Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Somerville Voice Teacher Celia Slattery Gives Her Students a Voice

Celia Slattery at the Bloc 11 Cafe

Somerville Voice Teacher Celia Slattery Gives Her Students a Voice

By Doug Holder

Originally from California, voice teacher and performer Celia Slattery has lived in worked in Davis Square for the past 17 years. She described the community as vibrant, and a good place for someone in her profession to be located. She has performed in many local spots, such as: the now defunct Johnny D's, the Davis Square Theater, Ryles in Inman Square, Club Passim in Harvard Square, etc...

Slattery told me she sings both jazz and folk/rock music. She counts Nora Jones, Joni Mitchell, and Leonard Cohen as singers she admires. Of the late Leonard Cohen she states: “ His lyrics are thoughtful and not predictable. His music is soulful and sensual at the same time.”

Slattery attended U/Mass Amherst and has a theater background. She was a member of the experimental troupe “ Reality Theater.” There she dabbled in improvisation.

She likes the music of what she describes as the “ First Ladies of Jazz.”-- classics like Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald and others. This affinity for these singers has led her to create a one-woman show that explores their vocal art .

Slattery makes a living by teaching voice. She helps students get their voices in shape, as well as teaching them vocal techniques. She said, “ I physically train singers. I show them how to exercise their muscles that make sound. I teach them to sing at their peak efficiency.”

I asked her about older singers—people whose voices who tend to crack, and can not reach certain ranges. I wondered about people 80 and over. She told me, “ Well, we have Tony Bennett—and he still has it. Like any athlete you have to exercise your muscles—older folks can do do that and still sing reasonably well. I teach my older students to use different vocal folds. I teach them to work with their rib cage, stomach muscles, and tongue. I do this with all students and it helps most people.”

I asked Slattery about the backgrounds her students bring to the table. She said her students are an eclectic group. They are people who sing on tour cruises, high school singers, rock singers, nightclub crooners, etc.... Slattery reflected, “ I have even helped people regain their vocal ability after they suffered with cysts, polyps, nodes, etc...” Although her prices are not cheap...they are competitive. They reflect the quality of work Slattery feels she provides.

*** To find out more info about Celia Slattery go to: http://celiaslattery.com/studio

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