CLARK Juliarna

Juliarna Clark is an Australian singer, singing teacher, choral director and speech pathologist. A fascination with music and the human voice has led to a Bachelor of Music (University of Melbourne), a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (La Trobe University) and, more recently, a Master of Music in Performance Teaching (University of Melbourne) focusing on the unique challenges of accomplished classical singers learning to sing jazz. Her own narrative is one of classical voice training as an adolescent and throughout early twenties with an enduring love of classical music as a result, but a persistent affinity for the songs of the 30s and 40s eventually lured her across to jazz and she now works more frequently in jazz clubs than any other genre when performing.

Classical to Jazz: A Chasm Too Wide? A Comparison of Jazz and Classical Pedagogy as a Model to Interpret Challenges in Crossing Over

Singers and singing teachers today often face the challenge of incorporating multiple genres into their oeuvre. This research investigates the experience of classically trained singers learning to sing jazz authentically, seeking ways to expediate the skill acquisition. A comparison of the pedagogical literature of the two discrete genres reveals a stark lack of shared tenets: classical pedagogy centres around developing a desirable tonal synthesis across the range; jazz pedagogy centres around accessing a knowledge of the musical structures being referenced, with literally no mention of tone production. Are the genres diametrically opposed in some ways, with mastery of classical singing adding to the difficulty of mastering authentic jazz singing? The author examines this question with an autoethnographic critical analysis of a personal situated inquiry of classically trained singer to working jazz musician, transpiring over a decade. The nature of the presenting challenges and their resolutions align with the content of the two genres’ pedagogies. Investigating the phenomenon with reference to the pedagogies results in a theoretical model of four aspects of mastery required by the classical singer with aspirations of authentic jazz: a paradigm shift in how the singer relates to beat, a phenomenological shift in the schemata that constitutes the singer’s understanding of what music is, the developmental of a range of vocal tones, and the learning of jazz conventions. Implications for the teaching/learning space are discussed. Examples of some appropriate strategies targeting each of these four aspects of mastery are offered, tailored to the lessons and learnings of the already accomplished classical singer.

COX Dale, BELL Katherine, HULLCOMBE Shelli

Dale Cox BA, MMusSt (Vocal Pedagogy),  PhD

Dale Cox is a Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) researcher, teacher and performer. In 2020 Dale was awarded a PhD through the University of Southern Queensland. Her research examined the pedagogical practices of musical theatre voice teachers and the field of musical theatre voice teaching and her thesis was titled In the Room Where it Happens: Teaching Musical Theatre and Contemporary and Commercial (CCM) Singing. In 2018-2019 Dale was a Visiting Research Scholar at Shenandoah Conservatory while collecting research data for her study. Dale also has a BA from UNSW (Music) and a Master of Music Studies (Voice Pedagogy) from Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.She has presented masterclasses and workshops at The Voice Foundation, MTEA, NATS, Classical Singer Convention, ANATS and numerous universities in the United States and Australia. A competition adjudicator, vocal coach and consultant for musical theatre productions, Dale also works as a voice pedagogy consultant to other singing teachers

Soprano Kathleen Bell has traveled extensively performing voice recitals and cabarets of classical voice and musical theatre repertoire throughout the US, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Australia, and Italy.  Her stage performance credits include La Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Miss Warbelwell in The Impressario and Mother Superior in The Sound of Music.

Kathleen’s teaching career spans three decades privately and numerous institutions including New World School for the Arts, Barry University, Mary Baldwin University, Shepherd University, Shenandoah University, and Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. Currently she is on faculty at the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy, the first and only collegiate theatre and music theatre conservatory in the Middle East.

Kathleen holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Voice Performance and a DMA in Voice Pedagogy. She is a Certified Teacher in levels I, II, & III of Somatic Voiceworktm the LoVetri Method, a National Center for Voice and Speech Certified Vocologist, and  Level 1 certified Estill Voice Teacher. 

Kathleen has presented original research on voice habilitation, various body modalities  and the effects of acid reflux on the voice at international conferences with the Pan American Vocology Association and The International Symposium of the Voice Foundation. She has research and practical experience of acoustic voice analysis using Kay Pentax Computer Speech Lab, Voce Vista voice analysis program, Alphatron’s Voice Profiler and Phonatory Aerodynamic Systems.  Her current and former students have sung in national musical tours, on Broadway and in A-level opera houses as well as teaching in secondary and collegiate setting.

