This episode of A Voice and Beyond is proudly sponsored by Vocal Health Education.

Dr. Jenevora Williams and Stephen King are the founders of Vocal Health Education, and they’re coming to Australia in January 2024. VHE has trained over 2000 people in a holistic approach to understanding people and their voices. Are you interested in the whole person and how a variety of factors will affect their health and well-being? Have you noticed how vocal health is related to overall health and well-being? Learn more at

As many of you know, acoustics is not my thing. I make no secret of the fact that I don’t understand acoustics, how it is applied, or its relevance in the singing voice studio, especially as someone who is in the CCM sector. This week on A Voice and Beyond, I am thrilled to continue into part 2 of my two-part interview with Dr. Brian Gill, whose interdisciplinary journey has resulted in an approach to voice that aims to unite voice science with practical application more clearly.

In this discussion with Brian, my mission was to get him to do the hard sell. I asked Brian to explain why I should develop a deeper understanding of acoustics and convince me of its advantages. It led us to totally geeking out on all things singing voice pedagogy: from a philosophical standpoint and beyond. Topics of intense discussion included; what evidence-based and science-based really mean in terms of voice training, the current trends in voice teaching, weaponizing knowledge, the importance of meeting our students where they are at, a potential divide in the singing voice community, especially for the teacher in the private studio, the future of voice training and so much more.

If you want to know if I was persuaded to go and learn more about acoustics, you’ll have to listen to the episode. It is full of so much information, but it is also full of so many laughs. I know you are going to enjoy listening to Dr. Brian Gill, and if you missed part 1, it was last week’s episode 128.

In this Episode
1:15 – Introduction
5:33 – Evidence Based vs Science Based
16:04 – The value of a holist workshop
38:23 – Weaponized knowledge
46:53 – Master “Apprentice” Model vs “Master” Apprentice Model
59:16 – Philosophical side of Pedagogy
1:14:03 – What are you up to next?

Find Brian Online


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Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:00

Hi it’s Marissa Lee here, and I’m so excited to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you. In these episodes, our brilliant lineup of guests will include healthcare practitioners, voice educators, and other professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialized fields to empower you to live your best life. Whether you’re a member of the voice, community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. It’s time now to share your gift with others develop a positive mindset and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, it’s time for you to live your best life. It’s time now for a voice and beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:16

As many of you know, acoustics is not my thing. I make no secret that I don’t understand acoustics or how they are applied, or their relevance in the singing voice studio, especially as someone who is in the CCM sector. Well, this week on a voice and beyond. I am thrilled to be continuing into part two of my two part interview with Dr. Brian Gill, whose interdisciplinary journey has resulted in an approach to voice that aims to more clearly unite Voice Science with practical application. In this discussion with Brian, my mission was to get him to do the hard sell. I asked Brian to explain to me why I should develop a deeper understanding of acoustics as well as convinced me on its advantages. And this totally led us to geeking out on all things singing voice pedagogy, from a philosophical standpoint and beyond. Topics of intense discussion include What does evidence based and science based truly mean in terms of singing, the current trends in voice teaching weaponizing knowledge, the importance of meeting our students where they are at a potential divide within the voice community, especially for the teacher in private studio, and the future of voice teaching. And oh my gosh, so much more. If you want to know if I was eventually persuaded to go and learn more about acoustics, you will have to listen to the episode. It is packed full of information, but it is also packed full of laughs I know you’re going to enjoy listening to Dr. Brian Gill. And if you missed part one, it was last week’s episode number 128. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  03:50

Brian, you know what, let’s call this act two. Okay, great to stand up. Part two. This is act two because we’ve had costume changes.

Brian Gill  04:02

I was wondering what shirt I wore the last night.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:05

I was thinking, what did I wear the last time what hairstyle did I have? But hey, people I’ve gone and brush my hair and put my teeth back in specially

Brian Gill  04:19

I love it and I still have no hair.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:24

Well, you clearly didn’t brush your sand but I’m glad. I’m glad you put your teeth back in.

Brian Gill  04:29

Can you go back?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:33

Anyway, we are going to do a full geek out. In this episode. I am so excited. And I’m really excited to talk to you about this because you and I have a great friendship and great trust. And you’re not going to be offended by what may come out of my mouth at different points of time through this part of the interview. and you are such a highly respected pedagogue, and you’re such a highly acclaimed person when it comes to evidence based science based pedagogy, the acoustics you work with Johan Sundberg. So I feel like I’m in good hands. And I hope you realize that too. So let’s take our audience on this geeky journey. And start off by asking you, what does evidence based and science based mean to you?

Brian Gill  05:40

Oh, you had to start with that one? Well,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:43

I mean, let’s start with the hard questions. And let’s sort that out before we move on. Because to me evidence based is when you go to a court of law. And you you present your evidence. And in Australia, you’re innocent until proven guilty. So that’s right. But how does that apply to singing?

Brian Gill  06:09

Yeah, well, I think I think first of all, which again, I don’t know if we’ve discussed this before, but but evidence base to me, it really comes from the medical community. I mean, and there’s, there’s an incredible background there. And there’s robust, longitudinal studies, and you know, and really, really high end, right, so the the number of participate, participants is through the roof. And so then you can start to claim evidence based, I think, in voice, most of the studies are very few, you know, there are lots of singular people in the studies. And I mean, it’s a good place to start, because I do think voice is highly individualized. But, but he’s out of that something that we could really, truly confidently say is evidence based, I think, is too early. So that’s my opinion, they’re science based, on the other hand, is what have we looked at in research? And are there any things that are standing out within research from different different groups of researchers right across the globe. And so I think science based would be taking a look at those themes, and then trying to use tools that are aiming towards those ends, those end goals. So I think that that’s, that’s an important. So I prefer science based and or science informed. That kind of thing over evidence based personal,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:37

either of those generalized, because how does that apply to an individual because everyone is different as singers, we’re all unique, because we’re, we’re human beings. So how does that apply to a singular person, because to me, as someone who has done some research, I did a PhD. You gather the information, you start pulling out themes, commonalities, but it’s not. It’s the majority of what came out. It’s not exclusively, what came out in that research is that the same in science based and evidence based

