Vocal education and performance realities

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Carriage, L 2001, 'Vocal education and performance realities', Creating musical futures: challenges to music education in the 21st Century : National Council of Tertiary Music Schools Conference, Byron Bay, NSW, 30 June - 2 July, National Council of Tertiary Music Schools, Griffith University, Brisbane, Qld.


How can we ensure that vocal education and pedagogical approaches address performance realities? Vocal education in the future will necessitate a better understanding of the experience and needs of voice students and performers. In this paper, I consider this question by focusing on exploratory research I have conducted on the experience of contemporary Australian female vocalists. This research provides information on five key areas: career development and early influences; the role of music education; vocal problems and vocal preservation; possible barriers to participation; discrimination. Interestingly vocal education in the practice of styles, techniques and knowledge of popular music was seen by most respondents as important - even for those who themselves had had limited formal musical education. However, a majority of respondents also felt vocal education needed to do a better job of imparting an understanding of the nature of contemporary vocal practice and its industry settings. As music educators, we will need to meet this challenge, particularly within technology-intensive institutions.