Shelli Hulcombe, BMus (Hons), GrapDipOp, GradDipMus, MMusSt (Vocal Pedagogy)

Shelli Hulcombe is a classical soprano and Lecturer in Voice at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. She completed performance studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University, furthering her studies in the UK at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Other qualifications include a Graduate Diploma in Music (Sydney University) and a Master of Music Studies majoring in Vocal Pedagogy (Griffith University).

Shelli has appeared in principal operatic roles and concert performances with many of Australia’s leading state orchestras and ensembles, as well as undertaking  international engagements in the UK, Europe and South East Asia. She performs regularly across Australia with the national Musica Viva in Schools program.

​Shelli is a passionate educator of both singers and singing teachers. She is the Immediate Past President of ANATS (The Australian Association of Teachers of Singing), a regular adjudicator at eisteddfodau and an examiner across all singing syllabi for the Australian Music Examinations Board. Shelli’s research interests include the use of cross-genre training to improve vocal outcomes for the classical singer and she is currently completing a doctorate in this area.

Registrational pitch parameters for contemporary singing training: Considerations, research and practice

Introduction: While registrational events in singing have been a hotly contested area of voice pedagogy in both terminology and definitions, registration in singing voice teaching continues to be an area of interest in both teaching and research. Traditionally registrational events have been defined in the literature by pitch parameters determined by western classical music considerations. The increased interested in contemporary singing voice pedagogy and comparative research into differences between contemporary and western classical singing has not yet examined specific pitch parameters of registrational activity in contemporary singers outside of research into belt style singing. This is of concern, as singers who want to sound authentic in contemporary styles may require specific registrational adjustments around specific pitch parameters. 

Methods: The presenters will combine quantitative research findings of a recent outcome study where the CCM singers shifted between B4-D5 regardless of gender, as opposed to the classical singers who turned between E4-G4. These findings will be combined with literature reviews and practical experience to discuss the plurality of registrational considerations in contemporary singing across a spectrum of singing styles. Evidence will be presented to consider a revised consideration of registration events in contemporary vocalists.  

Results:  In light of the quantitative research findings and experience teaching contemporary artists, a consideration of practical training impacts when working on registration for CCM singers will be offered.                                                                        

From Theory to Embodiment: Considerations of Cross Training for Classical and Contemporary Voice Teachers

The past half century has seen a growing body of research into contemporary style voice pedagogy, alongside more scientifically oriented approaches to defining longstanding classical aesthetics. It is now relatively easy for vocal pedagogues to compare, and contrast various vocal parameters across different vocal styles, and many teachers are embracing this information to teach across multiple genres. But can ‘learning’ be defined by theoretical understanding alone?  

As a performer learns a different singing style, how does this type of singing challenge their preconceptions of what it feels like to sing with authenticity in a particular genre?

Shelli Hulcombe, a classically trained teacher, researcher and performer, undertook CCM lessons whilst completing research for her PhD examining the impact of CCM training on classically trained voice performers. During this period there were notable paradigmatic shifts in understanding and application of CCM training as functional transitions began to move from theory to embodiment in the singing voice. The open pedagogical discussion during lessons combined with practical application over a long duration effectively built bridges from classical to contemporary as both teachers examined the registrational, articulatory, repository and phonation differences and similarities between the styles with particular focus on the way embodiment differed from expectation based on theoretical knowledge and aural perceptions. Throughout the lessons, constant dialogue highlighted particular challenges involved in integrating functional ‘knowledge’ with kinaesthetic awareness across parameters such as registration, vocal timbre, articulation and breath management. By grounding our personal experiences with current understandings of motor learning in the literature, we provide a rationale for incorporating both practical and theoretical aspects in the journey towards cross-genre teaching and singing.

FIUZA Mauro B.

