This week I attended the Voice and Speech Trainers Association annual conference in NYC where a lifetime of work came full circle. Let me fill you in.
College at SUNY Binghamton offered me the privilege of studying Arthur Lessac’s Speech Method. Even all those years ago I loved the work of isolating, exploring and “buzzing” every sound that makes up this wonderful language called American English. It was great fun and also gave me a feeling of the power in simple speech, simple clear communication. That love of the music of speech has stayed with me all these years.
Years later, when my search for a non-classical voice teacher ended in the conclusion that if there was going to be a codified, well-structured, healthy vocal technique for the contemporary singer, I would have to write it – it was my Lessac work that become one of the key components of my method. Without realizing it at the time, I incorporated this brilliant speech technique into my singing method.
Now comes the amazing part of my story. Arthur Lessac was our keynote speaker for the VASTA conference this week. Mr. Lessac mesmerized the audience with the brilliance of his heartfelt message and the music of the speech. He did apologize for having to use notes to get through his hour-long keynote, but then, when you’re 100 years old the memory isn’t quite what it used to be! 100 years old and his voice is still powerful and resonant and a sensual experience to hear!
Mr. Lessac embraced me with a strong hug when I told him I was a SUNY Binghamton graduate. I did not have the privilege of studying with the master himself, but did study with those he had trained during his tenure at the college.
I shared the story of being totally frustrated with the ignorance of the vocal music department in the area theater voice. He shared similar stories. It was in that moment that I realized the profound effect of the Lessac Method on my life’s work as a singer and vocal trainer and creator of the Morganix Method.
Arthur honored me by accepting a copy of my book. It has come full circle. I am grateful to this brilliant, warm, wonderful man and his passion for awakening a love of the music of speech in so many people.
Thank you, Arthur Lessac. You are a great teacher.