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The Voice Culture Profile

The Voice Culture

English, Arts, 1 seasons, 25 episodes, 18 hours 40 minutes
Singing has been an integral part of the human experience since time immemorial. Join voice teachers and pedagogues Brian Lee and Justin Petersen as they traverse the rich historical legacy of voice training from the greatest minds and teachers of the art, as well as application for the modern teacher and singer of voice. Each episode features lively conversation, fascinating historical insights, and practical application for today's singer. Hosted on Acast. See ( for more information.
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Messa di voce - the ultimate vocal exercise

Justin and Brian discuss the historical importance, and continuing relevance, of this basic exercise. In its many permutations it helps singers to improve and maintain vocal ability in the areas of expression, pitch, breath control, endurance, and flexibility. It's that good! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/02/202245 minutes 18 seconds
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An Ideal Curriculum for Singers?

What would the ideal non-academic vocal curriculum look like? Brian and Justin explore just such an idea in this episode. Based on the work of British pedagogue Peter T. Harrison, a vocal training program would include much that remains outside the scope of the present academic model. Taken from Harrison's 2013 book, "Singing: Personal and performance values in training" another way of considering voice training is discussed for the modern voice student and independent voice trainer.Harrison's books:Singing: Personal and performance values in trainingThe Human Nature of the Singing Voice. 
15/01/202251 minutes 13 seconds
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Voice in higher education?

Both Brian and Justin have prepared a lot of students for college and conservatory auditions. But what are these young people getting into? Is a performing arts degree a vocational program? Does it prepare students for professional performance? Should it? What are the differences between a BM in vocal performance and a BFA in Musical Theatre?We have also had many students who are in these programs, or recently graduated, who are still trying to figure out their voices. How does a young singer get a degree in voice but still have major gaps in their ability to get work in the field? Getting post-secondary voice programs to both fit into a university degree and thoroughly train young singers is a huge task that often falls short. How can it be improved? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/12/202141 minutes 17 seconds
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Dogma in the Voice Teaching Profession

Justin and Brian begin their discussion with the rise of dogmatic thinking in voice teaching in the 19th century, how it became various "methods", and how it can hinder learning and innovation. The "Old Italian School" was not based on a method, although many current teachers advertise that they teach old Italian methods. How does the rise of science and the Information Age allow dogmatic thinking to continue? What does teaching and learning look like with more open attitudes to how to teach principles and actions of good singing?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/12/202144 minutes 40 seconds
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Eden Casteel - The Multi-Threat Performer Part 2 Ep. 20

In Part 2 of our conversation, Eden introduces us to more of the technology she employs for live online performances and teaching. She also talks about her explorations of cabaret with collaborators all over the world.Below are some of the resources Eden shared during the interview:SOFAR: (classical Sofar, basically) low latency: talk Eden gave to Kennedy Center college students last year (on YouTube)Handout for the tech talkAnyone can book time with me with me to explore low-latency/livestreaming options and get set up
15/11/202135 minutes 45 seconds
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Eden Casteel - The Multi-Threat Performer Part 1 Ep. 19

Adapting live performance to an online setting has become an essential skill for entertainers in the last few years. In Part 1 of our conversation, Eden tells us what her performing and teaching life looks like today and where things are heading.Below are some of the resources Eden shared during the interview:SOFAR: (classical Sofar, basically) low latency: talk Eden gave to Kennedy Center college students last year (on YouTube)Handout for the tech talkAnyone can book time with me with me to explore low-latency/livestre
30/10/202139 minutes 35 seconds
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Nikki Loney & Full Voice Music Ep. 18

Brian and Justin welcome the delightful and always inspiring Nikki Loney of The Full Voice series of workbooks and Podcast to the show. Nikki discusses her passion for play-based learning and dives into helpful information for the teacher of voice who needs great resources and information for young singers. Understanding the fun of lessons goes a long way to creating a lifelong music learning environment, as is discussed in this engaging and light-hearted episode. Full Voice MusicThe Full Voice Podcast Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/10/20211 hour 14 minutes
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Season 2 Trailer

We’re back! Season 2 kicks off with a preview of coming attractions for our second season, starting in mid-October. We’re excited to welcome you back to more conversations on voice culture! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/09/20214 minutes 17 seconds
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The Speakeasy Cooperative Ep. 17

Brian and Justin welcome their very first podcast guests: Michelle Markwart Deveaux and Christin Coffee Rondeau. Michelle and Christin discuss their work with the Speakeasy Cooperative, a co-op for the independent teacher. They break through the myths of the private teacher and the shifting culture of modern voice training, creating a culture of voice teachers that can appreciate each other’s differences and learn from each other while ‘assuming the best.’ Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/06/20211 hour 3 minutes 57 seconds
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Vibrato - W-w-w-w-what? Ep. 16

