Transformational Voice Teaching Apprenticeship Program

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Transformational Voice Teacher Apprenticeship program prepares committed, experience singers for the profession of Voice Teaching. 

The goal of the program is for graduates to become superb singers and teachers of the Transformational Voice System.

The program is a one-year, part-time program that consists of three15-week terms beginning in January, May, and September. Apprentices will need to be able to commit 10-12 hours per week for the duration of the program.

It is designed to accommodate working professionals.  The program has completed its fourth year, and has graduated 31 students.

Nicole Cabell describes the benefits of the
Transformational Voice System and its Apprenticeship Program

QUALIFICATIONS FOR ADMISSION

Applicants must demonstrate commitment to and passion for the art of singing and music. We look for applicants who have those qualities that cannot be taught: intellectual curiosity, emotional maturity, compassion for the pain and suffering of others, an open “Beginner’s Mind,” the courage to self- examine, a desire to commit one’s life to the service and benefit of others, and a driving passion and commitment to sing one’s best.

We will look for evidence that an applicant sees voice teaching not so much as a job, but as the best of all professions: a calling requiring a sacred contract between teacher, student, and “Source,” however the applicant defines it. Source is that great mystery which has many names, names such as “Life Force,” “God,“ or “Conscious Universe.” We encourage you to use the name with the deepest personal meaning for you.

We look for applicants who wish to spend the duration of their lives inquiring into the mysteries of the voice and human nature. For such a person, the Apprenticeship Program provides the perfect means to start along this journey, to hit the ground running, and to become an excellent professional voice teacher soon after graduation.

There are no other requirements for entry.

The program accepts no more than ten students per year.

WHO SHOULD APPLY

We welcome committed, passionate, and courageous musicians — of any genre or style — open to learning, and who want to make a difference in the world.

We especially encourage applications from those who have learned by doing and have been out there performing – especially in non-classical styles. Most singers today want to sing non-classical styles, and most classically trained voice teachers don’t have the skills to help them. Worse, such teachers often impose on their students their own value system of what they feel constitutes good music. Our techniques are style-neutral, focusing on vocal freedom and authenticity.

For those who have gone a traditional route and have a music degree, this program provides a bridge from the world of music academia or professional performing to the profession of teaching, or from the profession of teaching to that of professional singing. It does so by training our apprentices to become great teachers, and to understand how to parlay their knowledge into a sustainable professional livelihood.

For those who have achieved a high level of skill as avocational musicians, and have reached a time of life where they can train for a second career, this is the ideal program.

Our holistic model informs us that age and non-musical life experience enrich a teacher’s offerings to students. We therefore welcome applications from skilled musicians who have achieved excellence in non-musical professions and areas of study.

Applicants can be of any race, faith, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, or educational background, as we do not discriminate based on any of these factors. In fact, our experience has been that diversity enhances the program enormously.

RESIDENTIAL AND DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS

Apprenticeships can choose either residential or distance learning. There is no difference in tuition between the two. Residential apprenticeship is considered ideal, but requires relocation to Portland, Oregon for the duration of study. If relocation is not feasible, then apprentices can choose the distance learning option, which is done via online video conferencing.

All aspects of the program can be accomplished in the distance learning option. If you choose the distance learning option, we will discuss the various ways in which you can fulfill the requirements of the program. A reliable, fast internet connection is essential.

In order to facilitate a rich experience of the Transformational Voice culture, have the opportunity to get some teaching experience live under the direct supervision of Linda Brice, and to bond with fellow apprentices, it is highly recommended that all distance learners spend one week per term in Portland. Housing is provided free of charge during this week, though apprentices will be responsible for all other expenses.

WHAT WE TEACH

Linda Brice did not invent the body of knowledge taught in the Transformational Voice Teacher Apprenticeship Program. It was, however, assembled, organized, expounded upon, added to, and communicated by her over 45 years of study and application, and 32 years of successful teaching.

Linda was the lucky recipient of this increasingly esoteric knowledge passed to her by a number of her old-school, wise, and mostly very famous professional singer/voice teachers. Together, the principles, techniques, and methodologies comprise a complete system, A to Z, covering virtually all aspects of vocalism. Nothing in vocal technique is left unaddressed, and the program is considered to be technically rigorous.