Brian Gill  08:25

it is you have to look at the individual. I mean, we could start with, I mean, one thing that that clearly jumps out within our field is there’s you know, tissue, any tissue in the body, there’s, there’s a cost to excess friction, we’ll say, at the level of the vocal folds, right, or anywhere, rub yourself like that, right, there’s a cost to that rubbing, and you can get irritation from that excess friction. So within singing, to say that anyone should engage in a really high contact time for a long period of time. Can’t be, it just can’t although waiting for some mutant human to come along, who doesn’t seem to be bothered by that at all with great stability. So I think one of the things we need to be on the lookout for would be an exception or exceptions in any of the categories that we’ll probably talk about tonight. But But in general, you could generalize that that tissue is going to be sensitive to friction, it will break down with excess friction. So there’s a certain amount of time that you can have the the tissue kind of grinding against each other, from the two fold. Now, that amount of time would vary based on the thickness of the mucosa based on the presence of hyaluronic acid in the vocal folds, which is a buffer, it’s a buffer and all of our joints, it’s a cushion. And again, that’s been shown in a couple of studies where, in the most superficial most layer the vocal folds If you don’t have as much hyaluronic acid in born female singers, then you have more of it in born male singers. So there is a natural buffer and born male singers now does change with hormones, right? There’s the big question. And we need more studies there. And that’s going to be fascinating to find out, but we don’t know. So again, I’d say, because there’s tissue costs, we should at least have that on our list of things. In general, we want to avoid excess friction.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  10:30

So I studied vocal pedagogy in 2008. And last year, I decided that I would sit in the corner and sit back in on that class again. So 2022, so what, 14 years later, and there was such a change in the way that the course was delivered, but that the content, the course content had changed a lot. And there was a lot around acoustics. So I would like to ask you, why, why has this trend happened? And what is the fascination? With acoustics?

Brian Gill  11:17

Yeah, it’s good question. I think that, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s been studied for quite a long time. But I think some key players within voice pedagogy have found, found it easy to understand and then started promoting it, because it seemed like a robust enough topic or outcomes within acoustics to teach more specifically, and so I think that that started catching on. Also, you know, just from just from an interest standpoint, I mean, what we deal with is the signal like, We’re affected by the way the acoustics are produced, which harmonic is is spiked more than another or which group of harmonics is spiked more than another, we are affected as listeners by that. So if you can take a look at it using acoustic software, then that’s fascinating. You know, and and again, once you look at the research, are there any things that really jump out in a robust manner? And if the answer is yes, which it is, then you can start to understand more specifically how to address certain clients in any genre of music?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  12:27

Okay, I’m going to ask you to dumb all that down in a moment. But before I do, do you feel it’s gone too far? Because I feel like, everywhere at the moment, during the summer there in the US, there were acoustic workshops, acoustic programs, being plugged everywhere. So do you feel it’s gone too far? And is it dehumanizing the singer?

Brian Gill  12:58

Yes, it has the risk of doing so I am a big fan of variety, you know, and, and very different tambours. I love the fact that the people I work with all sound very different. Most of the time, people couldn’t say, you know that, oh, hey, that’s a student of Brian’s unless there’s just the I think they have decent function, I would say so. But But again, you wouldn’t be able to say that’s got this signature sound or something. And you could do that with other teachers, you can be very clear about oh, yeah, I’ve heard this sound before and then you can. So I think that when you’re operating and really focusing on the individual, you can avoid that overlap and sort of similarity and sound. So you have to focus on sort of the big ballpark elements that jump out of the science, the science of what what we’ve teased out in certain studies. So I think yes, it’s gone too far in that people will I’ve seen many, many masterclasses where people will depend on the acoustic adjustment more than meeting the individual where they are. Okay. So that mean, they have to, they have to produce a certain acoustic output. And that’s the goal of the workshop, more so than getting that person to the right place for them at that moment.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  14:21

That’s so interesting. So it’s not student centered. Yeah, that is that is not good. Okay. I’m sorry. I just made my first comment. That’s just judging by me. It helped me now people know, but I mean, at the end of the day, it’s not about us. It’s about the student. Oh, and I love I love that you said all your students sound different. And can I tell you, all of my students all sound different, and I meet where the student is at in that moment in time on that day when they walk in,

Brian Gill  15:02

exactly, that’s it, the idea is we will, we will start to work against the student, if we a assume they’re going to do what they did the last time, right? Right, or be assume, assume they can’t do something else. Based on that information. It’s just so we really have to meet them at any time because they could have for for emotional, you know, psychological reasons regressed a bit and be you know, they could be having a rough day. And so we should expect that or they could have processed so well, all of a sudden, since the last lesson that they’re beyond where we were, because they did really good practice on their own. So we got to be ready, I’m ready to be surprised either direction, and then meet them, meet them where they are, and then help them out from there. And so I think that the workshops that are designed, you know, I understand why we do it. But the workshops that are designed to just show acoustics, I think it’s, I’m not quite sure what that does for us. Because we really got to look at the whole and where the student is. So I prefer workshops, where you’re dealing with the whole, and if acoustics is something you could tease out of it. So I’ve done some of those where I’ll have, you know, vote J visa, or something else running in the background. And if something of interest just happens to pop up, I can say, Oh, and look, you know, like for my audition here for Indiana University. That’s what I did. I had it running. And I was like, this is not interesting, acoustically. But let me get this person unstuck. So we would do that. And then we’d find you know, 10 minutes later that all of a sudden, there’s a tuning strategy that’s very common within tenors or within sopranos, or men’s or whatever. And he would show up and I’d say, Okay, now everybody take a look at this, could you do that passage again, and I find that it’s more compelling and more real and more in the moment, and it allows the individual to be where they are without the pressure. I mean, when you see when you see those workshops, where they’re like, We need to get the third harmonic spiked and the person’s gone. And then repeating over and over again, pushing pushing. And the third harmonics, not up yet, not up yet. And you’re like, Oh, this is like the antithesis of artistry. And, you know, I think that that’s not what we should be striving for.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  17:19

I have like, 5 trillion questions based on what all of what you just did, my mind is blowing up, it is exploding. First up, though, for those people who don’t understand acoustics, and I’m gonna put my hand up. All right. I don’t understand. And it hasn’t held me back as a teacher. My students are doing incredible work. Okay. So, um, that’s my disclaimer, can you dumb down acoustics? And give me the reasons why I should study and apply acoustics in my voice studio. So I’m asking you to do the hard sell?

Brian Gill  18:06

Yeah, okay, good. So I will have first of all, I would say that, you know, because you’re having success with your students, you do know, acoustics, okay. Because you’re listening to them.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  18:17

100% my is my best friend.

