Staying in Lane: Exploring the Boundary Line Between Teaching Singing and Therapeutic Practice
Thursday 2nd December - 2-4pm UK time

In association with De Montfort University and the Mary Seacole Research Centre.

This course will be recorded and sent out to all pre-registered participants to watch in their own time.

Symposium Details

Our open-access symposium will explore the ethical codes of teaching singing and engaging in therapeutic practice. It will form the first of a series of symposia examining the tensions between teaching/coaching and therapy. With a focus on vocal health and hearing, this conference will evaluate the ethical issues faced regularly by the singing profession.

The event will be conducted online via Zoom:

2nd December 2021 from 2-4pm GMT.

The symposium intends to explore the ethical codes of teaching singing and caring for voices. The intended audience will be singing teachers, choir leaders, performance coaches, researchers and SLTs specialising in voice.

The intended Learning Objectives will be to:

  • Discuss the existing ethical codes for Singing Teachers including safeguarding
  • Examine the shifting nature of the boundary line
  • Question how (and why) you can maintain good ethical standing in your own work
  • Examine the impact of a multi-disciplinary team


2:00pm               Welcome

2:05pm               The Mary Seacole Research Centre

2:10pm               Facilitator: Kate Cubley

2:15pm               Teaching Ear to Hear: Vocal Instructors hearing health awareness with  Yvonne Gonzal-Redman

2:25pm               Key Note: Optimising the voice teacher’s role on the voice team with Julia Gerhard (CCC, SLP, DMA)

2:40pm               The Multi-disciplinary Team for Vocal Health: what is the singing teacher’s role? with Jenevora Williams (PhD)

2:50pm               The role of the vocal rehabilitation coach: ethical principles and considerations with Pippa Anderson (VRC – The Freeman Hospital) ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎  ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎and Natalie Eastwood (Clinical Lead – The Freeman Hospital)

3:00pm               Key Note: The Clinical Singing Voice Specialist: A Hybrid Profession with Leda Scearce (MM, MS, CCC-SLP)

3:15pm               Let Me Guess: why perceptual evaluation of vocal injuries isn’t enough with Melanie Tapson (BFA, BEd, MSc SLP (C) CCC-SLP Reg CASLPO)

3:25pm               Group Discussion

3:55pm               Conclusion

4:00pm               End


Facilitator – Kate Cubley PhD Candidate

Kate Cubley is a Senior Lecturer, PhD researcher, Voice Coach, Singing Teacher and singer based in Cheshire, UK. Continually committed to teacher training and personal development through practical education, Kate completed the Voice Workshop and UWTSD MA in Professional Practice and Voice Pedagogy in 2019 and continues her research journey with De Montfort University, specialising in Vocal Health. Her body alignment research was shortlisted as a finalist for the Van Lawrence Prize in 2016 and her poster gained 1st Place at Teaching Singing in Higher Education – Core Competencies.

Kate has a BA (Hons) from the University of Sheffield in English Language and Linguistics and is a qualified Level 7 coach and mentor. She is a certified CoreSinging® Teacher, has attended Estill teacher Training Courses, a selection of Vocal Process Singing Teacher Retreats. She is an active member of the British Voice Association, AOTOS, The Musicians Union and The European Voice Teachers Association.


Key Note – Julia Gerhard

Publications: A Review of Training Opportunities for Singing Voice Rehabilitation Specialists, Journal of Voice: May 26, 2015 DOI:

Julia Gerhard is a speech pathologist and singer with a passion for interdisciplinary voice education and voice rehabilitation. She earned a doctorate in musical arts in vocal performance and a master of arts in speech-language pathology from Temple University. She also completed the Summer Vocology Institute through the National Center for Voice and Speech in 2010. This training led to a clinical fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a faculty appointment at the University of Miami in the Department of Otolaryngology. At the University of Miami, Gerhard and the medical voice team worked together with faculty from the vocal performance department to foster learning opportunities for voice students including a pedagogy internship program within the voice clinic, World Voice Day events, and educational lectures. Now, as a new mother recently relocated to central Florida, she works as a speech pathologist in private practice.


Key Note – Leda Scearce MM, MS, CCC-SLP

Soprano, Clinical Singing Voice Specialist, Clinical Associate Faculty, Duke University School of Medicine, Director of Community Engagement, Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences

Director of Performing Voice Programs and Development, Duke Voice Care Centre

Soprano Leda Scearce has been featured in leading roles with the National Opera Company, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Long Leaf Opera Festival, Triangle Opera, the Ohio Light Opera Company and Whitewater Opera Company, and has appeared as concert soloist with orchestras including the North Carolina, Toledo and Honolulu Symphonies.   An active proponent of new music, Ms. Scearce has given world premiere performances of works written for her with the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Nashville, Mallarme Chamber Players, the American Chamber Music Festival and Chamber Music Hawaii.  A winner of the Birmingham Opera Vocal Competition, Ms. Scearce has also been a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  Ms. Scearce is a graduate of Indiana University with both bachelors and masters degrees in vocal performance.

A voice teacher for over 30 years, Ms. Scearce has served on the artist faculties of Bowling Green State University, Fayetteville State University, Meredith College, Brigham Young University of Hawaii and the University of Southern Maine.