Teacher of Singing and Research assistant at the UNED VoiceLab - Laboratory of Voice, Music and Language (UNED/Spain) investigating the effects of the menopause in the voice of singers and other professional voice users. Is a doctoral student at the Faculty of Education of the UNED/Spain. He graduated in Music Education (UniSant’Anna/Brazil) and has a Master in Speech Language Pathology (PUC-SP/Brazil). He has been invited as a guest teacher in several grad and postgrad courses of vocal pedagogy and speech language pathology in Brazil and Spain, and presented courses, workshops and lectured in different conferences in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and USA. Currently, he is a coordinator of the website

Distorted Singing: an overview on its history, forms of production, aesthetics, pedagogy, perception, and voice health implications

Distortion techniques in singing are typically perceived as rough vocal sounds. These are usually related to rock and metal singing but have been widely applied also in other CCM genres, musical theatre, traditional and folk music and in contemporary experimentalist singing.

Physiologically speaking, there are several ways for intentionally produce a distorted voice, depending on how the laryngeal structures are in the vocal apparatus and how they are coordinated. In the literature, one may find different forms of using these structures, such as: varied oscillation modes of the true vocal folds; distinct patterns of vibration of the ventricular folds and vibrations of the aryepiglottic folds; the arytenoid cartilages; the corniculate cartilages; the epiglottis and even the uvula. The amount of subglottic pressure, the adjustments and interactions with the vocal tract and the type of phonation may also be important for characterizing intentional vocal distortions.

Each vocal setting will generate different perceived sound outputs and acoustic patterns that can be assessed and categorized in different manners, according to teachers and singers. Such varied possibilities of production and description lead to a broad terminology and sometimes confusion.

Understanding the physiology beyond the production of distortion sounds is crucial to the development of pedagogical approaches aiming at sustainability and longevity of healthy voices. In this presentation the intentional vocal distortions will be defined as: specific modes of phonation that can be produced with periodic, multiperiodic or aperiodic vibrations of glottic and/or supraglottic structures. These modes lead to different acoustic combinations of harmonic, subharmonic and/or nonharmonic components (noise) associated with different degrees of roughness, breathiness, and tension. Live demonstrations of real-time spectrographic displays will be provided to demonstrate examples of these combinations.


Shelli Hulcombe is a classical soprano and Lecturer in Voice at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. She completed performance studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University, furthering her studies in the UK at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Other qualifications include a Graduate Diploma in Music (Sydney University) and a Master of Music Studies majoring in Vocal Pedagogy (Griffith University).

Shelli has appeared in principal operatic roles and concert performances with many of Australia’s leading state orchestras and ensembles, as well as undertaking  international engagements in the UK, Europe and South East Asia. She performs regularly across Australia with the national Musica Viva in Schools program.

​Shelli is a passionate educator of both singers and singing teachers. She is the Immediate Past President of ANATS (The Australian Association of Teachers of Singing), a regular adjudicator at eisteddfodau and an examiner across all singing syllabi for the Australian Music Examinations Board. Shelli’s research interests include the use of cross-genre training to improve vocal outcomes for the classical singer and she is currently completing a doctorate in this area.

Singing with style: the implications of cross-genre singing training for the classical singer

Athletes regularly undertake cross training as part of their overall fitness regime. This is generally regarded as being beneficial to their skill development, particularly in the areas of stamina, flexibility and injury avoidance. Since singers are, in effect, upper body athletes, it is possible a similar approach might be also beneficial in enhancing versatility, promoting balance and developing a sustainable vocal capability. This concept has in recent years garnered some interest and support amongst vocal pedagogues and there is now a growing body of literature examining this model of training. Current industry demands and programming trends in classical music would also seem to support the development of a singer who is better equipped to function in various style arenas. However, the current training landscape remains largely traditional in its approach to the training of classical performers, with little or no opportunity for engagement in more contemporary styles as part of undergraduate performance degrees. What might be the implications of adopting a cross-training approach for classical singers as a pedagogical tool; that is, incorporating training in vocal styles other than the singer’s specialty in order to employ the muscles of the larynx and supporting structures in a way they are not generally used?

Current literature on this subject is predominantly based on qualitative sources such as case studies, autoethnographic studies and interviews, and centres around themes of vocal function, employability and artistic versatility. This paper will summarise the findings of a systematic review of the current literature on vocal cross-training, as well as report initial data findings of a research project currently being undertaken by the author, using a mixed-model approach to investigate both the physiological (changes in voice function)  and psychological (shifts in perceived ability) effects of vocal cross-training on undergraduate performance students majoring in classical voice.


