This week’s guest is Jeannette LoVetri.
In today’s episode, I am delighted to share part two of my conversation with our guest, Jeannette LoVetri who is one of the most recognized and highly acclaimed voice teachers from around the world. We learn more about Jeanie and the journey she embarked on as a voice teacher, the sacrifices she had to endure to create change and the reaction she received from the greater voice community when she coined the term Contemporary Commercial Music in 2000. Jeanie tells us that until that time, all music outside of classical music was deemed low art and she explains that she had to be intentional and very strategic to gain the respect of her classical colleagues.
During our chat, Jeanie further describes Somatic Voicework™, her trademarked method, which she developed to be applicable in a very practical way, and was the result of her 40 years of studying the voice as well as her own professional experiences. She tells is that it was her vision to create a training program that was inclusive and welcoming and where the learning was conducted in a kind and sharing environment.
Jeanie shares so many pearls of wisdom, such as, what qualities she believes are essential for a good singing teacher to possess, the influence of voice science in singing voice pedagogy, her personal self care regime, her legacy and so much more. Jeanie was so generous with her time and you are going to love getting up close and personal with Jeanie LoVetri. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.
link to the summer Institute: https://bwcommunityarts.bw.edu/teacher-education/lovetri-institute/
Link to the free webinars: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0rf-mqqT4rGtH5shlPPzKlFluKmcdfzATZ
In this episode
03:34 — Classical Singer’s reaction to CCM introduction
08:41 — Performance and Resonance
10:26 — Understanding the parameters of different singing styles
14:35 — First experience at The Voice Foundation
20:02 — Paving the way in the foundation
24:03 — Educating students about the fine art of singing
28:21 — Growing Community and Faculty Members
32:21 — Voice Science and it’s impact on Jeannette’s teaching and training approach
35:21 — Adapting to your body
36:38 — Is there something that piques your interest now?
38:00 — What do you do for self-care?
42:25 — Best quality that a teacher needs to possess
44:41 — Jeannette LoVetri’s Legacy
48:25 — Jeannette’s future plans
50:03 — Greatest piece of advice to the singing voice community
NEW CCM BOOK
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith is excited to announce the release of her new book “Singing Contemporary Commercial Music Styles: A Pedagogical Framework” published by Compton Publications UK. Marisa offers this book as a starting point and as CCM markets continue to evolve, she encourages that we, as a voice community, continue to evolve, debate and communally add to this framework.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 00:00
Hi it’s Marisa 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 health care 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
In today’s show, I am delighted to share part two of my conversation with our guest Jeannette LoVetri, who is one of the most recognized and highly acclaimed voice teachers from around the world. In this episode, we learn more about genie and the journey she embarked on as a voice teacher, the sacrifices she had to endure to create change and the reaction she received from the greater voice community when she coined the term contemporary commercial music in 2000. Jeanne tells us that until that time, all music outside of classical music was deemed low art and she explained that she had to be very intentional and very strategic in order to gain the respect of her classical colleagues. During our chat, Jeanne describes a little more about somatic voice work her trademark method which she developed to be applicable in a very practical way and was the result of her 40 years of studying boys as well as her own professional experiences. She shares that it was her vision to create a training program that was inclusive and welcoming and where the learning was conducted in a kind and sharing environment. In this show, Jeanne offers so many pearls of wisdom, such as what qualities she believes are essential for a good singing teacher to possess the influence of Voice Science in singing voice pedagogy, her personal self care regime, her legacy and so much more. Jeanne was extremely generous with her time, and you are going to love hanging out with genetical battery just as much as I did. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 03:34
So at that time when you introduce CCM, did you get pushback? From people from the classical? What was the reaction from the classical world?
Jeannette LoVetri 03:45
Well, I mean, I think the good news was that I was already outside their world a little bit, you know, I, Yes, I did start teaching at a small college, like in 1985 maybe?But I wasn’t a college professor. I didn’t have a doctorate in education or something.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 04:07
So you also–
Jeannette LoVetri 04:08
I didn’t academic, so to speak. And I was not somebody who had written a lot of books and papers. I mean, not back then. So they could only push back on me a little bit because good news was I was self employed. And I was relatively successful as being self employed here in New York. So what was they going to do to me, fire me while he can’t fire me?
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 04:31
Don’t you love that? Whatever application to be–
Jeannette LoVetri 04:35
Gonna deny me tenure? I know, I’m not interested in your tenure. Are you going to say bad things about me? Well, so what how’s that gonna hurt me. And I had already established myself in the profession through the organizations that are available, because I could talk about what I was talking about in a way that makes sense. The other thing that I did, and this is when I can’t validate this most of but the other thing that I did was I was smart enough to keep my classical singing in good shape.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 05:05
Yes, yes. So those people could see that you could make those sounds as well gave them a little bit of comfort perhaps.
