History & Mission
NYSTA strives to provide voice professionals, both locally and globally, with the tools and inspiration needed for an increasingly informed and creative pedagogy. Immense advances in voice science, neurology, psychology, education theory, medicine, and mind/body healing offer new information and techniques from which voice teachers can draw. By making these resources accessible to our members, we foster twenty-first-century pedagogy, rooted in the great traditions of the past, incorporating the new knowledge of our time.
To establish and maintain a standard of vocal production and voice instruction based on scientific principles.
To encourage the highest standards of musicianship and artistic singing.
To promote American vocal music and the craft of singing in English.
To uphold a code of ethics governing the relationship of voice teachers to each other, their students, and the public.
The New York Singing Teachers'' Association traces its roots back to 1906, when it was established as the first association of singing teachers in the United States. Founding members included such luminaries as Enrico Caruso, Emma Eames, Geraldine Farrar, Mary Garden, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, and Marcella Sembrich, who joined together for the cause of promoting high quality singing in America.
Over the years, NYSTA has played an important role in breaking down barriers among teachers, as well as between teachers and those in related disciplines. We encourage a free exchange of ideas about the principles of good singing and the practices of good teaching. NYSTA events may include debate, but always within the context of mutual respect and high ethical standards. This atmosphere in turn enhances the standing of voice teachers among other professions, as attested by the invitation extended to NYSTA to co-sponsor a panel at the prestigious Voice Foundation Symposium, the nation''s leading forum for otolaryngologists, speech pathologists and voice scientists.
One of NYSTA's original goals, when it was founded in 1906, was to raise standards in the teaching studio by establishing a school. Numerous attempts were made by well-meaning and dedicated professionals to devise a curriculum of necessary subjects that everyone could agree upon, in which a singing teacher should be proficient.
Since its earliest years, NYSTA has sought to foster standards in the profession. In the 1920s and 30s the organization led efforts to require certification by the New York State government for all voice teachers. While state certification was never implemented, its intent came to fruition with the establishment of our Professional Development Program (PDP), spearheaded by our past President, Janet Pranschke. In 2007. through the efforts of President David Sabella-Mills, PDP courses are available online to teachers and voice professionals all around the world.
The PDP program has continued to flourish, and now offers graduate credit in partnership with Westminster Choir College at Rider University. Additionally, those who complete the five core courses can earn the designation Distinguished Voice Professional.
NYSTA continues to expand its outreach, offering resources to voice professionals around the globe.
NYSTA events, held regularly between September and June, feature leading figures in vocal performance, interpretation, pedagogy, and health. Among those presented in recent years are international artists Regina Resnick, Teresa Stratas, and Elly Ameling, master teachers Oren Brown, Cornelius Reid, and Ruth Falcon, Dr. Peak Woo, formerly of the Grabscheid Voice Center, Anat Keidar, PhD, CCC-SLP of the Department of Otolaryngolgoy at St.Luke''s/Roosevelt Hospital, and Dr. R. J. Baken, Director of Laryngology Research at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.
In addition to programs aimed at voice teachers and coaches, NYSTA offers training, career guidance, and performance opportunities for singers in the classical, musical theater and contemporary commercial/ pop music fields. These include:
Lectures and panel discussions with leading experts
Master classes by renowned artists
Hands-on workshops on pedagogy, voice science, and body work
Student competitions, awards and recitals
Special programs for music theater and contemporary music performers
An organization dedicated to inspiring and educating those who work with the singing voice, across all musical genres.
An unprecedented resource for Singers, Voice Teachers, Choir Directors, Voice and Acting Coaches, Speech Pathologists, Composers - anyone who works with the singing voice.