Ms. Scearce obtained the Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University, where she completed an internship in voice disorders and voice rehabilitation for the performing voice at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.  She is currently a Clinical Singing Voice Specialist at the Duke Voice Care Center, where she provides rehabilitation therapy to singers, actors and other vocal performers with voice injuries.  Ms. Scearce is the author of Singing Voice Rehabilitation: A Practical Approach to Vocal Health and Wellness, published by Plural, Inc.  She is a frequent speaker on the topic of the singing voice at national and international voice conferences, including the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the Voice Foundation, National Association of Teachers of Singing, the International Conference on the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing, the Pan American Vocology Association, the Fall Voice Conference, the Northwest Voice Conference, the Utah Performing Voice Conference, the National Center for Voice and Speech, and the McIver Lecture in Vocal Pedagogy.  She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and is a founding member of the Pan American Vocology Association for which she served as President from 2017-2019.


Yvonne Gonzal-Redman

Publications:  Jul 2020 Work-Related Communicative Profile of Voice Teachers: Effects of Classroom Noise on Voice and Hearing Abilities, Journal of Voice. Y.Redman, C.Vercelli, L.C.C.Cutiva, P.Bottalico

Nov 2019 Immediate Effects of a Semi-Occluded Water Resistance Ventilation Mask on Objective and Subjective Vocal Outcomes in Musical Theater Students. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, I.Meerschman, K.VanLierde, Y.Redman, E.D’haeseleer

Yvonne Gonzales Redman joined the University of Illinois Fall of 2008 as an Associate Professor andteaches a variety of students majoring in music education and performance. She is dedicated to staying current in pedagogy and science in all genres of music. In 2017, she presented at the International Conference of Voice Teachers held in Stockholm, on bridging pedagogy between genres. She presented at the 2019 Florida and Texas Music Education Association Conference, and in May 2019 presented at The Voice Foundation in Philadelphia, presenting the results of a study on the work environment on voice instructors. She enjoyed an 18-year career as a main stage soprano at the Metropolitan Opera with nearly 200 onstage performances as a principal soloist, including 26 live radio and television broadcasts that are still regularly broadcast over Sirius XM radio. She also performed in many of the major opera houses and orchestras in the United States.


Jenevora Williams

Dr Jenevora Williams is a leading exponent in the field of vocal health and singing teaching. After a successful career in Opera, Jenevora turned her attention to investigating healthy and efficient vocal function. The combination of academic study and practical experience has resulted in a unique perception for understanding the human voice. She was the first singing teacher to be awarded a PhD in voice science in the UK, and won the 2010 BVA Van Lawrence Prize for her outstanding contribution to voice research. Her book, Teaching Singing to Children and Young Adults, has been enormously popular with singing teachers throughout the world. She is well-known for her imaginative and rigorous international training courses for singing teachers and voice professionals. She now runs Vocal Health Education and Evolving Voice. As a teacher of singing, she works with professional singers in both voice rehabilitation and career mentoring.


Pippa Anderson

Pippa Anderson is a senior lecturer and vocal health consultant for the musical theatre programme at Leeds Conservatoire, a British Association for Performing Arts Medicine registered Vocal Rehabilitation Coach, the Vocal Rehabilitation Coach in a voice clinic for performers at Freeman Hospital. She represents ‘the spoken voice’ on the Education Working Party panel for the British Voice Association.

In addition to the roles listed above, Pippa also runs a busy private practice working with actors and singers and she facilitates workshops and masterclasses on vocal health hygiene and vocal technique throughout the UK.

Natalie Eastwood

Natalie Eastwood qualified as a speech and language therapist from Sheffield University and has over 18 years of experience working with voice and swallowing disorders. She is currently the Clinical Lead in Voice at Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust. Natalie works as part of the ENT department at The Freeman Hospital, assessing and managing complex voice, swallowing and upper airway disorders secondary to respiratory and benign ENT disorders in both adult and paediatric caseloads.

Since taking on her role at the Freeman Hospital in 2016, Natalie has focused on service development, including SLT-led voice clinics, the specialist multidisciplinary vocal rehabilitation clinic and an intervention clinic for office-based laryngology. In addition to this, Natalie is a guest lecturer at the University of Newcastle, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate SLT students the voice component of the Motor Speech Disorders module; she is also a member of the Newcastle Voice Conference faculty.


Melanie Tapson BFA, BEd, MSc SLP (C) CCC-SLP Reg CASLPO
Professional singer & voice therapist (speech language pathologist)

Melanie Tapson is a professional singer, Singing Voice Specialist, and speech-language pathologist whose practice specializes in voice assessment and therapy, primarily for professional voice users and performers. She obtained a fine arts degree in jazz performance in both voice and drums, an education degree in senior level vocal music and drama, and a Master of Science in SLP, all focused on voice.  Melanie has enjoyed a long career as a performer, including time spent working for Disney Cruise Line and touring with a Juno Award winning band.  She also maintains a variety of professional designations including serving as the Canadian and Eastern Hemisphere governor for the Pan American Vocology Association and she holds a Certificate in Performing Arts Health from the Performing Arts Medicine Association and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Melanie is invested in staying on top of current trends in both research and therapeutic interventions in voice care.  She routinely presents at international forums to both broaden and deepen her knowledge and skills in voice and voice disorders.  Melanie also holds an Adjunct Lecturer position in the Faculty of Medicine at UofT and regularly gives workshops to voice users, voice teachers, and SLPs around the globe.

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