Jeannette LoVetri 05:14
Right, I was still part of that world enough so that if I sang something, classically, they wouldn’t go, Ooh, that was disgusting. They would have to go, oh, oh, that’s pretty good. So things that my Mozart stuff, the light, I finally got to a place where I know I wasn’t a big voice. I wasn’t supposed to be singing big material, but Mozart’s Carlye, handle Bach, Mozart, all that was great for my voice. And as long as I stuck to that stuff, I was fine. So the hobo that kept going. And then when I went away from England, they couldn’t say, Oh, well, you know, that’s okay. But you can really sing real music because we sing real music. And I kept the classical sound as good as I could. So they couldn’t say that about me.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 06:08
Did you feel that you needed to do that? Or was that just serendipitous?
Jeannette LoVetri 06:13
No, no, it was very deliberate, unnecessary. Very clever. I’ve asked people I said, when you came to my course, the first time you if I had sounded really bad singing classical literature, would you have paid any attention to anything else? I said, and they all said no. So that in a way, I mean, I was being very aggressive in saying, like, I’m getting up and I’m going to sing Mozart in a way that you’re going to respect. And then I’m going to belt and then I’m going to sing other styles. Me. I mean, I lived in music theater, that was my whole life. And I didn’t say it out loud. But the the unspoken implied statement was, okay, can you sing that Mozart better than I just did? Oh, you can? Oh, can you do this other stuff, too? Oh, you can? See, so that was my protection in a way.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 07:04
You know, what comes to mind? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?
Jeannette LoVetri 07:10
Yeah, and it’s still true. Even now 73, I don’t sing like I did 20 years ago or 30 years ago. But when I want to demonstrate I can Yes. And people say to me, how do you keep that going and a sick? Well, I’ve never done anything in my throat that my throat shouldn’t have done. I respected the boundaries and limits of my instrument. But then I was able to get my instrument would make various kinds of sounds in different styles. So it never had to Well, it did in the beginning, I had to overcome a lot of really bad training, where I sounded like I was 60 years old when I was 27. But once I got out of all that, as long as I stayed within the comfort zone of this body, which is right now I’m very heavy, because I’m older. But when I was young, I was very small. As long as I didn’t try to compete with somebody who was a 400 pound alto, my throat was okay. Yes, yes. And I think that the colleges, were able to trust my coursework, because it’s grounded in science. And because it’s grounded in research, and because of the experience I had, working with, and learning from the doctors in the speech pathologist and the voice researchers, but also because when I get up to sing, I can really still sing. And and so the proof, I always say the proof is in the singing.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 08:38
Exactly. And I’ve heard you. Yes.
Jeannette LoVetri 08:41
Performance and resonance is great. Now sing for me and show me how that works. When you sing. And I’m interested in singing, honestly, sing from your heart, sing from your soul, sing something that’s meaningful to you. I want to hear your voice expressing your point of view to you your mind. Otherwise, you’re just making sound. And there’s a lot of classical training here in the United States, which is about give me the sound give me the sound give me the sound give me the sound and the sound. Give me the resonance. Give me the sound. Yes, yes. And oh, yeah, you have to express something good. But there’s not a lot of emphasis on this. And this is a very sad piece I’ll use now how do you personally sound when you’re sad? Now, can you feel that sadness and still sing? Because that should be your goal? Yes. So we’ve all heard really what I would call bad singing. And nobody believes any sound like that, because it’s not a humans, human beings normal expression. And I’m saying, yeah–
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 09:45
CCM audiences would not accept that because it’s the complete opposite. We’re quite happy to accept imperfections, as in singing as long as the person is being authentic. Yes, and we want to save their heart and their soul, we want to be able to look in their eyes feel what they’re feeling, we want to hear it in their voices, we want it real, we don’t care about perfection. And that legato beauty of tone, we want the real person we want the real deal.
