Rebecca Shrimpton

Assistant Professor
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In Their Own Words

"I love exploring new styles with students and helping them find new ways to use their instrument. I also am keenly aware of the vocal mechanism itself. The human voice is by far the most complicated instrument you can ever play, and you can’t even look at it or put your hands on it. I try to help students understand the anatomy of their voice, not just what the different parts are, but how they move and how they create sound. I like to keep up with the science of that, because it contributes enormously to vocal longevity and health."

"Modern music is allowing us—and sometimes requiring us—to be flexible across different genres. This is wonderful for your musicianship. But also it compels you to exercise your voice in a different way, promoting vocal strength and dexterity in much the same way that athletes cross train."

"I like to encourage my students to take a long view of their careers. Sometimes it is hard to convince young people that they’ve got time to make their mark on the music world. They need to remember that they are going to sound better at 35 and 45 than they did at 25. It is important for them to take the long view and maintain vocal health."

"As singers, the voice itself is really only half our instrument. The other half is our ear—our ability to hear music and absorb it and understand it. For that you need technical skills in ear training and harmony. Singers cannot sing what they do not hear. You need to build a library in your mind’s ear, to understand sounds and catalog them. Then you can conjure these sounds when you want to express something."

"College is a place where you come to learn. But most importantly you must learn how to teach yourself. I want to give students skills that they can continue to use for the rest of their lives, and ideas that they can continue to explore. I want to help them become independent."