In this lively episode, Brian and Justin chat about vibrato in the singing voice. What is the vibrato’s relationship to pitch, and what is the role of the vibrato in singing styles? Examples are included of professional singers and their approach in varying styles. Artists of all stripes are included so that vibrato can be heard in varying musical languages. Being able to hear many singers gives the listener a way to understand how vibrato is present (or not) in varying musics. It can provide food for thought on hearing vibrato and how it is used in great singing across genres.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/05/202157 minutes 18 seconds
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Onsets - Where do we begin? Ep. 15

“Well begun is half done”, said a famous dead Greek. In this episode, Brian and Justin chat about the onset in vocal pedagogy. How we begin a sound really determines what the sound of the voice is in the ensuing phonation. Manuel Garcia II’s ‘coup de glotte’ is discussed as well as Richard Miller’s ideas on onset. Breathy, glottal, and balanced onsets should be included in the technical package of every singer. Emotional coloration of the text should also be considered in the onset as well. The benefits of a balanced onset (intonation, vocal weight, and ear training) are also covered.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/05/202141 minutes 28 seconds
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Standards - Defining Excellence Ep. 14

If we don’t have standards as teachers, who will? Brian and Justin discuss standards of vocalism and musical style and how teachers can serve students to develop standards in themselves. The holism of the voice and the demands of the style are sometimes in conflict, so finding agreement is an important part of voice training. The college audition process is discussed as well as issues touching individualism versus collectivism. Students should be on a steady diet of the best of singing in all styles of music. An objective list of standards for singing is covered as well.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/04/202157 minutes 36 seconds
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Mastery - The Path to the Good Stuff Ep. 13

What is the past of mastery in singing? How can we set expectations for the course of becoming a master of our craft? This launches a discussion on mastery and the ideas of George Leonard’s book “Mastery” and Seth Godin’s “The Practice.” Leonard and Godin have important ideas on how we can set psychological expectations as teachers for ourselves and for our students. Surprisingly, it’s our relationship to being on a plateau that sets our ability to undertake a Mastery path. Students will be on the plateau more than any other location. Keeping an eye for how our students react to that plateau can be an opportunity for us to teach patience, discipline, and perseverance.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/04/202140 minutes 7 seconds
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Vocalises - Favorite Collections Ep. 12

Justin starts off chatting about the Vocal Course of Estelle Liebling, a famous teacher from the Garcia school who trained Beverly Sills and other great singers. Then Brian and Justin take on a deeper conversation on the usage of vocalise collections - specifically Marchesi, Panofka, and Concone. What are the benefits and snares of vocalise collections in the voice studio? Texts discussed are Panofka’s ABC, which sets the stage for more musical vocalises, Concone’s 30 Daily Exercises, Panofka’s Progressive Vocalises, Panofka’s 24 Vocalises, Rossini’s Gorgheggi e Solfeggi, Eduardo Marzo’s The Art of Vocalization, and Elio Battaglia’s latest volumes published by Ricordi. Brian discusses the 8-bar vocalises of Sieber. These vocalise collections can answer many questions that will show up in your classical vocal scores. Additionally, Ken Bozeman’s explorations on acoustics can be applied to these vocalises to explore changes on certain vowels. Their value also rests as a kind of repertoire
31/03/202152 minutes 6 seconds
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How to screw up a vocalise Ep. 11

How to screw up a vocalise! Brian and Justin explore ways that teachers and singers can flub an exercise, and how to go about rethinking the role exercise plays in voice training. A functionally oriented teacher will examine each exercise for its effect upon the voice, instead of running students through a litany of the same ‘pet exercises.’ Even the most seemingly safe exercises can be performed incorrectly and cause problems in the voice. Conscientiousness around the straw phonation and other SOVT (Semi occluded vocal tract) approaches are considered. Misinterpretation of the purpose of an exercise can cause all kinds of problems between teacher and student.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/03/202151 minutes
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Changing Your Mind Ep. 10

In a cultural milieu that seems to enforce conformity over individualism, how does the modern teacher go about ‘changing their mind’? Challenging one’s own beliefs in teaching can open new vistas and consolidate one’s pedagogy on an ongoing basis. Where are your beliefs rigid as a teacher? Do you know why? Discussion of belief about vocal placement is explored (a mare’s nest) as well as beliefs on breathing. There is definite merit in staying open to ideas that at first blush might be rejected outright. The example of Frederick Root and Manuel Garcia II, 19th-century pedagogues, are discussed for their open-minded teaching example. How can a teacher change their mind? Brian and Justin have some ideas.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/03/202153 minutes 37 seconds
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Witherspoon's Fads and Fancies Part 2 Ep. 9