Jeannette LoVetri 10:17
But it isn’t really necessary to they’re not in opposition to each other, no understand what they are. And so you could play two different instruments, you could be good at tennis, and also a golf. As long as you understand what the parameters of that particular activity is an external to them. You can manage the stylistic ingredients in each of the CCM styles is particular to that style. So a rock singer is going to ask for different things than a jazz singer of what they’re doing vocally, or somebody who’s singing country music as it is here in the United States is maybe not going to sound the same as a music theater singer. And that’s also a point of contention. Because up until in the 80s, I guess when there was research, the first research on belting the idea that that research said that belting was trying. And here in the United States, the word twine always only referred to the music from country, country music and Appalachia, and the south east part of the United States. It represented how people spoke in what we would call the, the hills and mountains. And it had a kind of a banjo quality to it whereas belting was really here in New York was more like a trumpet. And well like–that sound carries. And that was a very different kind of sound. So the word twang was you surf, pulled out of its roots and applied to something that made no sense. Except in worlds where nobody knew any different. Nobody had that history. So when I first heard twining, I thought, oh, country music. And then No, it wasn’t country music. And so you have that unfortunate confusion with some of the terminology. And the other things that people are being taught to maneuver their vocal cords in a certain way, or squeezed this and pull that and lift these, and really, the body doesn’t like any of that body just wants to leave itself alone and sing. And then the musical parameters, the acoustic parameters, have to work with the style in your own voice. A lot of times with the young kids, they want to build like they’re 50 years old. And I say no, no, you know, if you’re 20, so I’m like you’re a 20 year old builder, not like you’re a 90 year old. Yes. And that that particular ingredient that is classical in the traditional way, in that you only did certain repertoire, by the time you grew into it over time, you didn’t sing the biggest, most dramatic roles right away, the waited, you let your body and your voice develop over time. That’s also true in ballet. You have the young ballerinas that grow up in the ensemble, and they’re taking class every day for years and years and years and years until they develop the stamina to do a long lead. Well, like a swan, Queen in Swan Lake. You don’t give that role to young women. Why? Because you don’t have the stamina. And so there are elements of, I guess, vocal wisdom that can be taken from traditional classical singing and apply to contemporary commercial music styles when we’re dealing with who is this voice? Who is this body? Who is this instrument? And then what can we get this instrument to do in a way that’s authentic and healthy. So that’s how the somatic voicework got born. And at the end of that first course, in 2002, I got to the last hour of the fifth day, and I got ball 60 people gave me a standing ovation. And I just stood there crying my eyes out. Oh, because I thought, Gosh, I guess they understood what I was talking about.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 14:18
So it was a moment for you that all those years, all that learning all that work that you’ve done, having electrode poking out of your neck, all that you had been validated.
Jeannette LoVetri 14:35
Yeah. And when I that that that 1999 was the first year that I did research that I presented at the voice Foundation, like you did when you did yours. Yes. And that also was the first year that I did a workshop. And so I was allowed to sing at the gala. So this formal gala with all the boys. Yes, the main names and then they always have the famous up Singer there. I did that first year, the person who was famous opera singer was a woman whose name was Licinia Albanese, who had a huge career in Italy, in the United States in the 40s and 50s and early 60s, and she was the guest of honor. So I got up. And the first thing I sang was Mozart, Magic Flute. caminos Ariake shoes. And then when that was over, I sang love potion number nine, all my love. I was thin, then I was still thin. And I came out in a very elegant looking outfit, and I’ll give you the whole thing. And when I finished the last note, mark them up an essay said in the loud voice, “Brava!”
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 15:51
She didn’t threw olive oil and tomatoes at you?
Jeannette LoVetri 15:54
I was floored. Yes. And then I really did feel like okay, I have been exonerated here. She did not have to say she. And it was really that last note going away, then this loud, blah, blah, before anybody could applaud. And so I was recovering from this. But then I turned around, and I had prepared ahead of time, a little podium, kind of like a speaker’s podium. And I took my outer fancy garment, just like a vest, long vest. I took it off and put it on the podium. And I reached under and I got a black leather vest and a black leather. A newsboy cap. Yes, I did that very quickly. This change, right when out of the classical into this. I had a skin tight black jumpsuit. So this thing went over me. And I turned to the guy in the corner who was the electronics guy and I nodded. And I was like my Baba, travels back to my room. And the whole room was “Ooh!”.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 17:09
That’s unheard of in that context. I’ve been to those gala dinners, and they’re full of pomp and ceremony. And everyone’s watching p’s and q’s. And everyone so formal. Oh, my goodness. Yes.
Jeannette LoVetri 17:25
When it was over, they were all very stunned. And I again, I was so nervous before I sang. Of course, I don’t even have the words to say because I thought boy, if I don’t pull this off, if I don’t make the classical piece impeccable. And then I don’t sing this rock and roll thing like I really singing rock and roll. I am going to fall flat on my face. Absolutely people. Yes. And then the following year, I did research and I sang. Again, I was still very svelte, I had on a skin tight red dress. And I sang the silver dollar RF from The Ballad of Baby Doe, which goes up to a high C sharp, C sharp six at the end. And then I turned around and saying under the sea under the sea. And I did a little Mambo while I was doing it. And when it was over the guest of honor that year was the American baritone, classical baritone from the men, a Cheryl Mills, and he came over and he said to me, Where where are you singing? And I said in my kitchen? And he said, No, no, I need Where are you seeing? Where are you performing? I said to my kitchen. That’s the guy where? And he said, Well, you shouldn’t be and I said Are you still in it? Yeah, but see, this was all the stuff that came, I was already? Well, I was 50, then. So this all came after, after a long, long time. And the complexion of the profession at that time was still very much you know, you can either sing classical music, or you can use your voice and sing that other stuff. And I’m just going to show them no, that’s not true. And you didn’t. So it meant a lot to me to sort of say that is so wrong thought you got to break that thought. And then after that in 2006, there was a panel on contemporary commercial music at the boys Foundation, which was hugely successful. And then it became more acceptable to start to do research on different kinds of singing different kinds of styles. So now if you look at those, the roster of the symposium, they have presentations on singing singing styles from India. They have, you know, catalog music from Spain. Different kinds of versions of music theater. Yes, there’s been presentations on Glock music prior to what I did. You would never have seen that, never.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 20:02
Will you certainly paved the way then? That was incredible. Yeah, that took courage. But the more you talk the word resilient and tenacious keeps coming to mind. I think they’re the two qualities that I think part of that is probably the Italian heritage too.
