Catherine Gardner Voice Studio
I believe in developing a reciprocal relationship with my students in which their own contributions are important for their technical development. I continually ask my students to describe in their own words how they achieved a successful technical discovery in order to train them to be able to articulate and recognize their technical progress. This not only helps them to become thoughtful singers and good teachers, but it also aids in replicating the successes we have had in lessons when they are alone in the practice room.
As well as offering clear diagrams and descriptions of the physiological functions of singing, I encourage my students to work kinesthetically: to be aware of the physical sensation of a free and well-balanced instrument. Trusting our ears can lead to over-singing when a room’s acoustic fails to give us the feedback we are used to hearing. The fine-tuning of one’s senses in noticing subtle physical changes is an integral part of what I teach in my voice studio.
My students are also encouraged to bring attention to their postural alignment and health, with the knowledge that the housing of our instruments has a great impact on the voice’s ability to function properly. Participation in Alexander technique, yoga or other body-work modalities is recommended as a supplementary study in vocal development.
Beyond developing a healthy singing technique, I also foster my students’ musical growth, helping guide them in the development of style, phrasing and poise in performance. Accurate word-for-word translations and knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet are essential. The voice is the only instrument with the dual responsibility of conveying both musical and poetic expression; My goal for my students is that they achieve the union of a beautiful, well-functioning sound and clarity in their articulation of emotion and text.
Catherine has been teaching private voice lessons for over fifteen years and has prepared many students for competitions, exams and auditions. Many of her students have gone on to careers in the music world and have been accepted into major University programs for voice performance. Increasingly in demand as a masterclass clinician, adjudicator and teacher, Catherine shares her passion for singing with students of all ages. Please use the contact form to inquire about private lessons at either her Stratford, Ontario or The Beckett School at Laurier studios.