Breakout Session

Advancing the Culture of Mentoring in our Profession

Sunday, June 24 • 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Presenters: Martha Randall, Jeanne Goffi-Fynn, Donald Simonson, Norman Spivey
Introduced by: Linda J. Snyder
Location: Cohiba 10-11

This session will be an interactive discussion of the paper on this topic by the American Academy of Teachers of Singing published in Journal of Singing (May/June ’18). Mentoring strengthens pedagogic practice through open communication and continued learning. The Academy defines it as a collaboration to enhance pedagogic skills and practice. Relationship-building is key to mentoring, whether in limited or long-term partnerships. Informed in part by principles of self-determination theory, AATS offers an interactive discussion and models of relationship-based mentoring to revitalize and strengthen every community of teachers, from those new to the profession, to veteran independent studio teachers and university faculty. Please join us for this important discussion on how mentoring can help us become better teachers.

View presentation/handout

The conversation continues with More Discussion on Mentoring, a Coffee and Conversation session on Monday, June 25 • 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

discussion on mentoring and how NATS and our partners are developing expanded mentoring programs for our members

About Jeanne Goffi-Fynn

Jeanne_Goffi_Fynn_Headshot_1_.jpegJeanne Goffi-Fynn, is senior lecturer and director of the Doctoral Cohort Program in the Program of Music at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her areas of interest include performance training for young singers, studio teaching, voice development and pedagogy across styles, and choral singing. She is also a singing voice specialist, specifically in the retraining of singers, with MTD a specific area of interest. She has presented workshops and pedagogical presentations with NATS, The Voice Foundation, NYSTA, CMS, ACDA, NYSSMA, ICVT and ISME. She is currently a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing (AATS) and serves with Opera America on their Singer Training Forum, Board of Overseers and Strategic Committee. She also is currently Vice-President of NATS-NYC where she is piloting a new Mentorship Program. Finally, she serves on the board with Every Voice Choir, working as singing voice specialist with children ages 7-16 in workshop settings of music theater, and audition preparation. Her website is

About Donald Simonson

Donald_Simonson_2x3.jpgDonald Simonson is Professor of Voice at Iowa State University where he chairs the Voice Division and teaches voice, voice pedagogy, vocal literature, and conducts musical theater. Simonson is a graduate of Northwestern University and undertook advanced study at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst (Academy of Music) in Vienna, Austria. His principal teachers include Marion Hall, Otto Edelmann, Norman Gulbrandsen, and Berton Coffin. He regularly performs leading roles and appears as a soloist with opera companies, symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout Europe, America, Australia and the Far East, including concert performances with ensembles such as the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Wiener Philharmoniker Solisten, the Austrian National Radio Symphony, and the Clemencic Consort. His performances have been featured on Austrian, German, and Italian national radio and television broadcasts and on NPR.

Simonson's students have gone on to win Fulbright Scholarships and Rotary Fellowships to Germany, Sweden and Italy and have been finalists and winners of competitions such as the Union League, MacAllister, NATS, and MET auditions. His students may be heard in roles with opera companies both here and abroad, including the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric, Houston Grand, Los Angeles, Barcelona, and Leipzig to name a few. His students may also be heard on Broadway, and in national touring productions of musical theater. 
An active member of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) for over 25 years, Simonson served as NATS President, two terms as the Iowa District Governor, and two terms as Governor of the Central Region and member of the National Board of Directors.

About Norman Spivey

NormanSpivey-NATSweb2.jpgNorman Spivey is professor of music at Penn State, where he teaches singing and courses in voice pedagogy. He is a past-president of NATS and has also served NATS as president of the Allegheny Mountain Chapter, governor of the Pennsylvania District, and national vice president for workshops. He also served on the board of the NATS Foundation. His writings have appeared in Journal of Singing, and he has participated in the NATS Intern Program as an intern and as local coordinator, and was selected as a master teacher for the 2010 program.

Spivey received a B.M. from Southeastern Louisiana University, a M.M. from the University of North Texas, and a D.M.A. from the University of Michigan. A Fulbright grant to Paris, where he worked with renowned baritones Gabriel Bacquier and Gérard Souzay, led to concert and opera engagements throughout France, as well as a tour of France and Canada as Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute. While in France, he was also awarded the Harriet Hale Woolley Award as artist-in-residence at the Fondation des Etats-Unis. He has sung Schubert's Winterreise at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and performed the American premiere of Poulenc's rediscovered Quatre Poèmes de Max Jacob. His most recent performance project, Écoute: pieces of Reynaldo Hahn, was an original one-man show on the life and music of the French composer that toured around the country. Spivey has received fellowships from the Aspen Music Festival and the Institute for Advanced Vocal Studies in Paris; in 2003 he received the Van L. Lawrence Fellowship awarded jointly by The Voice Foundation and NATS. In 2011, Spivey was invited to join the American Academy of Teachers of Singing.

About Martha Randall

martha_randall_0505grey.jpgMartha Randall, (Soprano, B.M., M.M. from the University of Kansas, Fulbright Scholar), a student of Todd Duncan for many years, teaches voice and voice pedagogy at the University of Maryland in College Park. She also maintains a small private studio and works with both amateur and professional singers. She has appeared at the Kennedy Center, Constitution Hall, the Phillips Gallery, and performed with the National Symphony, Washington Bach Consort, and Kansas City Philharmonic. Former students are appearing at the Met, Covent Garden, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass and Central City. She was president of NATS from 2006-08 and at the 2014 NATS Conference in Boston, collaborated with Physical Therapist Jodi Barth and Gincy Stezar, PTA, in a pre-conference workshop. She is a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing, now serving as chair. She collaborated with Jodi Barth and Gincy Stezar at the 2012 and 2013 Voice Foundation Symposiums.

She was on the faculty of the Voice Pedagogy Institute at Westminster Choir College in July of 2014 and was an invited participant and discussion leader on teaching language, diction, communication, and artistry for a Pedagogy Summit at Ohio State University in 2015.