The David Jones Teacher Mentoring Program
The David Jones Teacher Mentoring Program was established in London in 2008 to offer teachers and singers information about the Swedish-Italian and Italian Singing Schools. The purpose of the seminar series is to offer teachers the opportunity to observe technical teaching in a public setting, including concepts based on Old World teaching principles. Specific subject matter is covered in each teacher training seminar. It can include such subject matter as (1) working with dramatic voices, (2) how to hear vocal damage, (3) training tenor voices, (4) problem-solving in the female lower passage, (5) accomplishing acoustical balance in pharyngeal vowel formation, (6) breath and breath management, (7) finding correct posture, (8) jaw/larynx function in pronunciation of text, (9) application of technique to repertoire, and (10) finding balance in registration.
David Jones presents a 2-day teacher/singer mentoring seminar every 6 months (typically in January and June) which offers the instructor the unique opportunity to observe him teach contrasting voice types. Each singer is given a full half hour of instruction in order to sufficiently diagnose and resolve vocal issues. In essence it is a series of mini-lessons designed to share technique and its application to repertoire for an audience of instructors and singers. Audio recording is encouraged so that the listener can have a future reference of the concepts and how they are healthily applied. Teaching materials are offered to attendees as well, making it easy to understand the design and purpose of each exercise and proper application.
At each seminar, question/answer sessions are scheduled periodically in order for attendees to ask questions regarding previous sessions, or perhaps a question about one of their own students in their voice studio. A description will then be offered by Mr. Jones on whether a concept works for specific voice types, what exercise is best for specific problems, and how to work with a sequence of exercises to accomplish a specific vocal goal.
A guest lecturer is usually a part of the program in these 2-day seminars. Speakers have included Wlima Wever, who has presented a lecture on performance enhancement, Dr. Benjamin Asher, laryngologist, Chandler Thompson, voice therapist, and Sophie Lair Berreby, voice therapist.