July 4, 2015

Nature in Vocal Training For Speakers and Singers by Louise Héritte-Viardot

Louise Héritte-Viardot-Garcia
In all the years that I have been researching historical vocal pedagogy, there are perhaps a handful of really important documents that relate to the García School. This is one of them.

Written by Pauline Viardot-García's daughter, I obtained a copy of Louise Héritte-Viardot's Die Natur in der Stimmbildung für Redner und Sänger from the Library of Congress about ten years ago. Not being as deft as I would like in reading German, my colleague and friend John Sheridan graciously offered to translate the document into English for my personal use. That it appears below for readers of VoiceTalk to study is a further result of his generosity.

Die Natur in der Stimmbildung für Redner und Sänger was written a year after the death of Héritte-Viardot's uncle Manuel García, who died at the age of 101 in 1905. Rich in detail, the reader will observe Manuel García's pedagogic thought expressed in several key instructions, one of them being the admonition to "follow nature," which  appears in reports about García's teaching philosophy. As such, his pedagogical world was grounded in what could be readily observed with the eyes and ears. Héritte-Viardot also addresses the matter of the "fixed-larynx," which had become a preoccupation within Germany during the last decade of the 19th century. There is much here to ponder and cross-reference with other García exponents. I hope you will enjoy Héritte-Viardot's good common sense, which is in evidence everywhere.



Nature in Vocal Training
For Speakers and Singers

By

L. Heritte-Viardot

Heidelberg
Otto Petters Publishers
1906

Forward

It has been asserted that Nature, in her herbs, plants and seeds, offers a remedy for each disease of the human body. It remains undecided whether or not that is the case; we will leave it to natural scientists and chemists to get to the bottom of that issue.

However, what we know and can assert without doubt, is that all defects  in vocal development can be corrected through completely natural remedies. Indeed, all defects of our speech and singing organs can be removed through careful, physiological handling and logical use of these organs.

We base this assertion upon on-going studies and 45 years of experience and observation.

We are so convinced of the truth and correctness of this assertion, that we consider it our duty, not to keep these observations and experiences to ourselves, but rather to publish the same.

Non-professionals, in general, know nothing of this, and voice teachers (may God hear my complaint!) seldom arrive at a satisfactory result, when it has to do with using a voice well, or with removing natural and learned mistakes.

If anything here might seem to be superfluous, as for instance the enumeration of the working parts of the vocal mechanism, it will still be useful for some to recall these things, or even in most cases to learn them, and to read them, clearly laid out in print.

We are not allowing ourselves to engage in any sort of polemic.The publisher of this work has completely withdrawn from publicity, and may those who don’t like this little pamphlet let it lie in piece. 

Nonetheless, we hope that it will be distributed, and will serve as a remedy to the innumerable mishandled voices, and as a sure help and firm support to those who teach.

I.

Vocal training

Each person, who is not mute, has a voice which serves for speaking and singing.  In its natural state this voice is almost always undeveloped, or raw, or hoarse. Often the voice also has a gummy, nasal or guttural sound.

All these defects can be found in completely healthy voices—therefore because of that they can be corrected. Other illnesses of the vocal mechanism are to be left to medical handling; nonetheless, we ourselves can do much to prevent illness of the larynx and throat.

Vocal training, therefore, is the art of developing a voice, to direct, to remove its defects, so that it maintains a beautiful, defect-free sound, while speaking as well as while singing.

It would be fundamentally incorrect to bring to mind the various speaking or vocal methods in order to achieve this goal. There is only one sensible and appropriate kind of vocal training, namely: to follow nature. 

As the differences in people’s characters and temperament show so well, the physiological construction of the vocal mechanism can also be different in each. One person has weak, the other strong lungs; [one] slack [the other] elastic vocal chords; [one] an agile, [the other] a heavy tongue, etc. We have to adjust to [these differences] and thus the handling of the voice will not be the same for all. On the contrary, each voice demands an individual handling—it is here that the art of teaching exists—and it is just in this that there is continual harm done, because each teacher applies a so-called method of his own invention to all voices.

None of these methods achieve their goal; for the most part they are even harmful, because they tax and ruin the voice, and very often bring about illnesses of the larynx and lungs.

Thus there remains to us only one method of creating and maintaining a healthy voice: Let us follow nature.

II

Our vocal and speech mechanisms are: the lungs, larynx, oral and nasal passages, throat, as well as lips, tongue and teeth.

