Hlín Pétursdóttir Behrens looks back on a long standing career as a singer and vocal coach. A graduate from the College of Music in Reykjavík and the Opera Class of the University of Music and Theatre in Hamburg, Germany, the first decade of her professional life focussed on music theatre, with engagements in Stadtheater Bern, Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich and the Frankfurt Opera, to name but a few. After moving back to Iceland, chamber music, contemporary music and Lied recitals have become more prominent in her work, as well as teaching at the College of Music and The Academy of the Arts in Reykjavík. Further education at the Lichtenberger Institute for Applied Physiology of the voice are leading to her development of a new approach to singing, teaching and life itself.
About Hlín´s teaching
I seek a healthy, effortless and individual sound, open and relevant to all styles. I work with beginners, aspiring professionals, singer-songwriters and ensembles.
My focus is on sound and the instrument itself. If we wish to interact with our public through music it is important to look at how we interact with our voice as our instrument, and also with our sound as an entity within the system which is our body. So, without overcomplicating things, I look at the singer as a whole, his communication with his voice, himself and his environment, and in pursuing this method, I aspire to be a mentor; rather than making the pupil dependent on me, I try to enable him to take a broader view of himself as a musician, an artist, and as a human being.
I find it paramount to show students the possibility of a new view of themselves. In my opinion the age of specialisation has passed; the world we live in now is far too interesting a place in which to limit ourselves, moreover the world of music most certainly is. I am not proposing to be the master of everything, for we all have our individual strengths and are more or less aware of where they lie, but much can be gained by exploring new horizons.
My fascination lies in an individual sound rather than a prefixed model, relying on a strong healthy sound, and a sustainable technique which is applicable to all styles of music and expression.
As a session begins I attempt to analyse the sound and to learn about your goals. Then follows a fairly spontaneous and usually inspired session of research in which my input is built on an in depth knowledge of the principles at work, but also largely led by the effect it has on your body and sound.
Much of this work consists of realising habits that are for the most part unconscious, and finding out whether they are helpful or detrimental to the sound. Our senses can give us valuable information about the status quo so it is important to learn about our body´s reactions and trust our instincts. Together you and I monitor the effect of my suggestions, and deduce from what has arisen a maximum of three parameters to work on, until we meet again.