Jeannette LoVetri 20:23
Well, I am an Aries, and I have all I have four planets in the North Node in Aries. So I am you know, the song once there was little RAM, bocce punch a hole in the gym, no one could make the Rams scram to get left down. And that was his Frank Sinatra song in the 50s and 60s, it’s called High Hopes. And it’s talking about, you know, the RAM, this has never given up and that that is that is the persistence. And I have to say, Marissa, in all honesty, it was fueled by my anger. People used to say to me, gosh, you seem so angry. I said, I am. I’m very angry, you would be true. If you were spoken to like, Oh, you want to sing that music? Well, that’s not music, wants to sing that stuff. And that’s why when I was in Australia the first time, which was in like, 1994, really that only? Yeah, because jerris like, brought me over there for two conferences, singing Broadway and popular music and 94 and 96. Off to Sydney. And that was my first encounter with Australian training. And I thought then, then I still felt the same when I was there, like in 2019, that the Australians were much more open minded. Yes, much more willing to just look at singing as singing. I think a lot of that was Iran’s influence. Definitely. I think that I reigns. Also her bravery, her courage and her tenacity was that she was she was talking about singing is singing singers or singers doesn’t matter. And so that attitude when I got there was like, wow, this is different. I mean, I didn’t get as much of that. Well, I’m a classical singer, what would you do? Are you Yes. And I came back. And we talked about that here. And I said, you know, when I was in a Dell nesbit’s This was class, Dells. Yes. I did a lecture in her pedagogy class. And here was this pedagogy classroom. There were jazz singers and pop singers of classical singers, all in the same class. I did that. And I said, this doesn’t happen in America. You don’t get the classical people mixed in with the other people as peers. That’s not happening. And Adele said, Yeah, well, that’s just how we are here. So I went back, I came back here. And I said, you know, you people could learn something from the Australians. They have it together. And they looked at me like, whoa, whoa, who cares? We don’t want to be like a thriller. And I said ughh.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 22:58
Yes, I didn’t even I know exactly. I didn’t even know that there was this high art and low art mentality till I started attending a Conservatorium. We call them a Conservatorium here. And then when I went to these voice conferences, and then reading some of the Facebook groups, or forums, that I didn’t realize it was such a thing, because I had a very long and successful career as a ccm singer. And I couldn’t understand why. Fun, they had these programs where these people didn’t have a hope in hell of getting a job after they finished the program. They were not going to be employable. And this music is what sells. Yeah, classical music only constitutes 1% of music consumption. And all the other styles are 99%. So where is this mentality coming from? Like, what is wrong with people?
Jeannette LoVetri 24:03
I know a man very nice man, very highly respected as a teacher pedagogue and one of our big universities, has done lots of research very, very high level research. Great man, wonderful guy can’t say, can’t sing has a reputation for being a terrible singer. And I once had a discussion with him in which he said, Well, I consider it’s my job to educate my students about the fine art of singing. And I said, But what about if you want to get help them get a job? Well, he said, I don’t concern myself with that. Oh, Imagine his kids were spending thousands of dollars and they want to be singers. And you don’t care if they get a job. I just thought that was the craziest thing I’ve ever heard
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 24:48
It is, because imagine doing a law degree route and thinking, well, I won’t have a job at the end of it is still attending a university you’re still paying all the fees he’s still going there for the training for a job. So it makes no sense.
Jeannette LoVetri 25:05
We look at job training as being beneath them, it’s an applied degree guess you have a degree in voice. It’s an applied degree, that, Oh, why would you want to work? And that’s so below you.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 25:19
So what do you do? Go and work at McDonald’s?
