November 6, 2014

Elizabeth Fleming: Inheritor of the Bel Canto Tradition

Joseph Hislop 
A remarkable document by Myron Myers, a student of Elizabeth Fleming, herself a student of Maria Parea and Joseph Hislop, can be found here. I stumbled across it the other day while looking for something else, then completely lost interest in my original search after being caught up in Myer's account of Fleming's teaching and pedagogy.

Of course, the curious thing about Fleming's pedagogy is that its reminds me of the teaching of Margaret Harshaw, who, like Fleming, was known for her sense of humor and forthright manner. Harshaw taught along similar lines, one point of agreement being the student had to learn how to feel the sound. I could not agree more, since feeling the tone is a vestibular function of the ear, which has everything to do with the audition of bone conduction (no, this dog is not letting go of that bone).

If I have learned anything, it is that the bone-conducted sound is heightened for singing, even when "crooning," which throws into relief the whole idea of "singing as you speak." Of course, the question to ask is: how do you speak? But that's another post.

Enjoy Myron Myers essay. It's great stuff.


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