?
  • How can I effectively and efficiently help singers struggling with projection? Or projecting too harshly? How can I tell the difference between a released vocal sound and vocal colors that reveal imbalances in the system – while being true to factors of genre?
  • How do I help my singers who have “divided” voices create more seamless transitions between registers so they don’t lose easy access to any part of their range?
  • What do I do when there are extra accompanying details in the sound that show me something’s up, but I don’t know what?
  • How do I help my singers with breath – without driving the air or losing all focus? What do I do with all the different methods out there? How do I make sense of it all?
  • What about when the corrective measures that usually work don’t work for a particular singer? 
  • Does it matter which exercises I use? Or in what order? How do I make sense of all of the different opinions out there?
  • Why do some methods work for some singers, but not others?  
  • How do I train different vocal styles in a way that is authentic and not manufactured or caricature-like? Is belt okay? What are the differences between various vocalisms or registrations? How do I teach them?
  • How does cross-training work? 
  • What’s the difference between training male and female voices? Or training voices at different life stages? 
  • What metrics can I use to determine the coordination level of my singers? 
  • What metrics should I use to assess rep so I can be confident assigning pieces that match the singers’ needs?
  • Formants, harmonics and all things acoustics make my head spin – what does it all mean and how can that knowledge help me in the studio?
  • I need a bigger repertoire of strategies and tools to help my singers overcome obstacles and take major steps forward.
  • Why won’t my singers practice? 
  • Why are some singers resistant? Where does it come from? What are effective techniques for dealing with resistance? 
  • Where can I get support and find answers to my questions? 
By the end of this program, you’ll feel really comfortable discussing and integrating content related to anatomy, physiology, acoustics, resonance strategies, learning & development, singer development frameworks, singer assessment, repertoire assessment and vocalise design. 

About the Learning Format

About the Requirements

Maximum Growth through Hybrid Options

This kind of content is complex and highly context dependent. That means there are formulas that help us understand the theories and functions concerning voice; BUT how those theories and formulas are lived out in individual singers is very different. There are a myriad of internal and external factors influencing one’s use of voice, so it is essential to learn the guiding principles, but never with a cut-and-paste approach. Customization and the highest levels of teacher-responsiveness are essential for helping singers reach their highest levels of vocal ability.

To honor the intricacies of this content, the learning formats will be varied for the highest levels of engagement.

There are sections that are theory-based, so learning the subject matter may feel very similar to other typical academic settings. Other topics require active experiential learning opportunities, so those may feel closer to the energy of workshops, masterclasses and collaborative projects. 

Curious about the interactive format? We’ll spiral through the following: 

  • Discussion and Collaboration
  • Interactive Presentations
  • Case Study Examination
  • 1:1 Application Sessions
  • Listening Examples
  • Engage with Voice Analysis Software
  • Teaching Demos & Collaborative Projects
  • Recordings and Feedback
  • Survey Industry-Standard Research & Pedagogical Texts

This program is for professionals working with singers and for singers who want to learn more about teaching. Typical participants include: 

  • Voice Teachers
  • Choral Directors
  • Speech Language Pathologists who want to work with singers 
  • Professional Singers who want to invest in their teaching skills
  • Music Directors
  • Voice Coaches
  • Music Teachers
  • Church Music Directors
  • Holistic Practitioners working with singers (musical background required)
  • Singers who extremely eager to better understand their own voice

General Requirements

Basic musicianship skills are required. Participants must be able to read music and have a working knowledge of key/time signatures. Piano skills are always a plus, but an ability to play basic scale patterns and arpeggios in every key with one hand will be sufficient for the scope of the course. 

Participants must also have the desire to connect with and invest in singers – both their development and wellbeing. A passion for teaching and sharing knowledge is essential. 

2 Participation Options

Option 1: Independent Study 

This option is ideal for those who want to work at their own pace and receive maximum 1:1 instruction. This program typically takes one-year to complete, but this option provides additional flexibility as needed. 

You may choose to participate in our live online studio, Manhattan & Westchester studios or a hybrid of the two. 

The independent study format has a rolling admission. Please schedule a conversation to discuss your interest in the program. 

Option 2: Cohort-based Training 

This option is ideal for those who enjoy the synergy of discussion and collaboration. This is a one-year hybrid format where content is delivered both synchronously and asynchronously according to the content’s demands.

This is offered only through our live online program, although certain components can be arranged to be in-person, if desired. 

The next cohort begins in June 2018. Please set up a phone consultation to discuss your interest in the program. 

This is a one-year program and the next cohort begins in June 2018. Please schedule a conversation to discuss your interest in the program.

How to Enroll

An informal interview is part of the enrollment process.

Please submit the form below and we will set up a time to discuss this program more at length and answer your questions.