Pre-Conference Workshop

Teaching Outside the Gender Binary: Working with Transgender and Non-Binary Singers

Friday, June 22 • 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  REGISTER NOW

Presenters: Loraine Sims, Liz Jackson Hearns, Brian Kremer, and Rachel Inselman
Introduced by: Karen Brunssen
Location: Cohiba 1-4

Many singing teachers realize that we should be advocates for our transgender and non-binary students and strive for diversity and inclusion. We need information and tools to make the applied music studio, music classes, and rehearsal rooms safe spaces. This workshop will provide an introduction to the special considerations that singing teachers should have to provide an inclusive gender neutral environment for learning by transgender or non-binary students. The goals will include developing or refining a basic vocabulary of terminology specific to this population and helping to create an awareness and sensitivity for the needs of those students who are in transition. Medical and psychological considerations will be included as well as discussion of the effects of hormone therapies and surgeries on voices and possible outcomes for those singers. We will be joined by a medical professional. Suggested repertoire and vocalises will be presented. 


Inselman - Endocrinologist and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Inselman - Hormonal Therapy for Transgender Singers

Inselman - Transgender Binders

Inselman - Transgender Individuals and Mental Health

Inselman - Transgender Waist Training and Corsets

Sims: Teaching Transgender Students: What every music educator should know

About Loraine Sims

Loraine_Sims_cr2x3web_CasualColorPhoto.jpgLoraine Sims is Associate Professor/Vocal Studies Division Chair at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Recent performances include “Comedy in Song: Humorous Art Songs in English” for the 2016 National NATS Conference and a repeat performance for the 2017 ICVT in Stockholm, Sweden. Professional activities include “Training Transgender Singers for Opera Performance: Gender Bending Beyond the Pants Role” for the 2017 NOA Conference, “Teaching Lucas: A Transgender Student’s Vocal Journey from Soprano to Tenor” at the 2016 NOA/NATS conference, the 2016 National MTNA Conference, and the 2016 National NATS Convention. Other presentations include “Training the Terrible Tongue!” for the 2014 Chicago NATS Chapter, and the 2012 National NATS Conference. Dr. Sims is a past Southern Region Governor of NATS as well as a member of NOA and MTNA. She enjoys giving master classes and her students have been winners in national and regional competitions.

About Liz Jackson Hearns

Liz_Jackson_Hearns_cr2x3web_DSC_3896.jpgLiz Jackson Hearns, is a voice teacher and owner of The Voice Lab in Chicago. She holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from North Park University and a Bachelor of Arts from The College of Idaho; she also attended the Summer Vocology Institute at the University of Utah. Liz is Co-Founder and Executive Director of ResonaTe, Chicago’s all-trans chorus. She works with with transgender and gender nonconforming singers, helping them develop healthy singing habits during medical transition and beyond. The Singing Teacher’s Guide to Transgender Voices, which is a collaborative project with Brian Kremer, will be available soon.

About Brian Kremer

Brian_Kremer_cr2x3web_1028.jpgBrian Kremer is an assistant professor of Music Theatre at Elon University as well as a professional singer, actor and voice instructor. He teaches courses in voice specializing in contemporary singing and performance styles including music theater, rock, pop, country and R&B. Beyond the classroom, Brian is researching and writing The Singing Teacher’s Guide to Transgender Voices, a resource intended to aid in the development of a successful voice pedagogy for the training of transgender singers. BFA, Carnegie Mellon University; MM, Manhattan School of Music. He also maintains Kremer Voice Design, a private voice studio providing individualized vocal instruction.

About Rachel Inselman

Rachel_Inselman_2x3webDSSO_49.jpgRachel Inselman, soprano is professor of voice at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She has performed numerous opera roles as well as appeared as soloist with symphony orchestras throughout the United States including the Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, and Lincoln Symphony Orchestra. International credits include engagements with the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, Paris Sinfonetta, and the Tatui Wind Ensemble in Brazil. As a recitalist, Rachel has appeared in Australia, Italy, Costa Rica, Brazil, Turkey and Canada. Inselman was named a winner at the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions for four consecutive years, was a third-place finalist at the Met Regional Auditions in 1995 and 1996.