If we assume, that the lungs and larynx are healthy, and that the palate is not exhibiting any anatomical defects, then each voice is not only ready for use, but further can also be strengthened and refined. This however will only be achieved through correct guidance and practice, and it is just this that we would like in practice to demonstrate.

On Breathing

How many people breathe properly? Barely one third of all of humanity. It is a fact, that all of us, whether silent or speaking, never completely fill our lungs with air. We inhale only half-way.

Now a great deal has been written and debated about how one should breathe, and in this voice teachers especially put forth completely unbelievable things in their “methods.” One believes that one should breathe with the ribs, the other with the abdomen—i.e. greatly expand the ribcage, or extend the abdomen. So, where then are the lungs?

Of course, the ribs and the abdomen are engaged when breathing, but it is the lungs that have the primary work to do. Recently it has also been asserted, that one must breathe completely involuntarily through the mouth—but this is not completely correct.

In any case, when speaking or singing, one must not inhale so vigorously, that the shoulders are forced to rise, or that the air makes its way through the glottis  with a sound.

For reasons of health, even inhaling through the mouth is very much to be rejected; on the contrary, one should as much as possible only inhale through the nose, which besides its designation as the organ of smell, serves primarily to protect the vocal mechanism and lungs when breathing.

Everyone knows how many dust particles are contained in the air. If we then always inhale through the mouth, the lungs would soon be full of dust particles, which easily could lead to illnesses.

[As a defense] against that, the inner surfaces of the nose are equipped with tiny hairs, which capture most of the dust and prevent it from penetrating into the lungs. One need only recall how a handkerchief looks when one has used the same after a railroad trip. Thus it has been prescribed by nature that as much as possible we should breathe through the nose.

That this is not always possible is known best by singers, e.g. when a rest is too short to close the mouth. However, whoever has accustomed oneself to breathe lightly and deeply through the nose before each spoken or sung phrase, will soon, at the same time, come to breathe quite rapidly through the nose and the mouth. Besides that, the naked breath is decidedly harmful to the larynx. It causes a friction of the air against the vocal cords, as well as a drying out of the mucus membranes of the throat and palate, both of which are disadvantageous for the voice, since they cause a much greater exertion of the larynx.

If we observe ourselves when not speaking or when sitting still, we will notice that upon inhaling we extend the abdomen, but that happens only with a half breath. If we should inhale again—without exerting ourselves especially—we will then clearly discover, that the abdomen is pulled in little by little, and the rib cage rises and expands. Only in this manner do we breathe well and completely. While doing this, the ribs expand, and this is the reason that one has hit upon the incorrect method of breathing with the lower back. Yet at the same time, a physiological fact is completely ignored, namely: that men and women do not breathe in completely the same manner.

If a teacher says to a male student, “Breathe with the ribs,” he is quite right, because when inhaling, men display a greater activity of the abdomen and the ribs. But if he says the same to a female student, he is very much in error, because a woman moves the abdomen very little; on the contrary, for her the primary activity is in raising the rib cage, a fact that one can easily be convinced of, if one observes a man and a woman who are out of breath from running or jumping.

This is known to every physiologist; non-professionals however, as well as voice teachers in general know nothing about this, despite all their breathing exercises and drudgeries, which, speaking of this latter group, says much against their qualifications to impart voice instruction.

Each of the different parts of the body develop their primary function according to the body’s position; the abdomen, when lying; the lungs, with expansion of either the ribs or the lower back, when standing or sitting up straight.

Since however the usual bodily position of a speaker or singer is either standing or sitting, we must accept these as normal, and do what nature requires of us:

1. As much as possible, breathe through the nose.
2. Carry out inhaling as deeply as possible (without exaggeration!) until the abdomen at first extends and then gradually pulls back in.

Then we will have inhaled involuntarily and well. “Voluntary” [breathing] consists solely of an exaggerated inhalation, by which only a harmful and ugly effect is brought forth. Harmful, in that it causes excessive exertion and irritation; ugly, in that the shoulders are pulled upwards, and the entire person creates an unaesthetic effect through the distention [of the body].

In a text book about speaking it is asserted: “A person need burden his soul with inhalation and exhalation just as little as a blackbird or a nightingale. These birds sing continually, without ever running out of breath.” 

What a shame that we are not birds! To be sure, their souls are not burdened, above all, not their larynx, and if the bird runs out of air, he just stops singing and breathes again.

