One More Time with Feeling; The Use of Emotion for Training Singers with Kate Sheppeard – Tuesday 1st September, 5pm (UK time)

Course Details

How does emotion affect the voice, and can it be harnessed as a tool in Western classical vocal pedagogy? Eminent voice pedagogues do use emotion as a pedagogical tool and have described their experience of its usefulness anecdotally (Bozeman, 2013 and 2017; Chapman, 2007; Williams, 2019). Scientists have striven to measure emotionally produced acoustic changes in the voice; these changes can be heard and even accurately perceived by the listener (Scherer, 1986). Muscular changes occur with emotion (Scherer, 1986) in all three components of the vocal apparatus; breathing, vocal folds and vocal tract (Sundberg, 1987), and these changes affect voice acoustics (Laver, 1980). Research shows these emotional effects on vocal acoustics to be comparable in both the speaking and singing voice (Scherer, 2015). Scherer (1986) predicted these changes in his Component Patterning Model of Vocal Affect Expression and subsequent research has largely proven his model which predicts the acoustic result of an emotion based on physiological responses.

This 1 hour webinar will outline;

  • Darwin’s phylogenic theory of emotional effect and his theory of the early origins of vocalised emotion.
  • Historical use of emotion and its description in the early singing treatise.
  • The emotions used anecdotally by pedagogues
  • The work of Professor Klaus Scherer and his early predictions of the effect of emotion on voice acoustics based on; his own emotion model of physiological response and, the work of  phonetician Professor John Laver who described the acoustic change for different muscular actions of the vocal apparatus. Scherer went on to ‘prove’ his predictions with his own and other scientists research on acoustics of vocalised emotion.
  • Current research on the singing voice and the effect of emotion on acoustics; how does the research compare to the emotions used by pedagogues in the studio?
  • Interesting correlations with vowel use and emotion.
  • Possible ways to elicit emotion in voice teaching; tips from the scientists.
  • Kate will present a diagram she has compiled based on a two dimensional model of emotion with the results of the latest acoustic data, the emotions studied, as well as the emotions used anecdotally by pedagogues.

About Kate

Sydney born, Katrina Sheppeard completed her vocal studies at the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music before beginning work with WA Opera. In 2002 she joined Opera Australia and remained as part of the ensemble until 2007 when she became a Young Artist for Opera Queensland.

Since moving to London in 2008 Katrina has worked extensively with UK companies and in particular with English National Opera. Roles covered by Katrina for ENO include Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Turandot in Turandot, Marta in Weinberg’s The Passenger, Leonore in Fidelio, Katerina in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Norma in Bellini’s Norma and Tosca in Puccini’s Tosca. Other UK companies Katrina has performed with are Welsh National Opera, Opera Brava, Riverside Opera, Swansea Opera, Midland Opera and Bloomsbury Opera – her roles including Tosca, Aida, Turandot, Tatiana from Eugene Onegin and Rosalinda from die Fledermaus. In Australia, Katrina has performed with Opera Queensland and Victorian Opera as Aphrodite/Echo in Mill’s Love of the Nightingale.

In 2017 Katrina performed excerpts of Isolde in concert with Australian Heldon Tenor Stuart Skelton for the Tait Memorial Trusts Wagner Concert at St John’s Smith Square, and in 2016 performed Wagner Excerpts with Australian Heldon Baritone Warwick Fyfe at Australia House. Katrina is very grateful to have been awarded scholarships by the Wagner Society NSW in both 2017 and 2018. She is currently researching emotion and voice as part of her MA studies.

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