In Progress: Doctorate in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at the New England Conservatory of Music
Emily Siar, soprano, is a Boston-based vocalist, voice teacher, and writer with extensive experience performing opera, cabaret, chamber music, art song, and musical theater. A passionate voice teacher, Emily is committed to helping her students accomplish their voice goals and cultivating loving relationships with their voices and themselves. Emily believes that singing has the potential to be a radically healing act and is so grateful for the opportunity to be part of her students’ journeys.
Emily holds a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music and is currently a fourth year doctoral candidate in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at the New England Conservatory of Music.
Why do you sing?
I am called to sing because it offers a continual outlet for me to explore who I am on a deep level and to share with others. I relish the process of delving into text and character, collaborating with fellow musicians, and bringing a piece to life in the moment for an audience. I find making music to be stimulating and freeing and feel that it allows me be the most expansive version of who I am!
Why do you teach?
I love working with students who sing all kinds of music, including musical theater, pop, classical, R&B, country, funk, and folk. I am constantly listening to high-level singers in a wide variety of genres so I can be of service to my students in whatever music they love.
How do you describe your lessons?
My lessons are very student-centric, geared toward the unique personality and goals of each person who walks through the door of my studio (or into my zoom room!) I believe that every person already has an innate capacity for vocal and musical expression, and it is my job to see that seed inside each student and to water it like crazy! In lessons, we use tailored voice exercises to explore a variety of sounds, seeking those that are most sustainable, stylistically-appropriate, and (most importantly) freely produced. We’ll work hard together, but we’ll have a lot of fun along the way!
How do you practice?
As singers, it’s easy to get preoccupied with what’s happening in our throats and lose sight of the fact that our whole bodies are our instruments! My practice always begins with bodywork of some kind to ground and center me. When I move on to vocalizes, I listen and feel for what my voice needs in the moment in order to find balance and ease. I approach practicing almost like a meditation, staying grounded and focused in the moment, accepting where I’m at, and responding to the conditions at hand. For me, quality over quantity is key! I’ll take 20 minutes of focused practice over an hour of distracted work any day.
What is your favorite teaching tool?
I love using straws in lessons to help my students find more freedom of airflow and ease in their vocalization! Plus, they are a great way to warm up when you can’t make a lot of noise (apartment practice, anyone?!)