Brian Gill  18:22

That’s acoustics. That’s it. So so there’s acoustics. And then there’s the description of acoustics. Right, right. And really what we’re getting into so So I think really successful teachers, they’re using their ears and so they are very aware of acoustics, they might not be able to say, you know, harmonics and harmonic one through whatever, right or then say, how are those harmonics coming from the vocal folds interacting with the shapes of the vocal tract? Right? Yeah, that becomes a head-scratcher, you know, and that is what’s happening. We have information coming from clapping together vocal bowls, that produce harmonics. And actually, in harmonics, too. They produce what are called partials. Right. So they’re clapping together, all this sound starts heading up through the space of the vocal tract. Yes, depending on how that vocal tract is shaped. Certain information will make it out into open air and to people’s ears and certain information will get knocked out. Right. And so that’s what you’re listening for is if you hear someone where there’s missing information, right lack of clarity or unevenness of tambor you’re paying attention to acoustic Alright, so that’s, that’s a key component. So I’d say first of all, you’re really close because that’s what you’re doing. The next step is to be able to say it or you know, or not, if someone’s interested in that, to be able to say it out loud. And that is a huge leap. It really is. I know that because I remember doing it myself. I think that it’s you know, it’s like learning a foreign language. And even though I mean the bet the benefit is you already know the sounds. Yes. So I had already this rounds, which was great. I have learned from my mentor Barbara dosher. And because I had that in my year, when I met people who were teaching me acoustics, you know, whether it be, you know, Johann Sundberg, or Don Miller was one of my first people or even Ingo Titze, they really didn’t go, it was probably the first one to describe it more in the science side. I went, ooh, that aligns with what Barbara would have me do. So it was exciting. So So I think that’s what I’d be looking for. If I were you or anyone else who uses their ears really well start to look at how does one thing within the nerdy signs explanation of acoustic acoustics? How does that overlap with what you know to be true?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:42


Brian Gill  20:43

So so then you want me to dumb it down,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:46

down that down? Make it as dumb as possible?

Brian Gill  20:50

Okay, I will try it. It’s not easy to do. So basically, from the vulnerable G Do you know, Well, sine wave, right, that’s what gets complicated, right? Sine Wave a, a harmonic is a sine wave. It’s a simple sine wave where you’ve got an increase in pressure and a decrease in pressure, that’s it. And they traveled through air or water, right, or anything concrete, I mean, they’ll travel through something like a wall, you know, wall, and they are produced by the vocal folds in voice, right, they can be produced by anything you can get, you can get them from clapping together, right. But that’s what’s happening, the vocal folds are going like that. It produces them, when it produces them, you get what’s called a source spectrum, which is just a lineup of all the partials that are coming from the vocal cords. The cool thing about it is they will appear with the the fundamental sound that we’ll all hear as the note the person who’s singing, yes, they’ll appear as that’s the highest or the highest energy, and then there’ll be a subtle drop off of energy, as all the other harmonics increase in frequency, that’s all happening at one time. So you have the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, second, all the way through whatever, you know, hundreds, you know, of harmonics, they’ll all appear at once with a sound, and there’ll be a steady decline in energy. And that decline in energy is called a spectral slope. So that’s what’s coming from here. Now, how steep the slope is like how much the sound drops off as we increase in that one moment, as we increase in frequency is called spectral slope. So if it’s a steep slope, it means that the vocal folds are actually not coming together very much at all.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  22:38

So that’s a breathy sound.

Brian Gill  22:41

That’s a breathy sound, it comes at a very steep spectral slope. Okay,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  22:45

so that means there’s air leaking.

Brian Gill  22:47

That’s right.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  22:49

Okay. I do know stuff.

Brian Gill  22:51

That’s it. That’s it. And so as we increase contact, we start to increase the intensity of higher frequency harmonics, and partials just in general. So, the harmonics are usually what makes it out more than anything else. But but when you’re dealing with noise components, you will also have in harmonic partials make it out into open air. So as we start to increase contact, we start to have a much less steep slope. So we get more and more energy in high harmonics, and that’s going to change Tambor, very much so. So from going from breathy, we can start to have a really robust kind of brilliant sound, because now there’s more strength. So we know that the level of vocal folds that must mean that they are in contact longer than that’s it and that’s the change that’s made. And when they’re in contact longer, we have to be mindful that there’s also a friction component to that. They are the tissues together and it increases friction. So we do have to be careful about how long they’re together. Right. So that’s important thing. So if we can get the tambor and the brightness or power that we want with the minimum amount of contact for that goal to be met, that’s our gold standard. Okay, so keeping things in mind. So that’s the, that’s the source spectrum, then that energy with the fundamental being the highest and then the nice decline, that all of those sine waves that make up that complex wave at one moment, they start to head through the vocal tract. Depending how the vocal tract is shaped, certain information gets boosted and certain information gets critically dampened. Doesn’t make it out and actually it’s estimates of about 1% or less makes it out really, which is shocking, which just means that there’s a tremendous amount of noise at the level of vocals. Yes, yeah, it’s a very it’s like a buzzsaw if you hear that, so So really it gets beautifully filtered into this wonderful tone that we all know and love. But I think that’s a fun statistic. So what it tells me though, is we need to be pretty picky about the information. Since it’s 1% or less, we need to make sure that it’s the information we want to get out. So I think that that’s a takeaway from the study of acoustics. So once it shaped this high highest first, let’s see first harmonic, or you can also call it the fundamental frequency, the first harmonic is synonymous with the fundamental frequency. So that will no longer necessarily be the highest in the acoustic, what’s called an output spectrum. The output spectrum is what you would see on Bucha Vista, or root on sect, or any any acoustic software program. Yes. And so all of a sudden, you’re gonna get different things that are higher, which again, is an indicator that the source spectrum has been filtered through the vocal tracts or filtered by the vocal tract. So it’s neat. So you can easily identify a source spectrum, and you can easily identify an output spectrum based on that fact. Okay. So once you get there, there are certain harmonics that had been shown in a very robust manner, to be dominant in the spectrum for classical singing for contemporary music, theater or pop singing. And so there’s a bit of a while I don’t think it’s any of those are 100%, you would lose some individuals, if you thought that robust enough that you’d at least want to entertain them and assume that the majority of your students will do this, which is kind of neat, be ready for the one that destabilizes when they try. But but be you know, but at least be open to the idea. So for contemporary music theater, what a lot of people will associate with a belt sound is a dominant second harmonic, and sometimes a dominant third harmonic. So a lot of people simplify, like in a recent article, they said, Well, you know, for a belt sound, it’s the second harmonic, and it’s really not true, you can get a belt sound with a third harmonic just as well. So

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  27:15

yeah, go ahead. Is that because they use a lot of twang?

Brian Gill  27:19

Now, it’s, it’s the way you shape the vocal tract. Right? Okay. Yeah. So you might, some people might assess it and say that’s twangier than this. And again, it starts to get that also is tricky, because it starts to get into hearing biases. Some people might say, this is twang. And then another person might say, No, it’s not. That’s just a you know, and so I’m, I think each individual should find out how they talk about it. I don’t think it’s really healthy necessarily to systematize that, because it’s, it’s essentially just personal. You know, we all hear differently. So it would be just personal description of something. Yes. Yeah. So So I think it’s fine, fine to do those. But each, each teacher would need to be able to explain what they mean. What do you mean by this, and, and you know, and produce it. I sang I sang professionally in a country music band, and twang had a very different sound to it. He wasn’t necessarily what people are talking about, about harmonics. Twain had to do with an accent you have in country music.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:23

I was gonna say that’s all accent produced.