Jeannette LoVetri 25:21
Yeah, yes. I mean, it’s very strange as an attitude to talk to somebody who thinks that way. Now, I have to say this particular teacher does have students who are professional singers who are out in the world that working, but it was like, not part of his job as a college faculty to address whether or not their students could work if they want. And of course, if they don’t want to work, they want to become academic. Alright, that’s fine. That’s nothing wrong with that. But not because they can’t work because you didn’t prepare them for the real world where work happens. And that matter to me. So my goal is for the are not teaching privately right now. Partly because I stopped during the COVID. Quarantine could also because I have had health issues myself, which have impeded my ability to get around to, you know, okay, yes. So, um, I’ve now switched over to webinars, I’m doing webinars. And we did our very first ever podcast, I don’t think they’ve even been released yet. And then I do my my summer institute. So I do the somatic voice work Institute in July. We have it for the third year in a row online only, which was the college admissions administration’s decision. Yes, yes. So we won’t be on campus. That college campus is very lovely. It’s a small college on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m sorry, Cleveland, Ohio. Yes. And we probably will be back in person next year. But this is been very successful. Because since we’re online, you don’t have to fly to the States. You don’t have to stay in a hotel, you don’t have to pay for transportation on campus. And it’s afforded a lot of people who would never be able to participate, to participate without paying for anything except the tuition set that and so we attracted people from all over the planet. And the atmosphere is very loving, like, you know, we have a lot of fun and people share. And there’s a lot of welcoming the young people learn from the older people, the older people or from the young people. And it’s a way for us to learn and share. I mean, that was one of the great things about when I finally was in Australia, I was teaching up in Toowoomba, and Irene was came in and did a guest session, you know, and here’s a woman who has given so much to the profession, and is so kind, so down to earth, so absolutely available. Yes, she is. And she has her doctorate at the Conservatorium, but man, she just sing it. And I love having that interaction with her because that’s how it ought to be.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 28:13
Exactly, exactly. I think we can be less territorial in our community, and less ego. And you have an amazing faculty as well. I see your your training program has grown. And it’s inclusive of many things. Now, it’s not just you, which I mean, you did a great job in pyre and pioneering all of that, and establishing it. But now you have other teachers that are coming on board.
Jeannette LoVetri 28:43
Yeah, it was important for me to share the work with other people. So that anyone’s interested can realize, well, gee, gosh, I’ll never be like, Jamie, I can never do it. Know, you can’t be me, you have to be you. But you can learn the same skills that I learned along the way without spending 40 years to collect them. Yes. You know, let me shorten your journey a little bit. Yes. And so we do have a medical lecture and a speech pathology lecture. And we have experts from jazz and music theater, and we have a movement specialist. And this puts everything in one place. And then the faculty, faculty is all over the map. So we have people who teach in grade school. We have college teachers. We have choral director, people. Jeff is our rock and roll guy.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 29:36
Is that Jeff Costello? Yeah, I think. Yeah, yes, I’ve seen him on place.
Jeannette LoVetri 29:42
So we have people with different backgrounds and–
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 29:48
Is one of yours.
Jeannette LoVetri 29:49
And tony’s is our Gospel and r&b blues person and we’ve been very strongly supportive of Black Lives Matter. And the LGBT plus community, we really are working to be as inclusive and as respectful of everybody that we can. And I really feel very blessed with this faculty. They’re amazing to me, where did you can sprinkle from from? And they said, No, I didn’t. They picked me. I didn’t go out and look for them. They showed up. And then here they are. So as the community has grown, and the work has grown, the kind of person who is attracted to the work is somebody who is open minded, flexible, wants to keep learning wants to share. I mean, people like you, and people, like your colleagues that I’ve met, like, Melissa Ford, Yes, Laura. Moser Forbes, is one of those open minded people. Yes. And that is the kind of the person that’s attracted to the work. I don’t get 3 million people who like whoa, “I know how to teach that.”
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 31:05
Go find some–go and annoy somebody else. That? Yeah.
Jeannette LoVetri 31:11
Yeah. And so it was worked out, it’s worked out well. And I don’t really know, you know, 10 or 15 years to now when I’m probably no one around the planet. I don’t know where it’s gonna go. But I feel like kind of like, it’s, I’m putting it out into the world. And it’ll go where ever it needs to go. And it’s the same with what you’re doing with your broadcasts with interviewing different people in different areas. Just the fact that you’re doing that puts it out into the world makes it easier for the younger people to come in and not have the same struggles that you had, because you had struggles too.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 31:45
Yes, yes, I did. I was definitely made to feel an imposter within the academic world. But that’s okay. That’s fine. We’ve all moved on now. moved on, I have not moved on. I have a boyfriend now. So you know, sounds good. Dammit, those people that made me feel like an imposter don’t even have a book. Yeah, yes. Just I’d like to kind of start wrapping this up only because you’ve given so much of your time. And I have, like literally so many questions for you. But I just want to ask a few more. So say how much has you know, we talked about Voice Science before. How much is that informed your teaching approaches? And how important do you think that is to our training?
