top of page
Australian Voice
2023, Volume 24
The Slow Singing Approach

AUTHOR: Nicole Stinton


ABSTRACT: For many actors in training, aural and/or video recordings of the original stage productions often serve as the principal source to learn a new song quickly and easily. They do so without having to look at a score, work with a vocal teacher or rehearse with a pianist, which often results in the actor copying the recording. While there are some vocal coaches who advocate that this aural based mimicking is a positive pathway to both learning a song and overcoming any associated vocal challenges, I argue that the vocal muscle-memory it creates dominates so strongly that the actor’s imaginative interpretation is impeded. Imitation prevents the actor from being able to experiment creatively with a range of interpretative options, it stops them from connecting with and reacting in the moment to their scene partner, and it does not allow them to characterise with authenticity. Yet, given that so many actors find the reading and writing of music an inaccessible foreign language, how do music theatre teachers follow the advice of experts like Millie Taylor and enable their students to learn holistically through, with and in their creative, imaginative bodies (2008)? Over the past two years, I have been working with acting students, many of whom do not have traditional music literacy, at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) on what I have come to term the Slow Singing Approach. This embodied focus enables students to take their time to learn a new song, while using their vocal technique effectively, but not at the expense of their authentic acting abilities.


KEYWORDS: authentic acting, monologuing the music, musical theatre, music theatre, recitativing the song, slow singing


To cite this article:

Stinton, N. (2023). The slow singing approach. Australian Voice, 24, 23-30.

bottom of page