Brian and Justin dive into Kari Ragan’s newest book, “A Systematic Approach to Voice: The Art of Studio Application.” The book is a great resource for the studio in the tradition of other practical application pedagogy texts. Getting a student to the sensation of singing using tools for kinesthetic awareness has a long historical tradition, echoed also in the work of Herbert Witherspoon as mentioned in this episode. We just have to be aware of when we might slip into the paradigm of ‘Dumbo’s feather.’  The second portion goes into even more of Witherspoon’s “Fads and Fancies” from his 1925 book, and Brian and Justin discuss what’s changed and what stayed the same.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/02/202155 minutes 55 seconds
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Power in Singing Ep. 8

POWER! No singer wants to train their voice to become smaller, but we have to watch out that power and volume often are abused in singing. This may often come from faulty impressions given to young singers from recordings and how studio engineers ‘mix’ the sound. Voice training has a place for loudness, but when is that? What did some historical authors say about the value of loudness? Perhaps we should engender the size of our spirit instead of the size of the voice. Cornelius Reid’s “Bel Canto,” Charles Lunn’s “Philosophy of Voice,” David C. Taylor’s “The Psychology of Singing,” and W. Henri Zay’s “Practical Psychology of Voice and of Life” are mentioned.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/01/202147 minutes 30 seconds
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Singing in Languages You Don't Speak Ep. 7

Singers that attain degrees in higher education often have to go through the experience of singing in a foreign language. But shouldn’t we question this paradigm, especially when the communication of the text suffers as a result? If we hold singing as an act of communication, shouldn’t attainment of language proficiency in speaking occur before singing in a language one doesn’t understand? Precedent exists for songs and opera in translation, so perhaps consideration should be made for singing well in one’s own language as a priority in the vocal training of young singers. For those wishing to train in languages, discussion of diction resources by Cheri Montgomery and David Adams are covered. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/01/202153 minutes 10 seconds
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Masculinity Ep. 6

Brian and Justin engage in a philosophical discussion on the idea of masculinity in the singing voice. An overview and examination of historical male singing and noticing the differences in the low male voice and the archetypal sound of masculinity in voices. They discuss the masculine element of the voice against the feminine as an important part of voice training for the teacher. You can read some of Justin's blog posts relating to masculinity here.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/12/202050 minutes 36 seconds
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The Blind Men and the Elephant Ep. 5

In this episode, Brian and Justin talk about the ancient parable of The Blind Men and the Elephant and how this ancient story has modern day implications for how we approach the art of singing and teaching. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/12/202042 minutes 14 seconds
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Witherspoon's Fads and Fancies Part 1 Ep. 4

Herbert Witherspoon's "Fads and Fancies" is part one in a series devoted to fads of the day nearly one hundred years ago. Some of these fads are humorous, silly, and some continue to live with us to the present day. Can they be fads if they’ve lasted that long? In this episode we cover the first 10 fads from Herbert Witherspoon’s incredible 1925 book, “Singing,” published by G. Schirmer.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/12/202042 minutes 24 seconds
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Older Learners Ep. 3

What are some things to remember for older learners in regards to receptivity and staying curious about singing? Suspending judgement can be a way to keep the process novel and fresh, regardless of the singer’s level or age. What is the value of mindfulness in a voice lesson? How can we be more present to the experience of the voice lesson? Recognizing the process of mastery is helpful to gain clarity of guiding our students to greater success. A tangential conversation about Uta Hagen closes out the episode and its value for the training of the singer actor, and the value of recitals and their place in the life of a singer.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/12/202036 minutes 17 seconds
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Walter Foster: Singing Redefined Ep. 2

Brian and Justin take a deep dive into Walter Foster's Singing Redefined: A conceptual approach to singing (1998), Walter C. Foster. Recital Publications. Discussion revolves around the work of Foster, as well as the benefits of using Foster’s pedagogical work as a corollary to the extant knowledge of vocal acoustics, as explored by recent authors such as Kenneth Bozeman. Foster’s book can be found at: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/12/202027 minutes 29 seconds
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The Voice Culture Podcast is born! Ep. 1

In the inaugural episode of The Voice Culture Podcast, Brian Lee and Justin Petersen, voice teachers and pedagogues, invite you to a discussion on the idea of voice culture, and voice cultivation, as well as what to expect from subsequent episodes. What does it mean to cultivate a voice? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/12/202011 minutes 22 seconds