Everyone knows how to sing – we just have to learn how to get out of our own way and trust God’s design, says Dr. Kathryn Hedlund, associate professor of music and voice in the Alabama School of the Arts at the University of Mobile.
She is committed to getting to know all of her students, so she can know how specifically to encourage and teach each one.
“Teaching voice is so very specific,” said Hedlund. “Each person is different, and there is no one way to teach singing!”
We asked Hedlund about her love for teaching voice at the Christ-centered university.
Q: You have taught at UM for 9 years. What is your background?
A: I got my Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan, and both my Master of Music in Voice Performance and Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice Performance with a minor in Vocal Pedagogy at LSU. My background is mostly classical/opera singing. Before working at UM, I was the associate director of a small opera company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Q: Why should someone choose to study music?
A: We are a well-rounded, intently personal and Christ-centered music department, full of wonderful, diverse opportunities for you to explore and cultivate your gifts in a loving, supportive environment.
Q: What courses do you typically teach?
A: I teach several vocal pedagogy classes — both at the undergraduate and graduate level, applied voice, and several diction and song literature classes. I love all my classes, but I think my graduate vocal pedagogy classes are my current favorites. I often come out of class with just as many questions as answers, and that is when I know that it was a good class.
Q: You are passionate about using our bodies as God intended. Tell us about it.
A: On top of my singing studies and interests, I study the Alexander Technique, which I am working on getting certified to teach as well. AT offers a way to re-educate us on how our bodies work most efficiently by improving coordination, mind-body connection and realizing that we have a choice in our reactions to stimuli. This is not only helpful in performance, but in everyday life and our relationships with God and others.
Q: What are some of your other interests?
A: I have run two half marathons in my lifetime. After having two kids, I haven’t invested the time in training for a third half marathon, but it’s on my list of “maybe sometime in my 40s . . .” So, I guess this says that I like challenges. My husband ran the first half marathon with me, “retired,” and cheered me on with my son as I ran the second half marathon.