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Teaching Philosophy
(Richard in his private voice studio)
Welcome to the Voice Studio of Richard Johnson!
I believe that the voice is a personal instrument that reflects the innermost thoughts, emotions and spiritual qualities of the individual. Just as no two people are the same, no two voices are the same and can not be dealt with in exactly the same manner. Although there are many technical processes that are basic to singing and are similar for all singers, I also find that each individual will have various strengths and weaknesses in these technical areas. Hence, the technical needs of one singer are often very different from those of another. The development of the breathing process, articulation, the balancing of resonances and refinement of elocution is different for everyone.

The technical development of the singer is only a part of the whole, however. The physical aspect of singing is only the medium through which the heart, soul and mind are communicated to the listening audience. As such, it is critical that these elements be incorporated into the technical exercises during the development of the communicative process as well as when singing songs or arias. You do not sing sounds; you sing thoughts and emotions. There should be no unmotivated singing, either in exercises or songs.

It is my intent in my work to help people release these thoughts and emotions through their voices in a manner which is beautiful, expressive and communicative. In some cases it is necessary to help people find that which they have to say while in others it is more a matter of helping them find how to release that which they recognize they want and need to say through their singing. In all cases, however, the technical study of sound production is directed to allow free and easy communication from within the individual.

My instruction is very classically based and rooted in the Italian style of singing. In order that my students better understand the processes involved in singing, I discuss in some detail how the body works to produce sound using illustrations from various texts. I primarily use classical repertoire although Broadway repertoire is used with some students. When dealing with repertoire in foreign languages I use the International Phonetic Alphabet to assist students in developing correct diction.