'Biofeedback in Vocal Pedagogy: Real-time success using mobile application technology' - with Heidi Moss Erickson - Thursday 15th April 2021 (5pm-7pm UK time)

This course will be recorded and sent out to all pre-registered participants to watch in their own time.
Due to licensing laws, we are unable to sell this course retrospectively.

Course Details

Biofeedback in Vocal Pedagogy:

Real-time success using mobile application technology

Heidi Moss Erickson, B.A.Bio, B.Mus.Voice, M.Sci.

Advancements in mobile technology have revolutionized nearly every sector of our lives. Like a virtual fingerprint of our individual preferences, the seemingly endless array of mobile apps can define and enhance our interests. Music applications are a large part of this industry, and new generations of singers use their mobile devices to listen to songs, record their lessons, read, and annotate scores. Newer analysis and recording applications geared towards advanced musicians also include various forms of spectrograms for acoustic visualization.

However, spectrographic technology used by voice scientists and pedagogues has not fully crossed over into the mainstream population of students and teachers. One reason for the lack of pedagogical use is that acoustic computer software has been geared primarily towards research and academic-oriented pursuits.  Acoustic software can be complicated to learn and tedious to analyze. In addition, the traditional teacher/student paradigm, proven successful for centuries, is a very effective way of teaching voice. Thus, there can be resistance to introduce new forms of pedagogic analysis in an already well-functioning studio.

However, the integration of technology for targeted purposes can aid both the student and the teacher in many important ways. In most instances it leads to increased accuracy in a shorter amount of time. It also allows the student to self-check particular directives in their own individual practice. Identifying beneficial areas of biofeedback is critical in determining where these tools can have maximum effectiveness.

How we practice efficiently and effectively’ is fast becoming one of the holy grails in our field.  Visual biofeedback not only complements all of these processes, it also enhances both the speed and the output of targeted motor coordination.


The most critical element of introducing this technology is to identify relevant pedagogical questions that can easily be solved via visual biofeedback. Ideally, these approaches would supplement traditional methods (i.e. teacher/student; auditory/ kinesthetic feedback), but allow progress to happen faster and enhance understanding of processes.

This lecture will teach the science of biofeedback, how it relates to singing, and demonstrate the value of biofeedback for specific pedagogical aims.

Sample biofeedback mobile app readout:


About Heidi

Heidi Moss Erickson, is a Bay Area performer, educator, and scientist. Noted for her “rich and radiant soprano” (Edward Oriz, Sacramento Bee) has performed on national and international stages, including numerous local companies such as Opera Parallele, Festival Opera, West Edge Opera, Livermore Opera, Fremont Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, Oakland Symphony, and the Sacramento Choral Society.

A champion of new music, she helped spearhead the performance of eight song premieres by eight different renowned composers for an alte/neue lieder fest with LIEDER ALIVE! including Daron Hagen, David Conte, Kurt Erickson, and Henry Mollicone. She continues her collaborations with living composers including a recital of works by Jake Heggie, with the composer himself at the piano. She has also premiered works by philanthropist Gordon Getty with the Russian National Orchestra and San Francisco Opera and will premiere a piece by Tarik O’Regan next June.

Heidi has also garnered recognition in major vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (NYC First Place Winner), the Liederkranz Awards, the MacAllister Awards, and the KDFC competition which resulted in a performance with pianist Lang Lang. In 2019 she was awarded a ‘Best in the Bay’ award for her Richard Strauss recital featuring John Parr of Deutsch Oper Berlin at the piano.

In addition to her musical life, Heidi graduated with a double biology and music degree from Oberlin and a masters in biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. She studied telomeres at Rockefeller University and has several publications, including a landmark paper in Cell which was featured in the New York Times elucidating a revolutionary discovery that the ends of DNA are looped.

Her interest in voice science came from her work in the lab of the late Richard Miller at Oberlin. Throughout her career, she has collected historical vocal pedagogy texts and scientific papers both inside and outside the field to fuel her unique perspective on singing. In 2007, a rare cranial nerve injury sidelined her singing career, and both doctors and teachers warned her she may not ever perform again. Using her own scientific research and strategies, particularly in how speech and singing is processed in the brain, she rehabilitated to return to the art she loves. She has applied these concepts to train singers of all levels, including those who struggle with auditory processing.

In addition to a private studio, Heidi teaches voice and vocal physiology at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has been an invited speaker at the NATS National Conference,The Pacific Voice Conference, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Oregon, Vocal ProcessUK, Vocology In Practice, and NerdNiteSF. This year she was also featured as a keynote speaker for the British Voice Association Conference. Her writings have appeared in blogs and podcasts, such as The Naked Vocalist and in her journal club entitled “Minding the Gap: connecting research from basic science and neuroscience to vocal pedagogy”. Her goal is to help reframe vocal pedagogy to make singers happier while simultaneously improving more rapidly by integrating concepts of neuroscience into the studio. She is the wife of composer/pianist Kurt Erickson, winner of the NATS Art Song Prize, and they proudly parent 4 children together.

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