Mrs Robyn Wells

Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies

C41 - Sydney Conservatorium of Music
The University of Sydney

Biographical details

Soprano Robyn Wells has been a casual Lecturer in Voice at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music since 1997. She studied in Sydney with Marjorie Walker and in UK with Peter Harrison and Cheryl Hawkins. She has an Honours degree in Literature and a Diploma in Education (University of Sydney). She is currently completing a Masters of Music (Mus. Ed.). As a concert soloist Robyn has appeared with many orchestras, choirs and ensembles in England. She has performed a wide range of oratorios and sacred works, major operatic and music theatre roles, and frequently appeared as a recitalist. Her students have been finalists and winners of major Australian and international singing competitions, e.g. Vienna Staatsoper Young Artist, Belvedere International Competition, MacDonald’s Operatic Aria, Audi German Scholarship, Bel Canto, Melbourne Sun Aria, Wiesbaden competition and AIMS. Some students now sing professionally in Europe and the US as well as with Opera Australia and other Australian opera companies. Robyn’s major research interest is historic and current vocal pedagogy. She has an interest in the contribution of yoga, Alexander Technique, Feldenkraïs and other physical and performance development techniques to the teaching of singing. She also focuses on interpreting text in song. Robyn has had extensive Social Work teaching experience in Inner London, where she developed and taught multi-disciplinary courses for professionals working with needy children. This experience informs her voice teaching, which aims to equip developing singers with resilience as well as the vocal skills they need to manage the many pressures of a performing career. Robyn has a private studio, working with professional singers, voice students at other universities, and students preparing university auditions. Singers study vocal pedagogy with her in order to teach competently. Fine singing requires mind and imagination married to the physical endowments of the entire body. Because each voice is unique, it must be allowed to reveal its nature without being forced into a preconceived mould. This, together with the existence of many different learning styles, means that a teacher needs a large repertoire of precise instructions so that students know exactly how to make necessary changes. Those instructions found most helpful for each singer then become a resource available to them independent of lessons, allowing them to build a reliable, efficient technique for their lifelong learning and teaching. The point of good technique is to allow a singer to communicate and emotionally engage with an audience in a personal and compelling way. In song and opera, music and poetry have equal importance. Robyn wants her students to love beauty in music, poetry and languages, to work hard in search of musical excellence, and become skilled, musically expressive interpreters of every text they bring to musical life. As a teacher, she aims to be encouraging, clear, honest, and a source of security, but also to be demanding and rigorous. She challenges students to develop self-discipline and professionalism, so that they will be secure technically, musically, linguistically and dramatically every time they perform, and are prepared for the task of developing their careers.

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