Gregory Zavracky

tenor/teacher/composer

Teaching Philosophy

The development of a reliable singing technique is paramount to becoming an artistic musician and an effective communicator. I encourage a free vocal production that brings out the unique timbre of each student’s voice. My approach aims to coordinate the entire vocal mechanism into a singing gestalt, where all body parts are working in harmony and free of hampering tension. The components of my teaching method are:

·      proper postural alignment, which acts as a foundation for the breath and the vocal apparatus.

·      low, expansive breathing with a balanced resistance of respiratory muscles while singing in the traditional appoggio manner.

·      coordinated phonation that facilitates a steady, energized flow of air from onset to release.

·      coordination of laryngeal muscles throughout the range that accommodates changes in registration.

·      elimination of any tensions that hinder the production of a free tone.

·      an open throat, balanced resonance, and clear articulation

·      the use of traditional Italian school exercises, functional exercises and kinesthetic movement designed to increase freedom, suppleness, presence, and range.

·      clear communication of concepts and exercises that students can employ successfully while practicing.

·      the teaching of proper practice habits and the development of a practice routine that allows students to make progress between lessons.

Voice lessons extend beyond simple voice instruction. I believe it is my job to inspire my students and to push them to reach their full potential. I assign repertoire that piques their interest, challenges students without going beyond their abilities, and focuses on the technical issues the student is working on. I believe in creating a relaxed but focused environment that allows students enjoy their lessons and excel as performers.

I emphasize the role of the singer as an artist and communicator. Good diction and a thorough understanding of the meaning of the text and translation are essential, as is proper musicality through attention to phrasing, dynamics, tempi and articulation. The engagement of the whole body both technically and dramatically leads to exciting, expressive singing.

 

 

Teaching Experience

 

University of Connecticut, voice instructor, 2013 – present. 

•    Teach a private voice studio of 13 undergraduate voice and music education majors. 

    Teach “Applied Music Techniques – Vocal”, which provides music education majors the pedagogy, techniques and understanding to teach general music and choir for elementary through high school aged students.

 

Brown University, teaching associate, 2016 – present. 

•    Teach a private voice studio of 10 undergraduates. 

 

Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI), voice faculty, 2011 – present. 

•    BUTI is a six-week summer program for some of the country’s best high-school singers. 

•    Teach a private voice studio of 10 students. 

•    Teach intermediate and advanced levels of music theory. 

•    Serve as the music theory coordinator. 

•    Direct opera scenes.

 

Eastern Connecticut State University, lecturer in voice, 2015 – 2017. 

•    Taught a private voice studio of 9 undergraduate theater majors and music minors. 

    Co-taught weekly studio class for all students in the voice department.

    Taught “Introduction to Voice Studies,” which focuses on in-depth vocal pedagogy and the development of critical listening skills as applied to voices.

 

Boston University, graduate teaching assistant, 2010 – 2014. 

•    Taught a private voice studio of 6-12 to voice/music minors and non-majors. 

•    Taught “Class Voice”, which provided non-majors and music education majors vocal instruction in a class setting. Lectures addressed vocal pedagogy and dramatic presentation.

 

Norwood High School, adjunct voice faculty, Norwood, MA, 2001-3 and 2006 – 2016. 

•    Taught private voice studio of 8 students, culminating in spring voice recitals. 

 

Private voice studio, 2010 – present. 

•    Maintain a small private voice studio.

 

 

Teachers

 

Becky Folsom, 2014 – present

Penelope Bitzas, 2007 – 2014

James McDonald, 2006 – 2007

Bill McGraw, 2005 – 2006

Edward Zambara, 2001 – 2004

Elizabeth Arnold, 1998 – 2001