Letters to a voice teacher

8 February 2018

Dear Professor Winslow,

It's funny. As I've aged, and as I've embraced newer and exclusively more powerful and rapid technology for both work and entertainment, I find myself filled with a sort of nostalgia. I've always tried to solve this with objects. When I watched Mad Men, I went out and bought a physical in/out tray for my desk at home. I suppose it made me think that the past didn't feel as frantic as the present. That's probably a lie, as no generation has an exclusive claim to any sort of absolute measure of stress. Come to think of it, I bought more Rye whiskey at the time too, and no generation has yet cornered the market on a definitively pensive relationship to alcohol. So this letter and those that follow are, I think, an attempt to reclaim something lost in our current mode of communicating by email. To reclaim the idea that a big question about something dear can be sent out into the air, find another person, and sit in their mind for a bit before they respond. In a digital world, where even emails aren't supposed to have salutations or signatures, I hope you'll find these bi-weekly letters to be a respite from that pace. I hope to lodge an idea or two in your mind, and look forward to your replies. 


Dr. Ian Howell
Voice Faculty
Vocal Pedagogy Director
The New England Conservatory