You probably all know by now that Tom and Laura are both Certified Instructors with the Institute for Vocal Advancement. Well, this network links 330+ Instructors around the world who teach the same technique, and every year we have an Annual Teachers Conference in April – affectionately known as IVACON.
If you follow our Facebook page, you’ll also know that Laura and Tom have just returned from IVACON 2015 in Anaheim, California! They have a wealth of new and refreshed knowledge to share with you in your lessons, to help you be the best singers you can be.
Which all sounds good, but what did you actually learn?
Typically, the conference covers all parts of our core IVA pedagogy (which is all the components of the logic we use in your lessons) and also classes on Performance Technique, Vocal Science, different genres of music, and other things that are useful to us as both teachers and singers.
This year we were very fortunate to have had Guest Speakers give classes on topics such as Vocal Acoustics from Kenneth Bozeman of Wisconsin University and Vocal Health and Hygiene from Barbara F Worth, a Speech Language Pathologist from Boston, MA. We also had a Performance Workshop from Tom Jackson of Tom Jackson Productions, which was great fun!
One of the most interesting Guest Speakers was Scott McCoy – Professor of Voice Science and Pedagogy at The Ohio State University. His class was all about demystifying the common concept that “good breathing causes good singing”. Well – and you heard it here first – it’s actually the other way around! Good singing causes good breathing! If you’ve had lessons with an IVA Instructor before, you’ll know that we have been talking about this for quite some time, but it’s great to finally see the world of voice opening up to this idea too. Watch out for a later blog post on this topic!
We were all most excited to have interviews this year from two internationally-known artists; Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons and the frontman of The Killers – Brandon Flowers! These guys gave up an hour of their time each to talk to us about the strenuous tour schedule that gigging singers have to stick to, and their best tips for keeping themselves in good shape, physically, mentally, and most importantly VOCALLY.
Yes folks, both of these guys have singing lessons and partly attribute their lack of vocal issues to the good technique that is taught through the Institute for Vocal Advancement. Their comments were valuable to each of us, since we can take away their experiences and mould it into something useful for our students.
We also had classes from our in-house instructors on Musical Theatre, Classical Singing and Musicianship, so we had a very well-rounded and intensive four days of education.
The time we spend together as teachers is always very enlightening – every teacher is willing to open up and share stories with each other as we can always learn from someone else’s experiences in order to help our own students more. Since we only get to spend 5 days together every year, the time we have as colleagues in-person is so valuable! There is usually very little waking time spent outside of a conversation, and if there is no talking, there is music and singing instead! I’m sure you can imagine what 8pm, 20+ singing teachers and a grand piano sounds like……..
But, the wealth of knowledge that we had access to in just four days of intensive teaching was astounding. We have both come away with a more in-depth understanding of how the voice works, and why we use what tools we do to fix your (and our own!) voices in lessons. Be prepared for some new scales, sounds and of course more challenging lessons now that we’re back!
Of course, if this all sounds too good to be true, why not book a lesson and come and see for yourself. Or, if you are already sold on the technique and want to learn more about it, why not consider joining us as a teacher? Either way, don’t be shy! Get in touch with us via the Contact Us page and tell us what we can help you with. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ so don’t be a stranger!