But what would one say, if a speaker or singer stopped speaking or singing in the middle of a phrase or even at some unfit place, because he had not inhaled sufficiently? It could even occur that he might have to gasp for air between two syllables of the same word. For us, “follow nature” doesn’t therefore mean that we should behave as birds, but as people, who must conform to the physiological construction of their organs.  Anything else is nonsense.

We don’t wish to avoid mentioning the diaphragm as well.

The diaphragm is a strong muscle, which forms the partition between the chest and abdominal cavities. During inhalation, this muscle flattens out, and during exhalation it moves back. It does its work completely involuntarily, so that we, while breathing, don’t have to think about it at all. Only during the pronunciation of certain consonants (G and K) as well as while singing the so-called “slow coloratura,” must we consciously call the diaphragm to our aid. 

III.

The Larynx

Our vocal instrument, the larynx, lies along the middle axis of the front of the throat in front of the fourth and fifth neck vertebrae and consists of 7 differently shaped cartilaginous parts. Of these, four play a role in singing and have the following designations:

1. The shield cartilage (cartilago Thyreoïdea), the upper forward part of the larynx, which for the most part forms the forward-moving aprt of the well-known Adam’s apple, and extends outwards like a shield.  From which the name Thyreoïd, from the Greek Thyreos, shield, and eidos, form. Behind the shield cartilage lies the glottis.

2. The ring cartilage (cartilago cricoïdes) from cricos, Ring—which extends around and lies under the shield cartilage.

3. The two arytenoids, from Arytaina, funnel. The two small cartilages sit behind and above the ring cartilage, and are bound with each other by muscles, and move the vocal cords. The larynx is flexible in its component parts as well as in total; one can lift or lower it.

The glottis is formed through two folds of skin. These folds are the lips of the glottis, called vocal cords or vocal lips. Through the movement of the arytenoids, the vocal cords can be brought closer to each other and the glottis can be narrowed stepwise to a complete close. Even the entire larynx can be narrowed through this motion, so that its complete extent, in that way, is significantly lessened.

Above and behind the larynx lies the pharynx. The pharynx has two tasks; during breathing it lets the air flow in and out, and during swallowing it lets food slide down the esophagus. Thus the pharynx belongs to a certain extent to our vocal mechanism; furthermore, the soft palate should be mentioned, whose flexibility is significant for us.

We all know what the palate is the upper part of the mouth. At the edge of the broad partition, which closes the vault of the palate at the back, a fleshy extension sits in the middle, the uvula, which also plays a roll during speaking or singing.

It may appear unnecessary to name and define all these parts of our vocal mechanism, since many of them fulfill their tasks without our taking notice of them; however, we must intentionally use these different parts quite often, once it has to do with correcting vocal defects in speaking or in singing; and thus we must know their names.

Vocal range while speaking

A new assertion has been made, namely, that the speaking voice must have a compass of only three half steps, or a minor third. 

If that were the case, we would have to view this as a very regretable fact! Every speech, every lecture would immediately sound as unbearably monotone as an old woman mindlessly droning out her prayers. Luckily this is usually not the case; and a person should make efforts to give his voice a much greater compass as it befits him. 

Furthermore, it is also taught that: In the speaking voice there exist no registers as in the singing voice.

Men usually speak in chest voice, which when singing is also their natural register. Only men with respiratory diseases or very weak men speak tonelessly with the so-called falsetto. And yet there are also exceptions among healthy men, who then almost always speak in head voice . . . .   As concerns female voices, these possess their different registers when speaking as well as when singing: chest, middle, and head voice. A deep female voice will usually speak in chest and middle voice; on the contrary, a high voice will speak in middle and head voice. There is no firm rule for this, it is completely individual. However it is always to be assumed, that a lively, expressive person has a much greater compass in his speaking voice, than a person with a slow, languid natural disposition.

Why do people always want to prescribe laws for Nature, when she herself is the great Lawgiver, and we are the ones who must conform to her?

Since speech is a means through which our feelings and affects are expressed, thus, when speaking, we may use all means offered to us by nature, and these means consist of: vocal timbre and pronunciation, including their most varied inflections and accents.

IV.

How are vocal defects healed?

