Music and mind: Meditation in vocal practice for transcendent learning of Stephen Paulus’ Song Cycle: All My Pretty Ones


New scientific attention has been applied to meditation in various fields. In music learning, meditation has been applied to studying many instruments, music appreciation, music history, music theory, and music performance. Scholars have collected data and evidence to prove its function by experiments during musicians' classes or collaborative rehearsals. However, limited detailed contemplative studies exist that focus on meditation and vocal music learning.  As a unique musical instrument, using the voice requires coordination between the brain and human physiology. Vocal training is abstract, because the instrument cannot be directly observed, therefore, correct thinking has a significant impact on producing the correct sound. Many vocal learners provide different feedbacks on the same approach to vocal training. Some students believe the study of singing is easy, based on natural skill. Such students may create fascinating and professional sound very quickly and easily, but they cannot explain singing technique clearly. Others believe that vocal technique is challenging to master because of complicated controlling by mind and muscles those they cannot visually manipulate. Through many years of study, the singers, who belong to this latter group, still cannot confidently understand the singing with an organized technique. Therefore, meditation can enable students to build the correct direction of study when learning vocal music and help them to deeper understand singing structure and mechanism and achieve transcendent performance. The song cycle All My Pretty Ones was composed by Stephen Paulus for soprano and piano on a text by Michael Dennis Browne. It will serve as a guide to explain the relationship between meditation and vocal works.  This document will introduce the relation between analyzing All My Pretty Ones and visualizing the human’s mind to develop a self-learning system by studying various contemplative methods to practice vocal techniques and inspire music learning. Therefore, meditation training can be used as the primary pedagogical method in the voice field in the future.

Embargo status: Restricted to TTU community only. To view, login with your eRaider (top right). Others may request the author grant access exception by clicking on the PDF link to the left.



Meditation, All My Pretty Ones