Jeannette LoVetri 32:33
I would say that it informed my my teaching a lot. It was very important for me when I worked with Dr. Silberg, to know that what I had developed on my own was what I had developed on my own. So in other words, that I knew that what I thought out and experienced was what I felt and experience Yeah, had an objective evaluation, both in terms of seeing it with the scope, and understanding the analysis on the piece piece of paper, which gave me enormous confidence. And I think that that keeps the process grounded in reality. So it’s very important, then the application when we’re working, is do we want to teach boys sciences pedagogy? No, you know, do you really need to know that this is your second form and is higher than your first form? In my opinion? No, it’s great if you can find that you go on machine. And that tells you that, but unless we’re going to carry the machine around with us all the time, we have to go by our own personal experiences. And so you learn to sing better by singing. And exactly then the same way that I read all the traditional vocal pedagogy from all the well known experts, classical, you know, going all the way back to Garcia and Lamperti, all the way up to the present moment. Warren Brown, and people who have been highly respected in the pedagogical community for decades. But all of that information was into classical singing. So that inform what I’m who I am. Yes. Does it inform my teaching? Yes. But then the rest of it the information that I gathered while singing gospel music with the Broadway people on singing jazz with other people, or whatever else I turned up, also informed what I’m doing. So I understood that in working with somebody and I also like it a lot of work on my body, Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais and different kinds of yoga, and massage therapy and different kinds of physical movements, systems, dancing, all different kinds. While I was always learning about my body, as my body was getting older and changing, it’s like, oh, I didn’t used to be able to do that. No, I can or chi i used to be able to do that. And now I can’t. Yes, staying informed about the somatic process, as it goes as you go. For your life, you can’t ever run out of that. Because your body’s always gonna help help you either be a good singer or not. So now, —
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 35:11
It is our instrument, after all people forget that they think it’s–
Jeannette LoVetri 35:17
I know, I’m having to adapt to having a senior citizen body and recognize hmm can’t do that anymore. Okay. Okay. At least I know that. And so that’s another key component of the application, which is, are you going to work with somebody who’s maybe a really great singer, but who just had a baby, and it’s now finally coming back and their whole bodies in a disarray? How does that work? You have to find out where they are, then. And same thing with the working with somebody who’s a dancer could be different than working with somebody who was a librarian. Maybe they equally gifted vocally and musically. But how did that how does that body work? When it comes to singing? Some people were very physically fit or not very physically fit when it puts put that same kind of behavior towards singing.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 36:12
Yes, exactly, exactly. And also to help body aware the difference between how body aware a dancer is as opposed to a librarian. And so you said that you’ve studied so many different things. What is one thing that you feel like, Ah, I really want to go and study that either because I haven’t studied it yet. Or I want to learn more about it. Is there something that piques your interest right now?
Jeannette LoVetri 36:40
Oh, boy, that’s a good question. I guess if I had a magic wand, yet, and I could prove it turns into some magic place, I would love to go back and take more acting lessons. I hadn’t taken acting lessons since I was in my 20s. I’d like to see who I would be as an actor now at this point in my life, and and really just explore, you know, what kinds of characters could I play and maybe sing also, you know, maybe as a musical theater performer, but as an older person, and just take different kinds of acting classes. I studied a few different techniques, but not extensively. And I think that would be, I also would like to take training in how to do voiceovers, like how to use your voice for commercials or you know, film, but not necessarily be on camera that would pull me that’d be like, oh, let’s go back.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 37:38
You would be very good at that. I love listening to your voice. And I love the way it moves through so many different pitch changes. And once again, I have to say that’s the Italian two, because we are very expressive. And but when you put on your English accent, it doesn’t really move very much in pitch range at all. So that cultural differences is evident. If you’re not 100%. And you, you said to you’ve had some health issues, so and you are a really busy person you still doing so much your career is never ending. What do you do for you? And what do you do for self care?