Most important, however, are the techniques, philosophies, and methodologies surrounding our breathing system. This system anchors the entire technique, mental state, and emotional expressive potential of the singer. It is central to everything we do, every sound we make, every musical phrase we sing. The art of singing is girded by the art of breathing.  For a modern, stressed-out, anxious person, breathing requires an awakening of consciousness, body awareness and integration, surrender of the ego, and a gradual development of body strength and conditioning.

Most of the components of our system – especially the vocal techniques – are probably very ancient. They have been handed down, teacher to student, in an oral tradition over centuries. Linda’s teachers passed them to her. Now Linda’s greatest desire is to pass them to the voice teachers of a new generation of “singers/voice teachers/healers” in order to influence and permanently change the culture of singing. This culture all too often wounds, divides, shuts down, and minimizes.

Linda is fond of saying, “I am an imperfect messenger of a perfect system.” Perfect it is! Our holistic system of principles, techniques, and methodologies comprise a logical, sequential, learnable, teachable, dynamic, and quickly effective method that works for everyone who tries it, even if they don’t believe it will work! The results are fast and stunning, the result being the release of the Authentic Voice. The Authentic Voice is characterized by a number of qualities, some of which are actually measurable. One of them is uniqueness — the Authentic Voice is a perfect mirror of the true and authentic nature of the vocalist. The result is beautiful because it is free!

Our system works for every style, every voice type, every age, and for speech as well as singing. This is because the techniques are based upon the structure of the human body, and on Newtonian laws of physics operating over respiration and phonation.

COURSE OF STUDY

Apprenticeship requires approximately 10-12 hours per week, and is designed to accommodate working professionals.  Weekly hours are spent in classroom instruction,  practicing, studying, fulfilling listening or writing assignments, or furthering one’s study in areas needing remediation (music theory, for example).

A term consists of Seminar (4 hours/week), a Private Lesson with Linda Brice (1 hour/week), Student Observation (Spring), Supervised Teaching (Summer), or Practicum (Fall) (2-3 hours/week). In addition, remedial coursework may be desired or required (in order to pass Assessment Exams for Certification) in musicianship, applied piano, music theory, or diction. There are a number of ways in which these deficiencies could be addressed, including private tutoring, self-study.

SEMINAR: 4 Hours of Class Instruction Per Week. Seminar meeting time is scheduled after admission according to student’s availability. Seminar is videotaped in case a student has to miss a class, and for distance learners, will be posted on Vimeo online.

Term 1: TECHNIQUE: Physiology, Physics, Laryngeal and Vocal Fold Function, Phonetics/Diction and Technique; History and Legacy of Technique; Comparative Techniques; Technical Tools of Classical and Non-Classical Styles. Paired with Student Observation.

Term 2: METHODOLOGY: Voice Typing, Psychology of Personality, Learning Styles, Teaching Methods, Reducing Fear and Its Effects, Music Learning Methodology, Group Learning Dynamics. Paired with Supervised Teaching.

Term 3: PRINCIPLES: Spirituality of Voice and Music, Artistic Identity and Recovery, Inquiry,

Aesthetics, Practice Strategies, Career Development, Studio Business Management. Paired with Practicum.

Private Lesson: 1 Hour with Linda Brice. This hour can be used in any way that the student wishes (voice lesson, discussion, private tutoring, problem-solving, etc.).

Student Observation/Supervised Teaching/Practicum: 2-3 hours per week.

Term 1: Student Observation. Apprentices will silently observe Linda Brice’s  or that of another Certified Teacher and take notes, In observing private lessons, Linda Brice will select students at various levels of development, or who have a severe vocal impairment or injury. Discussion of observations will be part of Seminar.

Term 2: Supervised Teaching. Apprentices will be teaching volunteer students one-on- one, with Linda Brice providing feedback. Supervised teaching and feedback is done in front of the entire group.

Term 3: Practicum. Apprentices will be teaching 2 volunteer private students 1⁄2 hour per week (1 hour total), without supervision. In Seminar, they will discuss student/teacher experiences and outcomes, as well as continue supervised teaching of volunteer students, with Linda Brice providing feedback.

GUEST FACULTY

While Founder Linda Brice is the primary instructor for the program, we have invited guest faculty to provide specialized expertise:

Dr. John Brons, Professor and Department Chair of Anatomy at National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM), teacher of anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system and vocal tract;

Karen Drake, Speech Language Pathologist and Director of Voice Disorders at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), teacher of vocal physiology and function;

John Amuedo, M.M., former staff at the MIT Media and Artificial Intelligence Labs, teacher of physics of the vocal tract;

Rosalind Diamond, M.A., Northwest Minister of the Ridhwan School, teacher of the Practice of Inquiry;

Judi Julien, Ph.D. in Neuroscience, a Certified Transformational Voice, a teacher of personality disorder recognition and management in the teacher/student relationship.

