Faculty Spotlight: Fei Ma
Get to know Mobile Music Lessons voice faculty member, Dr. Fei Ma! Learn more about her on our faculty page. Read more faculty spotlights on our blog.
Q: How did you get started singing?
A: I was born into a musical family. My mother was a singer and my father was a music enthusiast. When I was very young, we had a small piano at home and my mom would play it when she was happy. I was my mother's loyal listener as I learned how to sing the songs that she played on the piano.
My first show on stage was when I was five years old. I was very nervous and scared, constantly begging my mom to take me home. But when the applause rang out, a surge of courage pushed me to the middle of the stage. I closed my eyes and sang that song—I forgot the name of it—but I will always remember that moment. That gave me the courage to pursue my dream of becoming a singer.
Q: Who is your favorite composer and why?
A: I love Schubert's music, especially his art song. Schubert's art songs are widely considered beautiful because they combine beautiful melodies with rich harmonies and deeply expressive texts. Schubert's gift for melody is often cited as one of the reasons for his enduring popularity. His art songs are known for their memorable tunes that are both simple and elegant, and that capture the mood and emotion of the text they accompany. Schubert's art songs often convey a wide range of emotions, from joy and hope to melancholy and despair, and are capable of moving listeners on a deep and emotional level. Schubert was a master of setting texts to music in a way that enhances the meaning and feeling of the words, and his art songs have been praised for their ability to express the human condition in all its complexity.
Q: Why is music important to you?
A: Music is not just a profession for me; it is an important part of my life. I believe that music represents the greatest kindness that humanity has shown to this world, as it has the power to convey delicate emotions that are difficult to express through words or language alone. I am always moved by many sincere and heartfelt pieces of music, and I am sure that is a missing component in our lives.
Q: What is your teaching philosophy?
A: Voice students have commonalities in vocal technique due to our voices acting as instruments and as verbal expression. However, we may differ in singing style due to technique experience, background, cultural influence, and speaking habits. Therefore, I teach to all students' experiences, focusing on their aptitude and goals.
I employ a comprehensive vocal teaching method. First, I stick to concrete descriptions of musculature and the vocal apparatus. Second, I guide students to understand their voice instruments. I believe vocal teaching is very important to ensure that the voice is protected, especially for young singers. Singers need to understand their instrument and how it functions during our singing for optimal health and performance. Third, I work with a wide range of repertoire to create beautiful music with their unique voices.
To do a good job, an artisan needs the best tools. My approach to vocal teaching focuses on vocal techniques. If you are looking for vocal instruction with a focus on laying a solid foundation for your voice and seeking a healthy and orderly vocal learning process, you will know my studio is looking for you, too. I also help singers build an acute acoustic awareness, which means singers are able to see what happens in their body with an accurate ear to identify and fix vocal issues. I also encourage students to choose appropriate repertoire, which is important to help them address technical deficiencies and showcase their talent.