Guest Voice Instructor Workshop for Grier Singers
Grier's most enthusiastic voice students attended an afternoon workshop presented by Gwendolyn Walker, a voice instructor at Penn State’s School of Theatre where she trains musical theatre students who often perform on Broadway in their postgraduate years. In this workshop, Grier singers developed their contemporary singing techniques.
Gwen Walker had visited Grier last May, when she taught a workshop on the Alexander Technique, which is about reducing tension and stress, both mental and physical, to allow the body to perform its best. While the Alexander Technique wasn’t the focus of this December workshop, Grier vocalists did locate and massage facial and neck muscles, including their sternocleidomastoids in their necks and masseters in their cheeks. The massages helped relieve tension in areas common to vocalists, allowing the singers to perform their best. Next, Gwen led the group in warm ups that included straw work, where they produce vocal melodies while keeping a paper straw in their lips. Then, students sang individual pieces, with Gwen providing feedback and helping each student strengthen their contemporary singing techniques.
The choir members in attendance appreciated Gwen’s guidance and suggestions. Thank you to Gwen Walker and Grier’s Music Department Chair Mrs. Ginger Reinhardt for organizing the workshop!