ASSESSMENTS AND CERTIFICATION

The culmination of apprenticeship is certification as a Transformational Voice Teacher. In order to achieve certification, apprentices must pass a series of assessments: three skill demonstrations, and three content exams. Skill demonstrations are required in musicianship, teaching ability, and vocal technique. Content exams are in essay format, and are given for principles, techniques, and methodologies.

Apprentices may sit for these exams when they feel ready to take them. The exception is the musicianship assessment, which is given during the first week of the program. This provides us with a means of assessing how best to help the apprentice grow in this critical area of study, and to ensure that the apprentice has the means to pass the assessment.

The content assessments consist of approximately 150 essay questions. Questions are meant to provoke thought and deepen learning; there is often no right or wrong answer, and certainly no perfect one. The entire program minimizes “busy-work” and maximizes creative thought, experiential learning, and holistic integration of mind/body/heart/spirit. Most students need at least 60 hours to finish their assessments, above and beyond class hours. All questions asked are thoroughly covered in the program during the year.

USE AND ABUSE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Linda Brice is the owner of all intellectual property utilized by AVC. Transformational Voice Teachers are free to utilize this proprietary intellectual property and curriculum materials in their private practice as teachers, provided that proper credit is given to Linda Brice (by including “Copyright © Linda Brice”).

Students learn the proprietary Transformational Voice system, and over time add to it in unique ways, making it their own. We believe that this is a good thing, contributing to the evolution of ideas and practices. Our intellectual property rights are to protect all of us from a very different type of person – one who steals ideas and then pollutes them, diluting the power of our brand, and harming our community of teachers and students, who are bound in relationships of love, respect, and mutual benefit.

The only limitation on use of the intellectual property is that Linda Brice reserves the right to utilize our proprietary intellectual property to be the sole provider of Transformational Voice-based apprenticeship programs for voice teachers and, in the future, coaches/collaborative pianists.

CERTIFICATION AND PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITY

We are dedicated to preparing singers for the profession of voice teaching, enabling them to feel confident and hit the ground running. If you are a singer open to teaching anyone who wishes to sing instead of only those who wish to pursue professional performing, the profession is healthy and alive. There is opportunity to make a living for all teachers who are prepared for the realities of making a living from their passion. Because AVC is new and unique in so many ways, there is opportunity in being the first Certified Transformational Voice Teacher in the city where you live.

TUITION AND PAYMENT PLANS:

We have been able to lower tuition by $800 in 2014 to $11,100, with significant discounts offered for tuition paid in full. We offer interest-free 2- or 3-year payment plans. If you decide to pay in full, tuition is due on the 6th of January. If you choose a payment plan, tuition payments are due on the 6th of the month, and your first payment is due February 6.

Deposit (non-refundable unless not accepted into program; otherwise, applied to tuition): $600, due with application. Tuition ($11,100) 3-Year Interest-Free Payment Plan: $308.82/month for 34 months Tuition ($11,100) 2-Year Interest-Free Payment Plan: $477.27/month for 22 months Tuition ($11,100) 1-Year Interest-Free Payment Plan: $1050/month for 10 months Tuition Reduction to $10,900 if paid in 3 payments of $3,433.33

Tuition Reduction to $10,700 if paid in full at start of program

WITHDRAWAL AND LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICIES

You can withdraw from the program at any time. Your deposit is non-refundable, but is applied to your tuition.

If you withdraw by 4 weeks from the starting date of a term, you are only obligated for tuition as of the date of your withdrawal. If you withdraw after four weeks from the starting date of a term, tuition is due for the duration of that term only. If you withdraw and are on a payment plan, you can pay any tuition due according to your plan. See Exhibit A for tuition if you drop during the term.

If you are not on a payment plan, but have paid tuition for the term or the year in full, you will be refunded your tuition, minus any tuition owed up until the day of your withdrawal.

If you become seriously ill, experience a family emergency, or believe you need extra time to complete the program satisfactorily, you can take a leave of absence without penalty. You can join the next year’s program at the exact point where you left off. All refund policies apply; if you go on leave of absence after 4 weeks into a term, your tuition for that term only will be held by us and applied to the following year. If you have paid in full, your tuition money for future classes will be refunded to you.