A very ticklish chapter! There will hardly be two teachers with the same opinion, thanks to the different "methods" that each one strives to represent. Even the word "method" alone has become hateful to us much more than the thing itself. We see how each [teacher] strives to win people to his point of view, how the thing is polemicized and battled over, how the one method strives to displace the other, how much nonsense is written and printed—but the poor voices get no better because of it! Nowadays one can easily assert, that there is no longer a German, French or even Italian method (or school); all methods have become harmful and disastrous. All that therefore remains is the choice between good or bad speaking and singing.

As for us, we can, after 45 years of experience, state the following with good conscience, and, to be sure, always holding ourselves to this same principle, namely: that we are to follow nature and use the means that she herself has given into our hands.

If a voice is husky, first we must determine the cause of it. If the cause is illness or a cold, then the first and best treatment is to be silent and to rest, unless a doctor has already intervened. 

If there is no local illness at play, then it is very probable that this voice has become this way through unreasonable handling (mishandling). Through forcing, screaming, incorrect usage of the registers, excessive speaking or singing, the vocal cords become slack and lose their taut elasticity; the glottis remains then too widely opened, so that the air as it passes through causes friction, taking timbre from the voice and producing hoarseness.

For this there is a means of intervention: the will. We must desire, that the vocal cords come back together—what one calls closing.

In order to achieve this closing, one must (for a time) strive for a guttural sound and not speak or sing too loudly.

In very serious or chronic cases one must proceed even more energetically, by taking the exaggerated guttural bleating of sheep as a model and by bleating heartily over and over, until the vocal cords have learned to close and to be obedient to the will. Of course one then puts aside this guttural sound, which is easily done. 

From the above it is apparent that in the case of an ugly, guttural voice, one must apply the opposite remedy. In this case, we must open the glottis wide, so that we hold the vocal cords away from each other and pronounce a whispered U. One will achieve this goal through calm, patient practice.

If we have to deal with a shaky, tremulous voice, that is yet more difficult and demands more time and patience on the side of both the student and the teacher.

Involuntary tremulance results almost always from speaking or singing that is halting or too loud.

It is most noticeable when singing, even unbearably so. But one can have a tremulous voice while speaking as well, as happens with very old people due to weakness.

The best remedy against this is to hold out a sung tone decidedly with the firm thought: you may not shake. Meanwhile one must close the glottis and push the breath against the glottis, as if wanting to let more breath out.

After frequently repeated practice, little by little the vocal cords achieve their normal calm again, and the tone also will become calmer and steadier. But one must be patient; it never goes as quickly as one would wish.

The so-called lump is a rather widely found defect. The cause of it is that vowels as well as consonants are pronounced much far too back in the throat instead of forward, as it always should be done—for vowels are formed and pronounced with the lips, consonants with the tongue and hard palate; never back in the throat, which, to be sure, some languages encourage more or less; through which then the so-called lump arises.

With Italians, Spaniards, and the French it is a great rarity; with Germans, Flemish and especially with the Dutch one finds it often. The English have a primarily guttural pronuncation, and the Americans a guttural-nasal one. 

In order to be rid of this lump, one must accustom oneself to completely bright vowels and pay attention, that both tongue and lips do their duty with consonants.

The exercises may first take place in the presence of the teacher, because whoever sings or speaks with a lump has become so used to it, that he simply doesn’t hear it or feel it any longer.

A nasal sound is caused when one contracts the larynx too much and doesn't raise the uvula enough, so that the air, instead of flowing forwards and outwards, finds its way out through the nasal cavity. This nasal sound is perhaps most fatal, because it is not only ugly, but also has a ridiculous effect.

To prevent or do away with this nasal sound, we should not stop the nose, as is sometimes advised, but rather pull the uvula upwards.  

As soon as we open the mouth well and inhale strongly through the mouth, and as we do some exercises before a hand mirror, we will easily be convinced of this.

In this high position of the uvula, after one has inhaled only through the mouth (this is an exception!) one holds a vowel out for a long time, always longer, with an open glottis. One will then notice, that the nasal sound has disappeared, because the uvula has closed off the nasal cavity and has forced the air flow and sound forwards.

There are yet other defects in speaking and singing; e.g. laziness of the tongue and inflexibility of the lips. The tongue must, through exercises, be made nimble and light, and the lips should also become accustomed to forming the different vowels properly.

In speaking, the tongue constantly has something to do; in singing, much less so, because the tones are held out longer. But it is only during the pronunciation of the text that it performs its work; otherwise it must lie flat, like an oyster in its shell; it should not prance, should not pull forwards nor backwards, but rather it must lie flat, quietly and without stiffness. Only in the pronunciation of consonants should it be moved and placed with light, quick motions against the hard palate or the teeth, and then allowed to fall back immediately into its quiet, supine position.