Brian Gill  28:26

Yeah, that’s it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:27

Yeah, I see. My ears told me that straightaway. That’s right. My ears don’t fail me.

Brian Gill  28:35

You don’t there. That’s what I’m saying. You you are invested in acoustics.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:39

Okay, because sometimes I know, and I know, this is something that you’ve talked about with me, quietly, you know, when not on this platform. But like, for example, there are times I know, just by changing a mouse shape, it’s going to produce the sound that we need, or more efficient breath, or whatever it is, sometimes just by making those adjustments to the vocal tract is going to fix the problem. Right now, I don’t know anything about acoustics, but I do know that that works.

Brian Gill  29:19

Yes, but Well, and again, you’re still you’re dealing with acoustics. So you do you know, you wouldn’t know how to maybe to explain it with which harmonic is by that? Yeah. So if, if, for instance, the beautiful thing about harmonics is they’re always the same pattern. So if you get if we have this is the note that you’re singing. Oh, hello. I had my keyboard. This is where I teach from. If this is the note you’re singing, so we’ve got an F three, yeah, the acoustics of that are going to be F three and then an octave above that. And And then fifth, right and then an octave, then a third and a fifth and flat seven, Octave, second, third, sharp, four, five, those are the, those are the first 12 harmonics of any note, it goes fundamental, then it goes octave. And this is speaking in terms of keys. So the fundamental frequency and then an octave above that, and then the fifth of the key, and then the next octave of the key, then the third, then the fifth, then the the sharp, the sorry, flat seven, and then the octave again. And then second, third, sharp, four, five, it will always be that. So if someone says, Hey, this is a belt note, and it’s on A4, right? And you think, well, I want this built note to be not third harmonic dominant, I want it to be second harmonic dominant, right? What is the second harmonic of that A4? Well, it’s root and then octave, so it’s an octave above. So what happens when you do the belt, you make a shape with the mouth, that will, that will cause a boost of that second harmonic. So how do you do that you do what you just said, it’s a shape. So if you’re on snow, and you’re singing, if you’re going, and I’m going to click on my vocal folds on my larynx, with my vocal folds closed, and I’m going to get the frequency of the first resonance of the vocal tract. And that’s what would be given the boost to that second harmonic. So if I’m on this note, I want it to be out there. So if I go here, if I’m gonna sing, you want to get you want to get the frequency of the first format to match that octave. And then you will get a boost of the second harmonic. That’s it. So if someone were shaping in a way, that wasn’t that like, Oops, that’s not right. That’s right. Okay, that’s acoustics.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  32:06

And what is the advantage of doing that?

Brian Gill  32:09

You know, what shape to go to to get the sound you want? Feel like this is a built climax, then you it’s the person singing IE. That’s far from that’s it? Yeah,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  32:24

mouth shape, which is what I say to my students when they’re belting is usually you want that, that square that drop the jaw, little n square shape?

Brian Gill  32:35

Yeah, in general. Yeah, in general, you’re going to raise the first formant. So again, we start to you start to weed out, you start to weed out personal, maybe personalized things that that, perhaps one circumvented skilfully that aren’t necessarily true. So we can say that when this shape is close to the second harmonic, you’re gonna get a boost of it, we can say that that’s robustly studied. So if someone’s saying shaped like this, that’s not it, that’s not going to do it. And so we can argue that then you can say, well, you may like that shape, but that’s not going to produce that output. Now, you could also argue, well, I don’t want them put, I don’t want the second harmonic to be spiked, then do what you want. Do you see what I’m saying? But there’s, there’s a way that we can sift through the noise and get down to the heart of it. Now. I am not a huge fan of systematizing that everybody’s got to do a B or C 100%. I want unique sounds. And so I do think some people do some people, a lot of people actually stumble upon that first format, or first resonance of the vocal tract boosting the second harmonic in belt. They stumble upon it very naturally. And it’s easy for them, I say, go for it. Right. I have other people that are more comfortable with their mouth more closed. So that starts to go down, you know, so it actually ends up becoming not possible to do as easily to do the first formatter, first resonance, synonymous, those are the same thing. Yeah. second harmonic boost. And so they end up gravitating more towards the second resonance of the vocal tract boosting the third harmonic and it’s a great strategy. Sounds awesome. Ethel Merman did it. Cynthia Revo does it a lot. Adina Manzella got a lot of studies, a lot of excerpts with her doing it. So it’s a very common built strategy.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  34:40

So can you hear these things in a singer? Without them without them going? Putting their voice through the vivir? Bo che?

Brian Gill  34:50

Yes, yeah. Yes, yes. Yeah, the the,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  34:54

or whatever it is. Yeah, or

Brian Gill  34:56

any of those? Yep. Yep, I can You can hear it. You learn to hear it. And again, I, for most of them, I learned how to hear it before I could describe it, which I think is a pretty strong model. You know, I think learning how to hear it and then saying, Well, this is what’s happening. This is what we’re hearing. I think for some people, it was, for me a really strong model. I mean, other people are, are they gravitate towards visual learning? That’s a whole nother topic. That doesn’t mean that we teach them visually, right? Because then you’re not going to get new synapses, we really need to, we really need to insist that everybody learn in multiple modes of learning, but but because they gravitate towards it, they may excel with this visual. I’ve had some students, when they saw it, they went, Oh, and then they shaped that way. And they were great. They always shaped that way. And I thought, wow, that would have drove me crazy. You know, looking?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  35:53

Yes. So do you feel that for someone like me, it would be beneficial for me to learn acoustics formally, not just this kind of instinct, your listening kind of teaching that I do. Now, if I went and studied, this would help me in my practice.

Brian Gill  36:14

I think the more full our toolbox is, the better off anyone is. Oh, man. So yeah, I mean, I mean, that’s what it’s about, you know, but I think that, you know, certain folks, the key is to not get intimidated by it. And also find a really good mentor. Because all of these things should be learned slowly, gently over time. And not with a lot of pressure filled explanations, you know, it takes for me to learn it, I had to sit through it many times, and hear the same thing. And the first time I’m like, I didn’t get any of that. Felt like I didn’t get any of it. And then second time, I’m like, wait, what? Wait, no, I got wait. I think I know one of those things, or maybe two. And then you go on from there and it starts to come together. I notice people like I mean, even Ingo Titze and Johan Sunbury, I’ll be sitting there and talking and then all of a sudden you see a bull maybe, and they investigate a new thing. So their minds are always open to a new way of understanding and new way of looking at it. You know, and I really, you know, the, with the projects I’ve done with the with Johan holy cow, I mean, that’s one of the most open minded, you know, and flexible people, you know, he knows so much. And he’s, he’s open to that. So I think if you find a mentor, like, you know, I have, that’s going to be gentle, you know, with, with the difficult stuff, and you just keep talking, keep talking. And I do think it would be beneficial.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  37:46

He is a really generous human. He’s such a beautiful person, I had the privilege of hanging with you and Johan, in Philadelphia, and I just saw a different side of him because he’s a tall man. And he wears his bow tie. So he kind of looks like that kooky professor. And you think, Oh, my gosh, this guy’s really intimidating. But he’s the exact opposite.

