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Professional opera singer credits UWTSD for transformative learning experience

Emily Gray has credited the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) for the transformative impact of its online MA in Vocal Pedagogy. Emily, who manages a private teaching practice, expanded her lessons online during the pandemic and sought a comprehensive way to enhance her teaching skills. 

Enrolling in the MA in Vocal Pedagogy at UWTSD allowed Emily to integrate theory into her practical teaching. She said: “The course is absolutely whatever you need it to be. I used the library and lectures to boost my practice, and I used my modules to research conservatoire teaching standards.

“The archive of information in the library is absolutely astonishing. The lectures were recorded, and I found the content not only relevant to me as a teacher, but also as a performer. I was able to put the vast majority of the extensive library into my practice immediately, primarily becoming critically aware of the basic physiological and psychoacoustic properties of voice production. Learning on this course is entirely self-directed, so I could focus on the parts of my practice that I was less confident about.”

Emily highlights the course’s impact on her singing and teaching, emphasising the necessity for formal training in singing instruction. The collaboration with the Voice Study Centre, experts in Voice Pedagogy, further enriched her learning experience, allowing her to flourish in her field.

The course, with its emphasis on research methodologies, instilled in Emily a newfound love for research and philosophy, shifting her professional focus towards deliberate learning. Despite the challenges of juggling a part-time master’s qualification and three freelance roles, Emily found solace in the supportive community formed with her global cohort.

“This is not something to take on lightly. It can be lonely. I reached out to a number of students in my cohort, and we became a very tightknit group of friends. Students in my cohort were based all over the world. We met via zoom and supported each other, sharing ideas and relevant articles. We created a community of practice that still meets to discuss pedagogy amongst other things, even though we have all finished our course.”

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Lowri Harris, the Professional Practice Programme Manager for the MA in Vocal Pedagogy, said: “I am delighted to witness the transformative impact of our program on professionals like Emily Gray. Our commitment to flexible learning, enriched content, and a strong sense of community reflects our dedication to elevating the standards of vocal pedagogy. We empower students to navigate self-directed learning, ensuring their journey is marked by excellence, growth, and fresh perspectives in the realm of voice instruction.” 

The University is committed to providing a Professional Practice Framework that encourages students to engage, reflect, and identify areas for improvement. The collaboration with the Voice Study Centre underpins UWTSD’s dedication to fostering excellence in voice pedagogy.

Julie Crossman, Lead Tutor at UWTSD’s MA in Vocal Pedagogy added: “Our commitment to flexibility, comprehensive content, and a supportive approach illustrates our dedication to advancing the field. Julie believes in empowering students to embrace self-directed learning, facilitating their journey towards excellence and newfound horizons in the field of voice instruction.”

Emily is now hoping to study for a PhD to delve deeper into conservatoire standards, a shift in priorities she attributes to the galvanizing impact of her master’s studies at UWTSD.