There is yet another defect, namely squeezing, which, to be sure, is ugly, but is removed somewhat more quickly than the already mentioned defects. One squeezes, as soon as one applies pressure to the larynx, either through holding the head too low, or making the throat too wide and too short. The simple remedy against this is, therefore, to hold the head higher, to make the throat longer and thinner, and to open the pharynx wide. This is a tried-and-true remedy, but one must simply practice it until it has become a habit.

V.

Here we would like to make note of a large, widely disseminated misunderstanding, namely the constant confusing of the concepts of dark sound and dark vowels, in speaking as well as in singing. 

There is no doubt, that the dark character of a speaking or singing voice is much more beautiful and noble than one which is very bright, nominally of a childlike or squeezed character. But in order to bring a dark color to the voice, we may not—as happens in practice—pull the vowels backwards and darken them, because in doing so the voice becomes hollow, toneless, and, along with this, it takes a colossal exertion of the larynx, breath and muscles, not to lose all vocal strength.

No, every vowel, be it bright or dark, must sit forward, where it is formed and produced through the position of the lips and the smaller or greater distance between the jaws.

We should only produce this dark sound through the pharynx and soft palate. The latter is flexible; we can raise and lower it.

Imagine that we are beginning to yawn; we clearly feel, how the palate rises powerfully. Now, instead of yawning again, we hold out, thusly, a long, extended vowel, which is formed forward [in the mouth]. The brightest vowel “Ai”  works especially well for this, but always only with lips pulled to the sides and and a small distance between the upper and lower jaws. Despite that, we will quite clearly be made aware of the dark quality of the sound.

If the palate is held upwards in this manner, we also notice that the larynx is pulled down; it is an incontestable, physiological fact, that the palate and larynx always move in contrary motion to each other.  If the palate rises, the larynx sinks; if the palate falls, the larynx moves upwards. Once this is understood and recognized, we have at hand a sure means of giving a too dark, hollow voice brilliance and power again; we need only let the palate drop properly, as e.g. when we begin to swallow.

By doing so the larynx jerks upwards, and these two motions produce a bright sound, which also, in certain cases, can be just as important and necessary as a dark one.

Our singing and speaking mechanism must just in this way be trained and [these things] instilled, so that it will do the correct thing instantly and almost mechanically, without one having to think about the particulars. Everything must work together in such a way, that thoughts and feelings concern themselves exclusively with the interpretation of what is being spoken or sung, and can be completely concentrated on that.

This eternal confusion of dark sounds with dark vowels, however, is—we cannot stress this enough—the primary error of today’s teachers of speaking and singing, and the cause of many vocal and even chest maladies. It is much to be hoped, and this teaching error will soon disappear completely, before more voices and lives fall victim to it—there are already enough of those!—for, to ruin a voice is, flat out, a crime!

Equally harmful is the method, spread throughout Germany, of larynx placement. This has to do with always holding the larynx quite low, which cannot happen of course without great inflexibility.  How can one, then, speak or sing at length with an inflexible, placed larynx? One can just imagine, what enormous effort and excessive forcing this brings with it.  

Besides that, through this [technique], all suppleness and elasticity of the vocal cords and the entire larynx is lost from the outset. One speaks or sings in a monotone and in too deep a vocal register, which, after a time, calls forth exhaustion and harm to the vocal cords, a situation which the family doctor has rather some difficulty in correcting. All these methods are unhealthy and harmful, because they sin against nature. Nature desires, that our larynx moves upwards and downwards; why should we then do otherwise? Simply so that one can say: this is my method? One really need not boast about it, because by doing so one commits a crime!

VI.

As one has seen from the above, nature herself offers the correct remedy for every vocal defect, and only these, her remedies, are to be used.

One should thus guard oneself very much against all other systems, because all of them are dangerous; one should also avoid the use of tongue depressors, balls or spoons in the mouth; whatever any of these crazy inventions may be called. Such helping aids are only useful for as long as they are used. Since one cannot always sing or speak with a ball in the cheek and a spoon on the tongue, without their use the old defects start up again and the ordeal has been in vain.

