It is with great sadness that I read today of Arthur Lessac's death. Now who is Arthur Lessac you might wisely ask?
Arthur Lessac has been one of the most influential North American voice teachers of the last century and it was reading his seminal work, "The Use and Training of the Human Voice" that first piqued my interest in teaching voice work. He believed that the sounds in our language are like instruments in an orchestra and that one can develop both the body and the voice until it operates like a Stradivarius. Not only has he coached some of the most prominent actors of our time, he was a singer who performed with the likes of Paul Robeson and Burl Ives.
Now how does this relate to living longer? Lessac firmly believed that developing and using the human voice would, in fact, allow you to live longer. He died on April 7th at 101 years of age and roughly a month before that he was teaching at university in Croatia where he danced with his students in the streets!
I deeply regret that I never had a chance to witness this master teacher at his craft and am thankful that he has left behind a wealth of ideas that we can still access.
If you would like further information, check out the Lessac Training and Research Institute: