Faculty Focus: Dr. Rachel Velarde

Dr. Rachel Velarde

DR. RACHEL VELARDE

College of Fine Arts and Production

Title: Professor of Music

Years at GCU: 10 (2010-13, adjunct faculty; 2013-present, full-time faculty)

Academic degrees:

  • 1994 -- B.A. Music, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.
  • 1997 -- Master of Music in Voice Performance and Master of Music in Voice Pedagogy, Arizona State University (when I did my program of study, if I completed one more theory class and one more recital, I had the credits for two degrees)
  • 2013 -- Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice Pedagogy, Arizona State University

What is your most notable accomplishment in your field, and why was it important?

I am the Membership Director for the international Pan American Vocology Association (PAVA). I have served in many capacities within the professional organizations to which I belong. Service within the profession is extremely important, not just for furthering the organization, but in connecting, human to human, with others who are passionate about a common field of study.

In connecting with others, I have resources to answer questions, I further my knowledge and, most importantly, and it challenges me to think “outside the box” and expand my horizons. When I serve others, I am enriched in multiple ways.

What are you most passionate about in your field and why?

I truly believe that anyone can sing and that the act of singing is a fundamental human right. Perhaps not everyone is capable of a career in music, but all humans are designed by their Creator with the capacity for pitch, rhythm and movement through time, which are the core elements of singing.

We humans make music to express a variety of emotions, and singing is one of the primary ways in which we encounter music. When I can help someone access their joy and passion for music-making, help them remove unnecessary barriers to creating sound, then it is a very good day.

What is a memorable moment you had in class, and what does that reveal about your teaching style?

I love when students connect concept to application and have that “Aha!” moment. In MUS 455 -- Voice Pedagogy, we read a large number of scientific articles. When a student can read an article and come away with one practical concept they can apply to their teaching, my day is made. First and foremost, I try to teach to inspire the love of learning, working to demystify jargon and make the search for knowledge not just accessible but desirable.

What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?

I’m a voice geek. I delve deeper into areas of learning and how I can apply that information to the field of voice. Throughout this summer, I delved into explorations of the Feldenkrais® Method, human anatomy and physiology (taking a 16-hour human dissection class!), motor learning theory, technology for online voice lessons, and psychoacoustics.

What is something interesting about you that most people don't know?

My daughter has been onstage with me as a supernumerary (think “extra”) during two different productions at Arizona Opera ("Susannah" and "Daughter of the Regiment"). I’m very proud that she’s an incoming freshman at GCU this fall, majoring in Music Education-Choral -- Voice.

Calendar

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Integrity Week

Integrity Week

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Chapel

Chapel

GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

Daniel replied, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries." (Daniel 2:27-28)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/