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A COMPARISON OF THE PEDAGOGICAL PHILOSOPHIES OF WILLIAM VENNARD AND RICHARD MILLER A Paper Presented to Dr David Robinson School of Church Music Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Fort Worth Texas In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Course Seminar in Vocal Pedagogy VOICL 4902 by Michael Mays November 2003 In many ways a comparison of the pedagogical styles presented in the respective seminal works of William Vennard Singing the Mechanism and Technic and Richard Miller The Structure of Singing are attempts to contrast two sides of the same coin especially with regard to philosophical--and certainly scientific--opinions With regard to approach however the comparison is more a matter of apples and oranges Vennards work takes a more technical approach taking care to explain scientific obser-vations of vocal phenomena Miller on the other hand deals primarily with direct application of technique This is not to say Vennard does not exhaustively address technique or that Miller never addresses the science of it but that his approach is based on first discussing the scientific body of knowledge at the time of his writing on vocal production than from the standpoint of direct vocal production itself la Miller As Vennards book is the older and more used text it seems logical to treat his text as the default subject Miller has not presented his work as a response per se but in most pedagogical situations it is probable that Vennard is the given authority with Miller used if at all as an ancillary source After all Vennard is more exhaustive with his discussions of the purely scientific aspects of vocal production within his text even if some of his information is dated and such knowledge is foun-dational to any technical understanding upon which to base ones pedagogy Miller also supplies thorough and more currently researched appendices of anatomical analysis but for the body of his text he simply assumes that such technical knowledge ought to be
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