Teaching Singing in the Digital Age: Observations of Belting Singing Technique (BST) Videos on YouTube

Authors

  • Teik Poi Tan Voice Department, School of Music Gelsenkirchen, Germany

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18533/journal.v9i2.1835

Keywords:

belting, free tutorials, teaching contents in YouTube videos, YouTube, voice pedagogy

Abstract

This article examines the value of YouTube as a resource for teaching belting singing technique (BST). Currently, demand for BST training is growing, with many students turning to non-conventional methods of learning, such as YouTube tutorials, to improve their singing. This article conducts an evaluation of whether popular singing tutorials on YouTube provide safe and useful information or if they also contribute to the wrong and potentially dangerous singing methods. This evaluation is accomplished through the use of document analysis method. By comparing these channels to reputable information found in research studies, it is discovered that with the exception of several YouTube instructors, a number of YouTube tutorials on BST are ambiguous, insignificant, and may not be perceived as suitable options for novice singers. Some of the explanations in these video tutorials are not supported by scientific inquiry. Hence, it is not clear that the singing techniques they promote are safe for learners. However, it is not concluded that all tutorials on YouTube promote wrong techniques. The accessibility and ubiquity of YouTube may provide a platform for voice pedagogues and researchers to comment and regulate the spread of misinformation. However, this paper recommends against reliance on YouTube tutorials as a wholesale replacement for individualized vocal lessons from professionals.

Author Biography

Teik Poi Tan, Voice Department, School of Music Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Tan Teik Poi is the first Asian certified as a Master Teacher of the Estill Voice Training System. Teik Poi’s initial studies were in voice performance at the Cologne University of Music focusing on the genres of Art Songs, opera and oratorio. Follow-up studies were in voice pedagogy at the same University, from which he graduated with highest distinction. As a voice coach, Teik Poi has worked with many a-cappella groups and choir conductors and has won many prizes at choir competitions at the national and international levels. He has conducted various workshops in Asia and Europe – for choirs, singing teachers, singers, actors, conductors, teachers and voice therapists and has been invited to judge various singing competitions in Germany. Since 2007, Teik Poi has worked as a children’s and youth choir conductor and has been appointed as musical director and choir conductor for numerous musical productions and concerts throughout Germany.

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2020-02-24

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