"In my opinion, the process of learning, can generally be described in three steps: imitation; contemplation; emancipation."
I was lucky enough to begin teaching two students as a required part of a course that I was taking. After finding that I enjoyed it, I continued to teach privately, and in 1998 I was invited to give my first masterclass at the “Burghof” in Lörrach. When my own teacher, Richard Levitt, retired from the Schola Cantorum in 1999, I was chosen to follow in his footsteps, and took over his class as a full-time voice teacher.
I have taught masterclasses at New England Conservatory in Boston, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, University of South California Los Angeles, Hunter College New York, and Jerusalem Music Center.
Since October 2019 I am a professor at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg. This will be from now on my only position as a teacher and if you would like to study with me, come and audition in beautiful Salzburg.
Teaching young singers helps me become a better singer myself. Young singers often have good instincts and can sing well, but cannot explain how they do it. Helping the student to define this instinct in words, associations and images is an invaluable part of the learning process.
In each lesson, the idea is to discover and reveal the capacity that is contained within the student, and to encourage it to grow through feeling, rather than believing.
That’s why I rarely sing myself during a lesson. I don’t believe there is a “universal method” that can be applied to all singers. Each singer needs to be addressed in a specific way that corresponds to their own individual personality. The basic anatomical singing process applies to all singers, but the way each singer experiences this process differs from one to another.
My aim is to help my students to develop their own personality, and their own voice, rather than to become a good imitation of someone else.