Jaron M. LeGrair is a native of Akron, Ohio. Though he is a singer by nature, he is a teacher, professor, researcher, author, philanthropist, and entrepreneur by trade. He is the proud Founder & Owner of the Jaron M. LeGrair Studio, a vocal studio that provides services and goods to singers, speakers, and professional voice users. Through his unique style of teaching and bringing vocal awareness to all, His Studio has garnered over 50,000 followers across social media platforms. As a professor, he is a member of the Voice Faculties at Point Park University and Saint Mary’s College of California. He, along with his two older brothers, founded the Flossye J. Bass Foundation for the Arts, a scholarship fund that provides money and resources to students of color pursuing the arts collegiately. As a researcher and scholar, he has published and presented his research surrounding Black Vocal Arts across the globe for organizations like NATS, The Voice Foundation, Musical Theatre Educators Alliance and more. Jaron is also a Estill Master Trainer-Candidate with Estill Voice International. 

Using Basic Phonatory Anatomy and Resonance Principles to Understand Gospel

Even though singing Gospel music can be challenging to execute and maintain, analyzing the various elements of the genre in a more practical way can help make singing this genre more achievable.


This presentation will use basic phonatory terminology and resonance qualities to evaluate and understand an array of vocal elements within the Gospel genre. This presentation will also use other genre-specific stylistic components like vibrato rates and vowel modification to understand various detailed characteristics of the Gospel genre. We will learn a small portion of a current Gospel song as a “choir” and apply the aforementioned terms and principles to explore new ways to consider and execute this genre of music.


With a career that has spanned 4 continents, 85 operatic roles from the baroque to the newly-composed, high respect as a pedagogue, superlative press reviews and a Helpmann Award nomination, Simon Lobelson has established himself as one of the most versatile baritones of his generation. Born in Sydney of Egyptian parents and brought up in Brussels, Simon Lobelson gained his Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney and completed his Opera Diploma with distinction at The Royal College of Music on scholarship under Roderick Earle, with further studies under Sir Donald McIntyre, and continued his career in the United Kingdom for 9 years. He is fluent in almost four European languages; has sung in many masterclasses for some of the most revered names in the opera world; is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships and a champion of contemporary music; and has since worked as a soloist in Australia, the Middle East, New Zealand, Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe.

Simon has performed over 80 operatic roles form the lyric to the dramatic, having worked with companies such as The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Opera Australia, Garsington Opera, Chelsea Opera Group, Pinchgut Opera, English Touring Opera, Buxton Festival, Longborough Festival Opera, Iford Festival Opera, Valladolid Opera, The European Opera Centre, The Classical Opera Company, Canberra International Music Festival, Sydney Festival, Sydney Biennale, Sydney Chamber Opera, The Young Vic, British Youth Opera, Swansea City Opera and The Opera Project in a wide range operatic roles including Escamillo, Rigoletto, Alberich, Amfortas, Germont, Sharpless, Marcello, Ford, Aeneas, Nick Shadow, both Rossini’s and Mozart’s Figaro, Don Alfonso, Guglielmo, Masetto, Papageno, Osmin in Zaide, Michele in Il Tabarro, Claudio in Beatrice et Benedict, Quinalt in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, Nottingham in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, Le Berger in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande with Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, Mittenhofer in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, the title role in Smetanin’s Mayakovsky, the title role in Jack Symonds’ Notes from Underground, Spencer Coyle in the Australian premiere of Owen Wingrave (winning Time Out Sydney’s Best Opera Award 2013) Deborah Cheatham’s multi-award winning Pecan Summer at the Sydney Opera House, Harry Easter in an Evening Standard Award-winning production at the Young Vic of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Ramiro in Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, The Pirate King and also covered major roles for Royal Opera House Covent Garden and English National Opera. He has worked with such renowned collaborators as conductors Pierre Boulez, Daniel Reuss, Reinbert de Leeuw, Charles Dutoit, Paul McCreesh and Richard Bonynge, and directors Jean-Claude Auvray, Patrick Nolan, Kip Williams, Ian Judge, John Copley, Bruno Ravella, Melly Still, Cheryl Barker and Jude Kelly.

