Associate Professor of Voice, Shenandoah Conservatory Artistic Director of the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute
For those of you who do not know me, I am Matthew Edwards, Assistant Professor of Voice at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. When I was hired in 2010 I was the first tenure track voice teacher in the United States whose full-time responsibility was teaching pop/rock to musical theatre majors. Since then other schools have begun to follow suit, but it is fun to know that we were the first :). Shenandoah is also the first and only conservatory offering a master’s degree in contemporary commercial music voice pedagogy in addition to our DMA in Voice Pedagogy (which also has a strong CCM component). It is an exciting place to teach and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with wonderful colleagues.
I bring a diverse background to my work. My first love was singing rock ‘n’ roll. I then became obsessed with choral singing, musical theatre, and finally opera. While working as a professional opera singer I realized that my love was not one specific style of singing, but rather the human voice and all of its incarnations from classical to heavy metal. When I was in high school, no one was willing or able to help me with my rock singing. Instead I was told classical training would solve my problems and I would eventually be able to apply those techniques to singing rock. However, after years of training with some of the best voice instructors in the United States, I was still struggling to sing rock. I was always interested in discovering how things worked and I became obsessed with trying to figure out why my classical training was not enough to help me find my rock voice and subsequently, how I could help others reach their goals.
Over the last ten years I’ve spent thousands of hours reading, singing, teaching, attending conferences, and learning from the most brilliant minds in voice science and pedagogy. The core underlying foundation of my teaching is Somatic Voicework™, a technique developed by NYC voice teacher and researcher Jeannette LoVetri. LoVetri has spent over forty years convincing the professional voice community that contemporary commercial music (CCM) styles need and deserve their own pedagogical approach and has developed a science based method to offer that training. I also look to other leading voice scientists and teachers for answers including Dr. Robert Sataloff, Dr. Scott McCoy, Dr. Ingo Titze, Dr. Johann Sundberg, Thomas Cleveland, Melissa Cross, Sheri Sanders, Robert Edwin, and many others.
This blog will share information that supports the training of CCM singers with genre specific techniques and exercises based on vocal function. The posts will be based on science, anatomy, and physiology and past posts will be updated if new research comes to light that informs the work. I will also be sharing information about other topics relevant to the work of modern singers from news sources, journals, as well as other authors and websites. I will also be posting content to support my upcoming book “So You Want to Sing Rock ‘N’ Roll?” which you can pre-order from Amazon.com.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you find the content useful and relevant to your work.