Singing Voice Specialist
Bern is an NYC-based voice teacher who actively juggles a performance career. With a BA from The University of Chicago and a dual-degree MM in Vocal Pedagogy and Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy from New York University, Bern’s teaching is informed by the schools of Flow Phonation, Stanislavski and Somatic Experience Performance. He has also completed Estill I and II training. He is a proud member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and continues to seek out new knowledge in voice science through vocology courses, conferences and published literature. He is an active researcher on the Johnson Lab team at the NYU Voice Center.
Recent additions to his roster of students include professional theatre practitioners who are active on NYC and National Tour stages. Bern also teaches professional performers outside of NYC and overseas using online platforms. While on the National Tour of the King and I, he taught voice privately to more than half of the cast in the show. He works with both adults and children, and is very skilled in bringing to bear vocal adjustments based on tangible tools, as well as acting adjustments that stem from intrinsic motivations and internal processes of the actor.
As a graduate student and adjunct voice faculty member at NYU Steinhardt, he was recognized for Distinguished Leadership and Contribution in Vocal Pedagogy. His responsibilities in the 2019-2020 academic year include teaching private lessons to performance majors, non-majors, as well as group classes to undergraduates.
He first started teaching voice in 2002 as a student teacher of middle-school singers and has thoroughly enjoyed helping individuals free their voices since. His performance credits are multi-genre, with experience in Opera and Oratorio, Music Theater, Jazz, Pop/Rock as well as large and small ensemble work, including contemporary acapella and Barbershop.
Bern’s main goal as a voice teacher is to free each student’s most optimal voice. He and his students share the common goal of letting their voice's personality and unique blend of colors show themselves more fully and with greater clarity in the repertoire they perform. Bern would like his students to have the most options for maximum expressivity in their art. He wants singing to feel good for them, physically and emotionally. And he would like longevity for their voices. These sub-goals are very much related to the main goal of uncovering the most functionally free, unhindered versions of their voices. Not a voice that mimics somebody else's sound, but each student’s own voice.
While Bern believes there is a place for nuanced use of metaphors and imagery in teaching, and that it is critically important to use precise language so that students don’t receive confusing, unintended connotations, he centers his teaching on tactile, physical tasks. These are tools that they can implement to experience tangible sensations and observable results. For Bern, mastery of singing is about how well a singer coordinates their instrument to get after better flow, an appropriate level of effort in their valve, and a style-appropriate and smart choice of resonance shapes. He uses tasks, not just metaphors, to hone each of these gears in singing.
Ultimately though, a singer’s voice is in service of their story, and Bern’s students share the common desire to be impressive, world-class performers. He seeks to give them freedom so that they can use their voices and bodies to tell truthful, authentic stories.
Contact Bern for further information regarding studio openings, a trial lesson, testimonials and rates.