On the concert platform, highlights have included Haydn’s Creation and Nelson Mass with the Israel Camerata and London Mozart Players under Simon Halsey, Berio’s Sinfonia under Pierre Boulez for the Lucerne Festival, Gubaidulina’s Jetzt immer Schnee with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Reinbert de Leeuw and again under Daniel Reuss for the Lucerne Festival, Elijah (bass 1) with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Paul McCreesh, Paul Stanhope’s Jandamarra with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Pascal Dusapin’s Passion for the Sydney Festival, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Ascension Oratorio alongside James Bowman, Duruflé’ Requiem and Gounod’s Messe Sollonelle at St. Johns Smith Square London,  Messiah with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem and Great Mass in C minor with the English Chamber Orchestra, Haydn’s Theresienmesse with The Australia Ensemble, Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Verbrugghen Ensemble, Puccini Messa di Gloria and excerpts from Tosca (Scarpia) with New Zealand’s Napier Civic Choir and Hawkes Bay Orchestra, Walton’s Façade, CPE Bach Magnificat, Messiah, Haydn’s The Seasons, A Sea SymphonyEin Deutsches RequiemElijahCarmina Burana and Rameau’s Les Grands Motets, Bach’s Johannes-Passion,  Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Duruflé’s Requiem with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, and in venues such as The Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall, St. Marys Cathedral, Aldeburgh Snape Maltings, Cadogan Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Sydney Town Hall, Handel House, St. John’s Smith Square, Brighton Festival, LSO St. Lukes, York Minster, Sydney Town Hall, St. Martin in the Fields and New Year’s Day Concerts and Opera Galas all over China with the Kent Sinfonia for the OLA Asia Group. He has also sung with some of England and Australia’s finest ensembles, including The Song Company, ACO Voices, Cantillation, BBC Singers and London Voices.

Current and recent projects include the title role of Gregor Samsa in Metamorphosis for Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne (for which he was nominated for a 2019 Helpmann Award), the title role in Handel’s Saul with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs at the Sydney Opera House, Oliver Beer’s Superposition for the Sydney Biennale at the Sydney Opera House, Breaking Glass for Sydney Chamber Opera, Mozart and Handel arias with The Australian Haydn Ensemble, Carmina Burana with River City Voices, Jandamarra with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Elliott Gyger’s 2020 Art Music Award-winning Oscar and LucindaWakening Shadows and Recitals of 20th/21st Century Song Cycles for Sydney Chamber Opera, Fauré Requiem with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Secular Cantatas with the Australian Bach Akademie, Ein deutsches Requiem with Sydney University Graduate Choir and Junius in The Rape of Lucretia for Sydney Chamber Opera, Victorian Opera, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Dark Mofo Festival.

His recordings include The Sofa for Chandos, Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Nicolai Mass for Israel Camerata, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Charpentier’s David et Jonaathas for ABC Classics; broadcasts for Classic FM, Fine Music FM, Foxtel and BBC Radio 3; on soundtracks to exhibitions at both the Australian and British Museums and NSW State Archives, and on the inflight soundtrack for British Airways and Qantas flights. Simon is also a vocal professor, lecturer and coach at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, a judge for the Sydney Eisteddfod, has coached for Pinchgut Opera and has given masterclasses in both Australia and China. He is also completing his Doctorate through the University of Sydney, having been awarded an RTP Commonwealth Government Scholarship. For more information, please visit

Shattering Vocal Boundaries in Contemporary Opera: An Artist’s Analysis

Operatic writing for the voice has become more challenging over the past century. In this lecture, I will explore how the boundaries of operatic vocal writing significantly shifted to incorporate extended vocal techniques (EVTs). These dissolved boundaries are explored through an historical lens, through the voices of leading artists and through score and performance analysis. The results evince an overview of the vocal challenges presented by operatic writing between 1925 and 2020, and how artists cope with these increased vocal expectations in the preparation and execution of such repertoire. The outcome of these explorations is the creation of a musico-dramatic analysis system, serving as a didactic model for approaching these roles. Lastly, the tertiary pedagogical implications of learning and performing this repertoire are also briefly considered.  