Jeannette LoVetri 38:23
Well, what I had been doing was I go for regular chiropractic adjustments. And I used to go for fairly regular massages. Yes, my husband and I are avocational ballroom dancers. So I used to do used to love doing that. All that got squashed when COVID happened, yes. And then I had hip replacement surgery in August of 2020. And unfortunately, the surgeon screwed up. Oh, so I didn’t really fully recover. And I gone all over the place trying to get a better result from other doctors that nobody’s seen, the consensus seems to be stuck with what I have. So my ability to get around is quite compromised. And so in terms of self care, right now, what I’m trying to do is adapt to the limitations that I have, and tried to take care of myself. So okay, as well. I have to walk with a cane. Okay, so now he has to go and make sure I go slowly when I go up the stairs or down the stairs. And that actually is takes a lot of awareness. The other thing I tried to do, at least a little bit is vocalize Oh, I try to keep the instrument alive because it makes me feel good. And I also feel like if I’m going to demonstrate I want to know that I have a half a chance of having it come out the way I’d like yes, I’ve been it’s almost 10 years ago I was diagnosed with A small spot on my left vocal folds. That doesn’t work, right. And it was probably caused by vocal folds hemorrhage that was generated out of very severe bronchitis. And it’s coughing, coughing, I did everything I couldn’t, can’t handle it with more holistic and Western medicine, and I still couldn’t really not cough. So I broke a blood vessel on one of the vocal folds. And probably that has contributed to the spot, this one spot that doesn’t vibrate properly in my middle range. So I had to adapt to that as well. And the music, theater music that I lived in all my life, which was my heart and soul, a lot of it is completely unsinkable. Now, I cannot sing it. And that’s heartbreaking. But I can manage with other styles and I can manage if I don’t push on myself too much. So that’s also something that would be the self care element of, okay, can’t do what can’t do. Now, let’s find out what I can do. And that’s an attitude that I have about teaching. Also, as I always try to tell the teachers that are working with me, find what the student can do, first, find out what they can do. And so and if you start with, even with beginners find out with, can they go louder? Can they go softer? Can they speed up? Just with your speaking voice? Yes, can can they go up a little or down a little. And then from that, poke something new poke something different? If you ask sometimes, if you ask somebody just to slow down, they don’t know how to do that. Because since speech, we hardly ever have a reason to talk very slowly. But that’s closer to singing, right? So I always try to get them to look at glass half full first. And then if they’re going to make a change, to look at it as accommodating capacity that the person has while you introduce new behavior, rather than fixing something that’s wrong. Because already that’s a bad attitude to begin with. You know, yes, you’ve given the attitude, the person’s not adequate, because something’s wrong and you have to fix it. Now, take a look at me. Not too cooperative over there. Maybe we can make it easier for you through let’s do this. So that you introduce something which unconsciously supports the fact that when you go back to the activity, the student goes, Oh, now I can do it better.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 42:25
I bet you wish you had those teachers, I because you had the opposite of all of that everything you just said was the total opposite of the type of training that you received. So do you believe that is probably the number one quality that a good teacher needs to possess?
Jeannette LoVetri 42:45
Yeah, I mean, I used to come out of singing lessons and go into the hallway and cry.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 42:51
Well, that’s a good lesson.
Jeannette LoVetri 42:52
And it was because I was trying with my whole being to do with the teacher said, and I was trying so hard to really be a good singer. And then I was criticized and criticized, put down and compared to other people. And I, I was just so sensitive. When I was singing, and I really vowed, if I ever teach are never gonna teach like that. I never gonna put somebody down because they’re not good enough. Although I have to be honest with people and say, ya know what? Your chops are just for miserable sleep.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 43:35
But that’s a kind way of approaching it. It’s not like say, your chest register sucks. Don’t ever, you know, why do you do it? What are you thinking? You know, and shaming? Yeah.
Jeannette LoVetri 43:48
No, I just absolutely. That’s a very important aspect of the work, which is to find a way to speak, always be honest. And say, say what you see, say what you hear. So the student comes in and you think, Hmm, just so tight today. I would say what you do over the weekend, your job as well. Like, go out and fight with my boyfriend.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 44:12
Jeannette LoVetri 44:14
Yeah. All right. Let’s massage. Let’s talk to your jaw. Come on, let’s do this. And then the person gets to see oh, okay, something happened. But I can address that. Not like why are you having these jaw problems? This is terrible. You have to can’t sing like that.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 44:32
So in all these years, your brilliant career and you’ve done so much you’ve achieved so much. What do you think will be your legacy?
Jeannette LoVetri 44:44
I guess what I would like to say that my legacy would be that I was helpful. God definitely. That that? Yes, that
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 44:54
definitely. And I would say every time someone hears the term CCM And that term is linked directly back to you. And I know when every time I do a voice conference, whether people know it or not, and I’m sure they all know, I always say this is where it’s come from.
Jeannette LoVetri 45:15
And that’s very sweet.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 45:18
Every single presentation, I credit it to you and the why.
Jeannette LoVetri 45:24
Thank you. My understanding at that time was that if I made it be about me, nobody would adopt the term, that it was very important that not not be associated with me, so that people could not know I created it, sort of like the word volcanology that Dr. Titsa created. And, you know, it’s not Ingo teaches volcanology, it’s just for colleges. And somatic voicework. Yes, the lametric method, but people just talk about somatic voicework. Because it’s universal. It’s anybody working with somatic voice work, or anybody talking about CCM? And so when I think well, what’s what would I like my legacy to be? I would like my legacy to be that I was helpful, that I served a higher good. And then I do it with an attitude of, I guess, gratitude, I know that I was able to finally give back in a way that maybe I thought was missing.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 46:23
Yes. Yes, yes. No, I totally get that. I totally get that. Because, you know, and services really important and giving back. Because that’s what we need to do. If we’ve had a brilliant career, and people have been kind to us, we need to also repay that favor to the community. And that’s what keeps it moving forward. It’s so important to be of service, and, and people worry about the money, but the money will come and you don’t do it from that place. You have to do it from a place of giving, and the money will follow if you do it from the right place.