Brian Gill  38:15

He is he’s one of the most soulful people I’ve ever met. I would have to agree. That’s a great,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  38:22

yep. Yeah. Because the thing is, okay, from my perspective, as someone who doesn’t understand this staff, that when I go on some of the forums on social media, and there are people planting flags about it all over social media, it is intimidating. And you kind of don’t want to admit that you don’t understand it, because you feel that you’re going to be shamed, or that you’re not a good teacher, or your knowledge base is not sufficient. So you it’s almost as though you feel that you have impostor syndrome in those moments. And I wouldn’t be the only one. Right? Right, I wouldn’t be the only teacher that feels like that. So do you feel that this kind of weaponizing using this knowledge is perhaps going to cause a divide in our teaching community, because not everybody is going to be able to access this information through whatever reason.

Brian Gill  39:37

And that’s exactly what I do think that we have to be careful there. I do see, I do see a good number of posts where people are sort of flexing their intellectual muscles. And and it really isn’t serving any purpose. It’s it’s getting it’s getting to getting into perhaps something that might be niche, you know, kind of interesting, you know, for a couple of people that No, and then saying, Well, this is what we’re looking at, I think that we should be looking first, for the simplest explanation possible. And if that doesn’t hold up, then you’ve got to dig a little deeper. But there are some very simple, straightforward things that we know in science of voice that have held up. And I don’t think we need to make it more complicated than that. Again, this will be interesting. So So yeah, I do think that that feeling that it’s weaponized is really true. And what’s fascinating to me, is, I will notice some folks who lead with that I’ll see a masterclass and they cannot affect positive change in the students they’re working with. And so they may know, they may know this information, but they the application is missing. And I think as teachers, we have to not only be craving knowledge, but we have to be looking at how is this practically applied? And so if you take someone who is having great success with their students, but they can’t, they don’t know, science at all, they don’t know the scientific explanations, we need to be pausing and saying, What are they doing? Like? What is that? What’s making this positive effect and then join forces, you know, join forces and say, you know, this is, this is why that works. And, you know, I’ve done that with quite a number of people over the years. And that’s some of the strongest knowledge I’ve gained, you know, is fusing,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  41:26

I would love to partner with you, because I’ve, I do some kooky stuff in my teaching studio. That’s so left of center, and I have a particular teaching style. And I’m not blowing my own trumpet. That’s what we say here in Australia. So I’m not being egotistical here. Yeah, that my teaching works. My students are doing really well. I’ve been teaching CCM since 1988. But my teaching continues to evolve. And I know now this is who I am as a teacher, but I’m, I am a lifelong learner. And I do things and sometimes, like, I just go, I don’t know why that thing worked. My instincts, were saying, my ears were telling me to do this thing. So it’d be interesting to have someone say, that worked because of this.

Brian Gill  42:24

Yeah. It’s fascinating. And I had, I had a very memorable session with one of my colleagues here, who has produced some of the top singers of today from her studio. And she said, Would you mind coming by and watching some lessons? And I was, like, Sure, surely come by there. And I mean, I’m just sitting there taking notes, you know, like what you’re doing, and listen to these great exercises. And then she would say, This is what I do. And it would make that to the right change. And then she’d be like, Why does that work? We just sat there and had this session back and forth. And it was all of them had pretty easy explanation. Yes.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  43:03

And it’s interesting, because when I teach are very much I teach on my feet, as we were talking about before, it’s the student comes in, and what do they come in with on that day, in that moment in time, and sometimes I can’t even begin the lesson before I get them to calm down. Because they’re their stress. So get them on the floor, just get them breathing, just calm them down with their eyes shut, then start working with them. I very rarely sit at a piano. I get them to do things that they can go and do that are very simple in that moment that make that adjustment. And they can take that home and do it that they don’t need me sitting at a piano because I figure if they can’t do it at home on their own, then what’s the point of it? So I’ve got all these little hacks that I use that implement change, and done consistently, will help that student without me having to tell them what to do.

Brian Gill  44:12

Yeah, I mean, also, I think level of student matters, though, right? Don’t you wouldn’t say would you say that, like the early students who walk in and they’re, they clearly have some talent, but they’re not coordinated at all that that doesn’t apply as much. Sure. Okay, okay. Yeah, that’s what I would that’s what I’ve noticed. Like I with my more advanced students, yeah, definitely can do that. They’re so aware, their proprioception is developed, you know, but when I’ve got a, you know, a young like a freshman coming into school, they really don’t have the best proprioception, which is the big thing that divides a musician, a trained musician from an untrained is that developed, right have developed ability to sense stimuli arising in the body. And so we’ve got to start somewhere with these changes and it’s super fallible, They will also have some inclinations, you know, based on their choir experiences in high school or junior high or from a teacher who maybe didn’t have the ears that we have, right? And so then you’re also working through going, Oh, I know, I know you like that person. And I know they cared about you. But this is getting you in trouble. And then you also have to go through that. So it gets a little complicated when we’re undoing and re coordinating. But I know what you mean, I think ultimately, it comes down to you want, you want the individuals with whom you work to be self sufficient. Yeah. And that’s a very strong. Yeah, that’s it. You know, the thing that gets in the way of that, like, sort of as an absolute is that they will never hear themselves sing. They’ll hear recordings of themselves, but they will never hear themselves the way someone outside their head is going to hear them.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  45:56

Of course, of course. And we deal with that, because how often do they say, that sounded rubbish? And you go, you weren’t listening to what I was hearing? It sounded amazing.

Brian Gill  46:10

Yes, yes. Totally. Totally. Yeah.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  46:13

And so with this acoustics, we were talking about the divide in the teaching voice community. But what about when it comes to the student? Is this exacerbating a student master apprentice model? By this is the this is the knowledge that I have? This is what I know. What are your thoughts on that?