The only helping aid which we may truly usefully employ, is a hand or floor mirror, so that we can see and control what we are doing; whether the tongue remains quiet; whether it is too sluggish during pronunciation; whether the uvula is raised; whether the pharynx is opened wide or not; whether the palate is too much or too little arched; whether the lips are forming the vowels properly; and whether we are making a face.

Much attention should be paid to the latter. Many singers, for instance, rumple the forehead or raise the eyebrows or pull the corners of their mouths down or have a perpetual smile, etc. All these movements are bad, for every motion of the face muscles brings a corresponding stiffening of the throat and larynx muscles with it and we lose all mastery over our means of vocal production; we no longer guide the pony, but it leads us, and certainly astray.

* * * * * * *

Since the tip of the tongue plays a major role in pronunciation, and since the fluidity of the tongue must be thoroughly practiced, an especially good exercise is recommended here as a guide. We wish to make the reader especially attentive to the following remarks, because they are very important.  Also, these exercises should be done with the use of a metronome. If one does not possess a metronome, it can be replaced to a certain degree with a loudly ticking clock.

If we assume that [quarter note] =60 on the metronome means that each beat lasts one second, to a certain extent we can take our bearings from it [i.e. the clock].

We start with triplets, i.e. we repeat each vowel three times per second. 

Whoever pronounces vowels badly—too far to the back, must begin with the following exercise: since “l” is the best consonant before each vowel, and itself brings [the vowel] forward: La-la-la, le-le-le, li-li-li, lo-lo-lo, lu-lu-lu.  This is repeated often until the tip of the tongue [executes] the “l” and then immediately hits against the upper front teeth.

Whoever already has good vowels can likewise begin with: ba-ba-ba, be-be-be, bi-bi-bi, bo-bo-bo, bu-bu-bu. “B” is a lip consonant, and one must also pay attention, that only the lips move, and not the jaws.

This same exercise then is further carried out by placing each consonant of the alphabet before a vowel.

Example:

Da-da-da , de-de-de, etc.
Fa-fa-fa, etc.
Ga-ga-ga, etc.
etc. up to the last consonant.

Once one now has become accustomed to good, clear, forward-pronounced consonants, then the tempo can be speeded up; one now pronounces 4 syllables per second, then six, and after a short while one possesses a truly lovely tongue fluidity; the tip of the tongue has accustomed itself to do its work easily.

Notes:

To these exercises we wish to add to sounds which occur quite often in the German language: Ach and Asch. Neither of these sounds may remain in the throat, but rather must as much as possible be brought forward; one should pronounce and practice them in front of each vowel as [they sound] for instance in ich and Schiller. This will be difficult for the Dutch; through diligent, consistent practice however it will finally become possible for them.

Of course, the “r” should not be a gargled sound, but rather must be attacked forward [in the mouth] with the tip of the tongue. At the beginning, it will sound overdone then people will say “affected!”—after awhile however, the excessive trrrrilling will give way, and “r” will then be pronounced with a light tap of the tongue much as “da” is [pronounced].

A long nasal sound should be avoided with AM and AN. One should bring these two consonants quite forward, M should be formed correctly with the lips, N with the tip of the tongue, and both should be pronounced clearly and quickly, so that the air has no time to get into the nasal cavity. There will still be a tiny nasal resonance, but it must be reduced to a minimum. 

N.B.: These exercises are of just as much use for the singer as for the speaker. The singer should practice the same first speaking, then with each triplet on an extended note; always climbing upwards and downwards, the next-following triplet on the next note of the scale and so on over the entire compass of his voice.

In books on speaking, one will find any number of exercises which are presented with great detail and import. Most of these exercises are good, especially for those people for whom everything must be, so to speak, pre-digested. The thinking person will find, however, after brief consideration, that in the above, single exercise all pronunciation difficulties are addressed. Whoever practices this exercise knowledgeably and industriously will easily be able to do without all remaining, time-consuming tongue and lip exercises.

* * * * * * *

Nowadays, so many “breakthroughs” are announced with such pomp and circumstance, that we, in contrast, have made an effort to impart a great deal of content in a form that is very concise, condensed and as easy to understand as possible. If we have succeeded, we hope that many people, teachers and students, stimulated by this bit of writing, may come to the proper understanding, that all defects in vocal development can be healed, removed and avoided, if one uses the remedies which Nature herself has offered us for that purpose.

May this be beneficial and useful!

* * * * * * *

But please, dear reader: do not call this a method!



Translated from the German by John Sheridan.