Singer/songwriter and vocal coach Nikola Materne performs with and writes for her own bands Bossanoire and Sphere, works as a singer for several musical projects, writes songs for movies and theatre and records and produces vocalists in the studio. For more than 25 years she works as a vocal coach for soloists, choirs and bands, teaches in in her own singing studio and does workshops. Since 2009 she lectures pop vocals and didactics in the “Musikhochschule der Westfälischen Wilhelms Universität” in Münster.

Nikola Materne studied music in Münster and Hamburg, got a degree as a singing teacher in the method of “functional voice training” (1994, Rabine-Institut für funktionale Stimmpädagogik und funktionales Stimmtraining) and received further education in singing topics such as jazz improvisation, belting, breath techniques, Yoga etc. She wrote two books about singing in the popular styles, “Popvocals- Der Weg zur eigenen Stimme” (Henschel/Bärenreiter) and “Live Your Song – 77 Übungen für mehr Ausdruck und Feeling beim Singen” (Edition DUX) and hosts her own podcast about singing. 

Live Your Song – Exercises to improve the pop singer’s emotional expression

Pop singers tell stories, create moods and express emotions, they want to touch and enthral the audience.

In this workshop I want to show and try out some of the exercises that I collected, developed and invented in the last 25 years as a singing teacher and finally systemized for my book “Live Your Song!”. Through imagination and movement the students are learning to enhance their emotional expressiveness – no matter if they are singing a sad ballad, a relaxed lounge song or a rock hymn.

For practice I will bring some very well-known pop songs to sing as a group and in small solo sessions.


Katherine OSBORNE was appointed universitetslektor i sång at Musikhögskolan i Piteå/Luleå Tekniska Universitet (Sweden) in 2019 after serving on the voice faculties of the University of Northern Iowa, Ohio Wesleyan University, and the Washington National Cathedral. Osborne has presented research and workshops related to voice pedagogy, voice science, and singing health at conferences at meetings, including the Voice Foundation Annual Symposium and the International Congress of Voice Teachers (2017). She has contributed articles to VoicePrints: The Journal of the New York Singing Teacher’s Association and the Journal of Singing (NATS) and was co-editor for Great Teachers on Great Singing by Robin Rice. In 2014 she was honored to receive the Van Lawrence Fellowship, presented by the Voice Foundation and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). 

Osborne maintains an active performing career in opera, oratorio, and art song. Her training includes a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Singing Health Specialization from OSU, Master of Voice Pedagogy degree from Westminster Choir College, a Bachelor of Music degree from Stetson University, and a 2010 teaching internship with NATS.

Amelia ROLLINGS BIGLER, Ph.D., M.M., currently serves as Assistant Professor of Voice and Voice Pedagogy at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC. Dr. Rollings Bigler holds a PhD in Voice Pedagogy from the University of Kansas and a MM in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Rollings Bigler was awarded the 2018 Van L. Lawrence Fellowship (awarded yearly to one singing teacher engaged in empirical research) by The National Association of Teachers of Singing and The Voice Foundation. An active researcher in voice pedagogy, Dr. Rollings Bigler has published her research in the Journal of Voice and Voice and Speech Review. Her primary research interests include musical theatre and contemporary commercial music (CCM) voice pedagogy, group voice teaching, historical voice teacher certification and education, and the effects of shoe heel heights, head position, jaw opening, and other aspects of body alignment on acoustic and perceptual measures of singing efficiency. 

Building Timbre Discrimination and Critical Listening Skills in Classical and CCM Singing Students

Singing teachers often recommend critical listening activities to their students, both to expose them to great performances by various singing artists and thereby set standards and provide references to evaluate their own work in practice sessions, singing lessons, and performances. However, inexperienced students often admit that they do not truly understand what they are supposed to be listening for in these recordings, falling back on pre-existing aesthetic preferences to judge the quality of the performances rather than considering and detecting perceptual information that can be connected to the physiological, acoustical, and musical characteristics of the performers and their artistic interpretations. Using the principles of “technical ear training” from sound engineering education (e.g. Corey & Benson, 2016, p. 3) that seek to strengthen critical listening skills, two university singing programs (Coastal Carolina Univerisity/USA and Musikhögskolan i Piteå/Sweden) adopted a listening activity to improve timbre discrimination skills in classical and CCM singing students. In a procedure developed with project advisor, M. Nyssim Lefford, Ph.D, M.S. (specialist in music production, music cognition, and auditory perception), each subject selected a short excerpt from a recording of a favorite singing artist with a similar voice type to their own and uploaded it into a program that allows the application of frequency filters. The excerpt was first played in its original form, followed by a series of repetitions using different combinations of filters applied to various frequency bands selected by the researchers to isolate important perceptual features of the singer’s voice and interpretational choices. This procedure was repeated two subsequent times with new student-selected recordings. Students wrote reflections after each session guided by general questions from the researchers. Results will be discussed and compared between the two subject groups along with implications for singing pedagogy and curricula and suggestions for future work.