Brian Gill  46:38

Yeah, I think, you know, I think that the things that we’re riffing on in society and our super important because you always have to, we have to push these limits and, and try and get to a better and better model. So I a lot of people talk about the master apprentice, and to me, Master apprentice means you come in, you listen to what I tell you, you do exactly what I tell you. And you don’t talk back or question me. Right? That’s to me what the master apprentice model is the negative side of it. I don’t like that model. It has to be interactive. But if you mean by Master, you mean someone who has really, really high skill set and understands vocal coordination, right? The Nuts and Bolts involved the acoustics, you’re going to help affect positive change for the person in a way, they have no idea what’s happening, because they can’t. They are the apprentice, you know, what if you mean that way, that’s just a normal learning. Someone who’s an expert in the field, working with someone who wants that, which includes that person who does have the expertise has to be compassionate, has to welcome that person to the room and make them feel like they’re part of the process. But to depend on any of their knowledge base, including proprioception in the beginning, is a, you know, an act of futility, because they don’t have any of that developed yet. So I don’t know. Is that what you mean by which?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  48:04

Yes, no, no, no, that that that’s great. I was referring to the imposition of information or an imposition of a particular bias in terms of you were talking about earlier, that you hear that there’s a frequency or a sound, and you’re trying to create a particular sound based on acoustics that that student doesn’t want in their sound? Because it’s not the sound that they’re wanting to achieve.

Brian Gill  48:40

Gotcha, gotcha. So yeah, I would say, first, we have to tease out whether the sound that they want is sustainable for them. So that 100% And I mean, how many students have you come in that have very unrealistic expectations? And so there has to be and I say this now, ad nauseam, there has to be a quote unquote, adult in the room, meaning someone who’s thinking about tissue cost, that singers who are successful have a higher flow than then unsuccessful singers right and know about all these things. So, but if you disclude what they’re wanting just based on your acoustic your aesthetic preferences. I am I am completely against that. Beyond sad and self centered, you know, but say the person comes in generically wanting to be an opera singer. There are a few robustly studied resonance strategies that everyone uses, you won’t find an exception in the 1000s and 1000s of people study, those I think we should be looking at right and then if the person says, Well, I prefer this you could say, well, you prefer it but you probably won’t be seeing in an opera stage. If you do that if you want to make that sound. sound fine. If you want to make that sound, I’ll help you. But But this is a key component like first formant tuning the first resonance of vocal track. Once you get to the upper middle voice and treble voices, it tracks the fundamental frequency up into the stratosphere. And that’s just across the board. So if someone’s telling you to shape in a way that won’t allow that to happen, that’s doing a disservice to that person who wants to be an opera singer. Okay, but I’d say other folks who come in like I have all kinds of like, pop singers in particular and indie rock and all they want a particular sound and it might not be the you know, like the cleanest sound or whatever and they want some noise and and they want all these things and it’s like, I am catering to them within reason up to a certain point, and I try to help them to get the the noise they want by you know, super glottal constrictions you know, not at the level of the vocal folds so they can growl if they want and and then also some want a particulars like what would what comes across initially to me as a strange Tambor, but that’s what they want it their signature Tambor, I just go, I’m like, That’s odd. But if that’s what you want, we’re not going to mess with that. But here’s what we’re going to, you know, here’s what we’re going to change, you can make that same sound with a higher flow, show them that, and then they go, Oh, that feels easier. And you say, and it still sounds the same listen, and you just play it back for him. And then they get very relaxed after that. And then they sign on, you know, folks I’ve been working with for 15-20 years. Now.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:26

That’s interesting that you mentioned that because I was going to ask you, how does this apply to microphones singing? Which is what we use in CCM, basically, amplification is the extension of our voice.

Brian Gill  51:42

Yes. Yeah. Which I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s an incredible advantage. You know, there are so many sounds you could make with much less contact here, actually, and blow them out with the microphone distance. You know, so I think that people need to take advantage of that. Most of the folks I train, I train without a mic first, and then get, you know, just go, I think we’re looking for stability first. And I’m not looking for a certain output. They don’t need to sound like you know, they do with a microphone, any of that. I just want stability. And then let’s say how do you want to how do you want to manipulate that? But you know, once you’re once you’re plugged in there, yes. So I think just stability first, and then look at how you could use the mic to enhance it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  52:26

I work in exactly the same way. Nice. Nice. Exactly. So we’re gonna switch this up a little bit. And I just wanted to touch a little bit on pedagogy. Because I’m kind of feeling that the word pedagogy gets thrown around a lot. Right? But I feel in some ways, we’re starting to forget what the true meaning of pedagogy is. I know, it’s the the art and science of teaching. But what does that mean to you? Because are we focusing too much on the tools that we use in teaching and calling that pedagogy? And are we forgetting about the philosophy of teaching?

Brian Gill  53:19

Yeah, that’s a great question. I mean, I think that I mean, the first thing that comes to mind for me is, it’s this big ballpark topic of how you affect positive change for the individual with whom you’re working. That’s it. And and that could include a lot of thing. You know, the psychology behind it, what’s what’s locking them up, right? body awareness, right, it could include proprioception, which is lumped in with body awareness. It could include acoustics, it could include flow dynamics, right resistance, a level of Oakenfold, it can include, you know, shaping within the acoustics, it could include a whole lot of things. And again, like we were saying, it means it means that you need to be able to pivot depending on where that individual is when you meet them that day. And so, yeah, I think that we need to be aware of the philosophical underpinnings, but we’re really going for results for the individual. Yes. And, and so it’s essentially if we keep, if we keep saying use these tools, like I go around the world, and I’ve been blessed to be in so many different places teaching, and I find in pretty much every place I’ve gone, people use semi occluded vocal tract postures poorly. I mean poorly, like they are not using them in a way that’s going to effect very much positive change at all. And that’s from again, as you mentioned earlier, I think that this this is coming from my perspective, I haven’t done research on this In the research I’ve done is 30 plus years of teaching, and also people going, how did you do that change? Right? You know, when I go places like I’m using that as my research when people say, Wow, I want you here because you affect positive change, and we’re not really sure. Even Johann, he’s like, I can’t explain what you do. He said, The problem is, it just works. So well. What’s his last time?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  55:23

You know, terrible problem to have?

