THE "PROJECTION" TRAP IN VOICE TEACHING
Whether they admit it or not, voice teachers project onto students the teacher’s
own experience of singing. I came through a challenging transition from baritone
(pseudo-baritone, really) to tenor and for a long period tended to view voice study
as problem-solving, which it was for me. In the studio, I tended to find problems
in students where none existed, and to try to “fix what wasn’t broken”.
A forceful personality will often try to form the student into the image of the
teacher, to the point of requiring the student to sing the same material and adopt the
same style and interpretation the teacher employed while singing. A teacher who never
encountered difficulty in singing will either not know how to problem-solve or be
perplexed by or intolerant of the student who presents with difficulties or damage.
A great deal of experience is required to overcome the tendency to project oneself
onto the student and to address only the vocal matters at hand.