Lisa Popeil, MFA in Voice, has studied voice for 50 years and has taught professionally in all styles of singing for over 40 years. Based in Los Angeles California, Lisa is the creator of the Voiceworks® Method, the Total Singer DVD and the Total Singer Workshop. 

Ms. Popeil is a contributor on the topic of commercial vocal genres for the ‘Oxford Handbook of Singing’ and ‘Oxford Handbook of Music Education’ . She has conducted voice research at international labs (Japan, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Nashville, Wisconsin, Czech Republic) with Drs. Johan Sundberg, Nathalie Henrich, Jack Jiang, Tom Cleveland, Ken-Ichi Sakakibara, Matthias Echternach, and Jan Svec resulting in papers presented at international voice conferences. Lisa has been published in ‘Journal of Voice’ and the NATS ‘Journal of Singing’ on the differences in physiology and acoustics between classical and commercial voice technique and belting.

Lisa is on the Advisory Board of the Voice Foundation, PAVA, is an invited member of BVA (British Voice Association)  is a voting member of NARAS (N’tl Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences - The Grammy’s), ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers) and is a member of the professional singers’ union SAG-AFTRA.

A pianist, voice-over artist, songwriter, composer and recording engineer, Lisa has written the book ‘Sing at the Top of your Game’, co-authored the book ‘Sing Anything: Mastering Vocal Styles’ and produced the ‘Daily Vocal Workout for Pop Singers’ CD.  Lisa has recorded and performed in a variety of genres including opera, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, country, Bulgarian and Bollywood for TV and film.  In addition to performing with Frank Zappa and touring with ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, her 1984 self-titled album was a Billboard ‘Top Album Pick’.

Multiplicity of belting for Musical Theatre Singers

In this presentation, the term “belting” will be defined in both traditional and modern senses and the concept that there is not just one belting sound used in musical theater singing will be introduced. Traditionally, belting has been defined as always loud and always resonant.  With the ubiquity of electronic amplification, singers now have the ability to vary singing volume and make resonance choices for character refinement and increased expressivity.

There are five main belting substyles (heavy belt, brassy belt, ringy belt, nasal belt and speech-like belt) and Ms. Popeil will demonstrate each of these five substyles as well as play recorded samples by well-known musical theater performers. For MT, each substyle can express or highlight unique personality traits. Mastery of these substyles allows singers to be able to make choices based on the character’s needs at the moment, rather than making choices based on vocal limitations or on the assumption that there is only one belting sound and production.  

Differences in belting substyles can be heard primarily as resonance differences, but with the influence of pop and rock genres having strongly affected contemporary musical theater, other technical differences, such as vocal fold closure, laryngeal heights and even dialect choices can also be heard and taught.


A specialist in the pedagogy and performance for African American folk-based music styles, Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin serves on faculty at Princeton University and Long Island University at Brooklyn ROC Nation School of Music, Sports, and Entertainment. In addition, Dr. Robinson-Martin is an internationally recognized clinician and performer, the creator of Soul Ingredients® Methodology and Soul Ingredients® Voice studio, serves on the national faculty of Gospel Music Workshop of America and LoVetri Institute of Somatic Voicework™, is the executive director of the African American Jazz Caucus, board director for the Jazz Education Network, member of the editorial board of Journal of Singing, and is a member of the distinguished American Academy of Teachers of Singing.