Brian Gill  55:25

Isn’t it? Yeah. And so, you know, we every time we look at an element of what changed a person’s, you know, life and attitude, and we say, Well, how could we look at that? How can we look at this, and really research? So I just want to, you know, make sure that we qualify that. Yeah. You know, but but we are looking for positive change for individuals. And it can come in so many different ways. And I think that’s the part that’s left out. I think that people are very friendly, loving, compassionate, all of those things, and they engage with individuals in a beautiful way that makes them feel good and all, but they don’t necessarily affect positive change with regard to heading towards sustainability, flexibility, power, all and nuanced communication. And so then we’re trapped by that. And it’s Yeah, so I think we need to be really invested in checking our egos at the door, and trying to affect positive change. But part of that is checking in with the individual and saying, What’s the difference without any bias you’d like thrown at them? Where they say, Well, the difference was, you know, but they spontaneously say that’s like so much easier. It’s 90% of the effort I was using, that’s what we’re looking for. And I don’t think people do that I see masterclasses where the person is clearly working harder, but they really liked the teacher. So they say, No, it’s good. It’s good. But you’re like, that’s no, that’s not that. And I know that they know, it’s not you can see in their body language. And so we need to work for fine, you know, creating an environment where people will actually say what they’re experiencing, not just stroke our egos when we’re helping them make change. So

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  57:14

I love all that. Because what I do actually 100% aligns with everything that you just said. And can I just say that for listening to you? Basically, that was a philosophy. It is. It’s a philosophy. So we forget about the philosophical side of teaching. And when people are endorsing a one approach, whether it be acoustics or not, then they’re not addressing pedagogy. From a philosophical standpoint, they’re addressing a methodology or a teaching approach, or a particular tool. Yes. And because we have a person in front of us with a psyche, with emotions with we’ve never walked a day in our in their lives. And that’s part of what makes up the voice, the instrument, the voice, the sound. Should we then be open to different types of modalities, such as, for example, I’m not suggesting anyone go and study all of these, but just be open and receptive to, for example, I had yoga voice, the people from yoga voice on my podcast a couple of weeks ago, loved how they thought about the voice, even if you don’t take on their approaches, but some of that, that philosophical stuff, there’s a lot to be said for it. And I know that your website, what includes the word mindfulness? Yes. So can you explain to me how that then, how you combine what I’m thinking mindfulness is, with the science.

Brian Gill  59:15

So mindfulness is being aware of what you’re doing, while you’re doing it. And the reasons why you’re doing it, and assessing outcome without judgment, just discernment. You know, big difference between that like, Oh, I didn’t get what I wanted. No, no, just say, Oh, that felt interesting or, you know, just just a neutral assessment of what happened. So that’s my

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  59:41

love. Because that’s because that is how you create a safe space for your students is always coming from a place of not them, teaching them not to be judgmental of themselves and others Allow for playfulness and exploration and don’t put limitations on a voice. Because you don’t know what it’s capable of.

Brian Gill  1:00:08

That’s right, you have to create a sound playground. And they just need to get in there and explore things. And you start to based on their impressions of difficulty level and your impressions of, well, if you want this to be tymberlee, even or not, or whatever it is, you know, let’s put all those things together and then agree as as a team that this is the way forward, this is much easier, and it’s producing the result we want. Yes, yeah. So yeah, absolutely. Totally.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:00:36

Sorry, I interrupted you. We were talking about I just got highly excited then. I like it when someone speaks my language. I have to I have to chime in. But okay, in terms of mindfulness viewer saying about being present in the moment.

Brian Gill  1:00:55

Yeah. And as you’re looking in use, and you start to practice discernment, which again, discernment comes from deep awareness. Right? It’s not a judgment, it’s just being able to say, that is a bit more difficult than this. Okay? Let me look for this, because we’re trying to look for something that’s sustainable. And also, when we reduce the difficulty level, we can put more and more energy into the just the communication that we’re hoping to establish between, you know, one person or a huge group of people or our CO players on stage, whatever it is. And I think that that’s what we need to be aiming for is something super effortful. We can’t most of our energy is in, gosh, I hope I make it, you know, and that’s not enough. That’s not a good place to be. And so I think mindfulness is, yeah, it’s awareness. And so we’re trying to excite awareness in the folks that we’re working with.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:01:49

So we’re not talking about a woowoo thing. And I feel like I use that word in every episode at the moment. But because a lot of people think stuff is woowoo, and I and I had this discussion with someone outside of the voice community, some weeks ago, we were talking about someone who did Reiki. And they said, all that’s woowoo. And I said, my interpretation of woowoo is when someone doesn’t understand something, or it’s beyond their scope of understanding. they deem it to be woowoo. Yeah. And, and his response was, No, there’s there’s no evidence that there’s no science based evidence behind it was their response. I said, I’m actually impressed by that answer. But, you know, we’re all different. And what does what does all that mean? Any?

Brian Gill  1:02:59

Yeah, and I think, I mean, there’s certain things that are still so so difficult to research. You know, I think that’s that was evidence, you know, evidence by JOHANNS comment, here, they’re things I do just in the moment with individuals that you might say, God, that was that’s clearly better for them. They’re smiling, they’re there. They’re making people in the audience cry all of a sudden, you know, without anything being talked about the text or whatever, all of a sudden, there’s more emotional content. And you’d say, I have no idea what that is. And so I would say another research is, and the number is very high with those of us who teach a lot, right, we’re in the 1000s of people that we’ve worked with. Right. That’s evidence and that is research. That is research that can’t that is that that should be included in that now. It’s a different kind of research. But I don’t think it should be D legitimized. And so yeah, it doesn’t doesn’t necessarily have to go through a study. But I do think that if you can create studies off of those experiences, just little by little, we’re going to start to head towards what would be more evidence based pedagogy that were a long way away from them, in my opinion.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:04:13

Yes. And that’s one of the things that I feel when I read some of the forums is that some of these teachers claim to have all this information and knowledge and a call and are so called experts. But what are their students doing? What are the student results? I want to hear their students sing? I want the proof in the pudding. Don’t show me the recipe. Show me the finished product. The before and afters and then I’ll be impressed.

Brian Gill  1:04:52

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s you have to that’s what we’re about. We’re about effecting positive change. Yes, Phil Ask the fee. Yeah, and not just talking about it, but actually seeing it and then having that reported back by people, you know, I, I’ll have a lot of folks come to me and they will have worked with folks that that are very knowledgeable, but their voices are in, in their dysfunctional and and so you go on a long a long journey to get them into the right realm. And it’s very difficult for them psychologically, because they really care about these people. And I know they were cared about by these people. So it’s difficult. I mean, there was no malice intended, uh, you know, but But I do think, I think a strong teacher will question every day, whether they’re doing the best for their students. Every single day, you will not sit there and go, Hey, I got this next. Never Never. And that’s, you know, I think some people, some of us stumble upon that more easily than others. I certainly did. I didn’t plan to do that. I think I was questioned what I

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:06:01

do. Yeah, I do, too.

Brian Gill  1:06:05

You know, yeah. I think that’s a strong model.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:06:08

Yeah. I mean, on my teaching days, I always set the intention to be present with my students to keep an open mind, open heart. Don’t be judgmental, and be the best I can be on that day. Beautiful, beautiful. And I purposely, I write that down, which may sound woowoo to some people, and that’s okay.

Brian Gill  1:06:36

No, I love that not woowoo at all. It’s beautiful. That’s it? That’s a great, yeah, that’s a great pathway towards creating the environment that’s necessary for learning. That’s beautiful.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:06:47

Yes. Now we’re gonna start wrapping this up, Brian, because we already talked before this, and we did. We weren’t talking about any of this stuff. And you and I talk a lot.