Jeannette LoVetri 47:05
Yeah, you have to look at everybody who’s ever done anything of value has had to sacrifice to get there. And then they have the opportunity to give back. And so I mean, I would never have imagined that my life in my career was gonna go where it went. To me it looks like wow, oh, yes, yes. But, you know, having the opportunity now to look this way, when there’s many more years behind me, then I’m not gonna have another 73 years going forward. You can look back and say, Well, maybe things are a little different now than they would have been if I hadn’t been where I am. And more than that, I don’t think you can ask, you know, exactly. I’m supposed to I’m supposed to write a book. I have a book contract with counting. But I got interrupted first with my youth and then with COVID. But hopefully, I would also say my legacy will be my book, if I ever kid.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 48:04
Yes. Well said, that’s amazing. Well, he no be a very lucky man to have you as an author that published–
Jeannette LoVetri 48:12
Oh he’s been very patient, I had to have to write to him and say, I’m really sorry, but I can’t provide this book because blah blah blah, and he’s been very generous, generous and understanding. But still on my agenda.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 48:24
Good on you. Good on you. So in winding up, yes. Okay. I’m going to ask you three more questions. And that said, I promise. So what are you up to next? So there’s the book.
Jeannette LoVetri 48:38
Well know what the next thing is? That’s really immediate is the webinars let us start with on Monday, I have four free webinars. Then after that is the Institute which is in July, it’s nine days in July.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 48:51
Jeannette LoVetri 48:52
It starts on night. The ninth July 9 to July 17.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 48:56
And people can still book?
Jeannette LoVetri 48:58
Uhuh, yeah. The website is on the College website.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 49:03
Yes. And I’ll share the links. I’ll share the links. I will share all your links Jeanne in my show notes.
Jeannette LoVetri 49:13
And then after that, I don’t have any specific plans. But I have well, a lot depends on how how I do if I have to travel. I don’t know what my HIPAA–
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 49:26
Are you going to ICVT?
Jeannette LoVetri 49:28
No, I’m gonna go to the The Voice Foundation in Philadelphia just to see how I do. Because that’s only two hours away by car. I don’t know how I will be in a plane traveling a long distance because generally speaking a few hours and then I really have to round. Yes. And then you know, so I have my student more and more Israel waiting for me to come to Israel. And the Brazilians would like me to come back to Brazil. So I don’t know right now. I don’t have anything beyond the institute.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 49:59
So see how I do one one foot forward at a time? Yes. And so you with all your wisdom, what is the greatest piece of advice you would like to offer our singing voice community, like something we could do better or something that you strongly believe in?
Jeannette LoVetri 50:17
I would say too the thing that we all have to remember is both the Hindu scriptures and the Christian Bible say in the beginning was the word or in the beginning was the sound. And science tells us we started with the Big Bang, so that we must remember that our sound is our spirit in our body, your voice, the vibration of your voice is your soul made manifest as sound. So when you are true to your voice, and true to your word, that is to say, tell the truth, then you are speaking from the most empowering point of view that exists. And when you speak, knowing that you know that you are speaking from a loving truth, you are creating reality, that is this essence, everything in the universe is a vibration, a particle or a wave. So when you speak, and you say, anything that can be something like that was a great lesson, that energy of that sound coming from you straight through in your own voice in your own body, comfortably and happily, literally creates a reality for the other person to go, Ah, great lesson. And that’s the essence of this work. The essence of this work is to find your voice, raise your voice, share your voice, voice, cherish your voice, and basically tell the truth in each moment as yourself. So you can ask, and it doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It doesn’t mean you never trip up and say something stupid, or lie or when we all do those things. But when your intention is to be of service, and you’re impeccable with your word, and your sound, you’re operating at the essence of creativity. What you cannot do?
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 52:10
Wow, that is absolutely beautiful. And it is so in line with the messaging behind my podcast. Absolutely. Beautifully said, well, well, well, so powerful. And so true.
Jeannette LoVetri 52:26
Well, that is why musician and magician come from the same source in English. And those of us that are working with music are working with magic. And so when we’re working with sound, and we’re working with music and voice, that is the essence of all it is in the world. And if we hold it that way, no regard, you know, kind of a sacredness, just as much as you can ask.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 52:50
Beautiful. Well Jeanne, I’m going to let you go. You’ve been so kind.
Jeannette LoVetri 52:54
Thank you. Be with my husband,
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 52:58
Oh, Jerry poor Jerry.. Oh, we can’t let him go hungry. Oh, my goodness. If he’s like my husband, he’d be roaring like a wounded bull right now.
Jeannette LoVetri 53:09
I think he might be just taking a nap. I’m not sure. But oh my gosh, for us to eat.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 53:14
No, thank you for that and much, much love to you. And I hope to see you in person sometime soon. Yes, that will share all your information, especially to the Institute in the show notes. Again. Thank you, Jeanne, good night. Lot of love to you. Bye.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 53:38
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 #AVoiceAndBeyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you’d 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.