As an accomplished performer, teacher, and scholar, Dr. Robinson-Martin has traveled and taught students worldwide and lectures nationally and internationally on various Soul Ingredients® and Black American music topics and offers teacher training and artist development courses online and in person. Dr. Robinson-Martin has authored and produced several published works, both peer-reviewed and self-published, aiming to remedy the lack of Black music traditions represented in voice pedagogy

Maintaining an active performance schedule, Dr. Robinson has recorded with Cyrus Chestnut, Nnenna Freelon, Kenny Davis, and Vince Ector, and performed with concert choirs and chorales, large and small jazz ensembles, Latin music ensembles, and more. She was part of the “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” tour along with Peabo Bryson, Leela James, and James Jamerson Jr.

Her critically acclaimed debut All or Nothing, co-produced with jazz saxophonist Don Braden, features several internationally acclaimed musicians, including Don Braden, Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Davis, and Vince Ector. All or Nothing features a mix of traditional and contemporary jazz standards, jazz-infused R&B standards, and original songs. For more information, visit

Getting in the Groove: Style Conditioning Exercises for Gospel, Jazz, and R&B

Style conditioning exercises are designed to condition the voice to freely and authentically execute technical or stylistic components that are specific to certain style of music. Many of the stylistic components are best rehearsed in the context of a full band. However, most voice studios are limited to that of simple piano accompaniment.  With the help of music technology, we can now create a more realistic platform that will allow students to transition the application of vocal technique into a live musical context more seamlessly.

Getting in the groove is an interactive workshop that will show teachers and singers how to address vocal training objectives for gospel, jazz, and r&b/soul music styles using the application “ireal pro- music book & play along.” While the “ireal pro” application is currently used by thousands of students and professional all over the world to practice songs and improvisation, this application also serves as a great tool for teaching in the applied studio.

In this workshop, participants will be led in style conditioning exercises that address the following style objectives:


  • Ear training

  • Rhythmic and Melodic phrasing

  • Endurance and Stamina

  • Vocal runs/riffs and other improvisation

  • Freedom in the articulators

The workshop will be divided into four segments that will demonstrate a 1-2 style conditioning exercises specific to each style (as determined by presentation timeslot). Participants will not only learn exercises that can be used in their own voice studios and practice time, they will also learn how to create their own.

VAN DOORN Ineke (MMus)

Dutch Grammy winner and jazz singer Ineke Van Doorn has enjoyed international recognition in the music world for many years, and is a highly respected authority as both a singer and a teacher. Ineke has released 13 CDs with the Metropole Orchestra and her own groups, among others. She also collaborated with the Netherlands Chamber Choir and premiered a duet with the acclaimed Finnish dancer Cecilia Moiso. Ineke toured in Canada, Japan, Indonesia, France, Hungary, Macedonia and played at major jazz festivals in New York, Canada, France, Germany, Austria and The Hague.

Ineke Van Doorn has a master's degree in jazz vocals and is a graduated classical pianist. She is a voice teacher at ArtEZ University, Arnhem and was on the board of EVTA - the European Voice Teachers Association for six years.

Ineke has lectured at the JEN Conference (USA), AFPC (France), RAMA (Denmark), VOCON (London, Ghent, Rotterdam), IJVC (Finland), Eurovox (Latvia), and at universities in St. Paul (USA), Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver (CAN). Her 300-page book 'Singing From The Inside Out: Exploring The Voice, The Singer And The Song' (ArtEZ University Press) was very well received and is used as a textbook at universities in Europe and Canada.

Her article on 'Breathing Technique for jazz and pop singers' is scheduled for publication in the November issue of the Journal of Singing.

Jazz interpretation and improvisation: Working from the inside out

Jazz singing and improvisation is an art that requires a lot of a singer. An expressive and versatile voice, flexible technique, good timing and a well-developed harmonic ear are paramount. But it all starts with the story that the singer has to tell.

Since the jazz singer has a lot of freedom in the way he interpretes his repertoire, it's not enough just to learn the song. After this first step, a second step follows in which the singer starts exploring the possibilities of the song. What happens if you change the key, the tempo, the style, the rhythm, place accents differently or play with the emotion of the song? From this exploration a personal interpretation develops that fits best the personality of the singer and brings out the best the song.

In this way the singing process is shaped 'from the inside out': You start with the voice, the singer and the song and work towards an interpretation that can be different with each performance.