Brian Gill  1:06:57

Yeah, hey, x three, come on.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:07:01

You know what I almost feel like we need to do like a little regular spot on here with because you have so much to share. And I love the way that you share the information with such grace with such an open heart. And we’re not being judgmental here. Look, honestly, I know, for example, I’m an advocate for CCM. But I don’t judge my classical colleagues, I just want to be able to stand beside those people with pride. Yes, and, and with the quality. And it’s the same as I’m not an acoustic expert. But I would like to be able to stand beside those people. And with pride and with a quality. So I’m not being judgmental of anybody, I just want people to be open and receptive. And not judgmental of other people who perhaps don’t know what they know, or approach things from a different perspective. Because in as much as I pipe up, and I have my commentary, I actually am very open. And I’m so grateful for the people that have been on my podcast over the two and a half years, almost two and a half years. Because every one that has come on here, no matter where they’ve come from, what their background is, what their speciality is, I have learned something that shaped me into becoming the teacher that I am today. Beautiful. And I’m grateful to all of those people. And some things I will take on board some things I don’t because they don’t work for me, but that works for them. And that’s fine. So segwaying now, what do you think the future of vocal pedagogy looks like? If you had to look at it? Glass? What do you call that? A?

Brian Gill  1:09:05

Yeah, the ball. That’s it? Oh, I was going I was like a globe? It’s not crystal ball? I mean, I will, I would say, and it’s kind of based off what you just said there. We need to continue to strive to create a more inclusive community. So I think that that I think we’re headed there. I think we are but I still think there there are too many camps. And I think that there needs to be again, like you said, openness to other ideas. And, and also I loved what you said, where you know, you listen and you you know, we we gain knowledge from everybody that we speak with, but some things might not resonate as much with us and that’s okay. That’s okay. If they’re using it for positive change, and that’s great. that’s their thing, you know, and they know how to work. And we might think, no, that doesn’t really i That wouldn’t be. I feel like it’d be disingenuous if I tried to employ that, because I really don’t understand it on a deep level. So. So I think, I think that we need to embrace individuality, I think within teachers and obviously, within our students that we’ve been talking about, but we also need to create a very inviting community and avoid the kind of camps that arise. The camps

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:10:28

with the flags, and the camp fire.

Brian Gill  1:10:32

Yes, yeah. Yes, exactly. I mean, what happens is, you end up dividing the group. And now I guess, a last kind of history thing, you know, that I was always fascinated by people who were involved in, legitimizing, let’s say, which it was always legitimate, but anyway, legitimizing contemporary singing, right? And music and CCM, right? People who were involved in that necessarily had to build their own thing and claim it and say, okay, you don’t respect what we do, we’ve got to do this, they had to, I think that the historically, that had to happen, because there was just no respect from the classical side. And that still is to some degree. But, yes, so now, you’re right, and, and so what I think we need, we really need in the future, we’ve got to crack that code. And we need to be looking at one of the talks I give all around the world is voice as an instrument, we need to be looking at voice as an instrument. And you can include any genre you want. And you can think about tissue cost, and flow and acoustics and all those things, and the psychology of voice all those things, and and look at how they live and all of these different genres. And you can start to see that we are united by voice as an instrument, period. That’s our instrument, we use it to play different ways like piano, you can do you know, the, you know, do classical and you can do blues, right, you can do different things. And it’s still the same instrument. And I think voice is the same way. We just need to figure what makes it that and then join as a community. And and I think that that would be the strongest way forward. Still today, for me. So

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:12:20

yeah, it is it is still divided. And when it comes to CCM, I think for those of us in the CCM camp, we’ve had to kind of set up camp chairs to get acknowledged to gain the respect and acknowledgement of our classical peers, especially those from higher education. Yes, yeah. Because what those people don’t realize is when you’re in a career in CCM, nobody cares. And nobody knows that there’s this bias there. They’re just doing their job. They’re making a lot of money. And they don’t care. So the people that are in the trenches working in that field. Yeah, you know, no one cares. You’re the only people that care.

Brian Gill  1:13:17

Yeah, yeah. And I think that has to come to an end. You know, I really think that’s so important. And so conceptualizing. And I think as an instrument is the most, you know, we really, from a philosophical perspective, that’s what you do voice is an instrument that could do a whole lot of things. We communicate a bunch of different ways. And you can, for each individual, tease out what is effective, and effective for them. Sustainable, not sustainable, right? And all these nuanced, less nuanced, right, we can we can tease out all those for each individual one. And all of those, we’re going to come up with some different answers for each person, but but there are some big ballpark overlapping themes that we’ll find in any genre and with voice as an instrument.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:14:01

Yes. I love all that. So what are you up to next?

Brian Gill  1:14:06

Next, what do I do next? Well, my next trip is in a couple of weeks to Taiwan. Oh, workshop for the Taipei Performing Arts Center. And then also for a theatre company VM theater. So that’ll be fun. A lot of contemporary singing, and then and then I start school actually, I think I come back from that just after school started. Okay. Don’t think that now to my superiors.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:14:37

I’m sure they won’t fire you you too valuable.

Brian Gill  1:14:40

So I told not usually they like that I go around the world and you know, promote Jacobs School. So yeah, I mean, that’s an important thing. And so, so yeah, so I that’s my next thing, and then I’ll continue on with other masterclasses and, and some other courses too. I’m talking to Johan and Philippe about doing another course.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:15:00

Ah, Felipe. Ah, I love her to you too. Yes. I want to come and do your course you actually have inspired me. I’d love to go to Sweden next year and do that.

Brian Gill  1:15:12

Fantastic. I’d be great. You will love it. You will love. It’s such a unique environment. Anyway, we all eat together all the meals, and it just Yeah, that’d be wonderful.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:15:21

So cool. So cool. But, Brian, I can’t thank you enough. You’ve spent so much time with me on this podcast. And given such amazing, brilliant pearls of wisdom to our listeners, I’m forever grateful. And I do hope that we can connect again sometime in the future and find some other topic to tease out as well.

Brian Gill  1:15:45

I would love it. Yeah, I am super grateful to you for having me on. And again, I just absolutely love chatting with you. So this has been great. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your brilliance. I really appreciate that. And it’s Yeah, I think we have a lot of overlap.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:16:02

We do, we really do. And we’re going to share your links with the listeners too. So people want to find you and they want to have you come and speak wherever they’re at or to your website, or they want to have lessons with you. We’ll share all that information in the show notes. But thank you so much, Brian, it’s late at night for you. So go and enjoy whatever is left of this evening.

Brian Gill  1:16:29

Thank you so much.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:16:30

Thank you buy. Hi. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of a voice and beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you would like to help me please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway? Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of a voice and beyond.