John Nix is Professor of Voice and Voice Pedagogy at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he has taught since 2005. His mentors include Barbara Doscher (singing, pedagogy), James Brody (Alexander Technique), and Ingo Titze (voice science). John's current and former students have sung with the Santa Fe, Arizona, Chautauqua, St. Louis, Nevada, Omaha, Utah Festival, San Antonio, and Metropolitan Opera companies, while two have served as NATS Intern Program Master Teachers. In addition to his active academic and private voice teaching studios and his pedagogy teaching, John performs research in voice pedagogy, literature, and acoustics, having produced nearly 50 published articles and 8 book chapters; he also co-chairs the NATS Voice Science Advisory Committee, serves on The Journal of Singing’s editorial board, and is a member of the NATS/Rowman and Littlefield book series editorial board. His work has been supported by grants from the Grammy Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and The San Antonio Area Foundation. John is one of the lead teachers of the new NATS Pedagogy Intensive, set to begin in June 2023, and is a regular faculty member for the NCVS Summer Vocology Institute in Salt Lake City, UT. He is the editor and annotator of From Studio to Stage: Repertoire for the Voice (Scarecrow, 2002), vocal music editor for The Oxford Handbook of Music Education (Oxford University Press, 2012), one of three general editors for The Oxford Handbook of Singing (Oxford University Press, 2019), and co-editor (with Leda Scearce) of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Voice Pedagogy. John is married to Dr. Catherine Nix, soprano, and has a son, Adam, who is an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in Charleston, SC. When he's not singing or teaching, John can usually be found on his bike, in a swimming pool, or running on trails and tracks in the San Antonio metro area.
Certificate in Vocology, The University of Iowa/National Center for Voice and Speech, under the direction of Ingo Titze.
M.M., University of Colorado
Master of Music in Voice Performance, The University of Colorado at Boulder. Minor area in Music History. Vocal and pedagogy studies with Barbara Doscher. Vocal coaching with Mutsumi Moteki and Robert Spillman.
Participated as an intern in The National Association of Teachers of Singing Teacher Intern Program. Mentoring with Thomas Houser and Barbara Honn.
M.M.E., Florida State University
Master of Music Education in Arts Administration, The Florida State University. Vocal studies with Larry Gerber. Vocal coaching with Timothy Hoekman.
B.M., University of Georgia
Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, The University of Georgia; minors in Italian and Psychology; Magna Cum Laude Honors. Vocal studies with David Stoffel.
What John does
John is active as a singing voice teacher, vocologist, and presenter
John's teaching reflects his deep interest in science-informed voice pedagogy. Drawing upon years of study with legendary American pedagogue Barbara Doscher, Alexander Technique study with James Brody, Barbara Conable, and Jane Bick, mentoring in the NATS intern program by Thomas Houser and Barbara Honn, voice science study with Ingo Titze, and his continuing education in voice acoustics, motor learning, and voice habilitation, John has developed a flexible, creative teaching style which is tailored to the needs of each student. John has an academic voice studio at UTSA and has a private studio in his home in Helotes, TX (near San Antonio) as well as online.
John's vocology studies with Ingo Titze, Gary Logan, Lorraine Ramig, George Shirley, and Oren Brown, years of collaborating with laryngologists such as Blake Simpson, Robert Eller, Mona Abaza, Michael Yang, and Jennifer Bergeron, and working as a voice care team member with speech pathologists Jill Green, Rachelle Speer, and Kate Emerich guide his work with singers with special voice care needs. John has an adjunct appointment with the Department of Speech Pathology at the UT-Health Campus in San Antonio and has research collaborations with colleagues in voice science, speech pathology, laryngology, linguistics, and voice pedagogy.
John is a regular presenter at national and international voice conferences, and gives guest lectures and masterclasses at university campuses and for professional organizations. He has presented workshops and research presentations at two meetings of the International Congress of Voice Teachers, Physiology and Acoustics of Singing Conferences, NATS National Conferences, Voice Foundation Care for the Professional Voice Symposia, Acoustical Society of America meetings, PAVA Symposia, and MTNA National Meetings. He also is a regular guest on NATS Chats and the VocalFri podcast, and has been featured on NPR's Science Friday broadcast.
John on NPR's Science Friday,
May 27, 2016
John's Teaching Philosophy
I teach my students how to problem solve, so that they might free their voices and take charge of their own development, rather than always be dependent upon a teacher. I do not have a preconceived sound or tonal ideal in mind; rather, I seek freedom and healthy, optimal function. If these goals are achieved, and I have discerned the repertoire which best suits the student’s development, abilities and interests, then the student's unique and personal sound emerges.
The process of liberating one’s voice from poor habits involves a great deal of self-discovery. In practicing and lessons, I encourage my students ask themselves questions, such as "How do I approach problems?" This leads to still more questions about better managing failure and success. In the process of learning to sing, both the students and I learn which teaching/learning style works the best for them. I foster in my students the desire and skills necessary to be a life-long learner.
I am committed to teaching healthy speaking and singing. Versatility is one of the strongest components of my teaching style, and in more than thirty years of teaching (including twenty at the college level), I have had successful students win apprenticeships with major opera companies, win scholarships to graduate programs, place in the finals of national level competitions, perform in dinner theaters and on cruise liners, as well as sing in bands on national tours of major arenas. Regardless of the venue or style, though, vocal health always comes first. I practice what I preach as a pedagogue: healthy function enables and empowers the performer regardless of the style.
I am also committed to teaching the next generation of voice teachers. To that end, my voice studio has been and always will be an open one. Students may always observe other students' lessons. This encourages the student having the lesson to become accustomed to singing in front of other people; it also allows others to observe different learning styles and teaching techniques. In addition, I always make myself available to any student who has students of their own and wants to have his or her teaching observed and critiqued. This was one of the most valuable aspects of my own education, and I hope to return the favor to the next generation of teachers.
My teaching studio and pedagogy classroom have always been and will always be safe places where students of all races, ethnic groups, ages, abilities, religions, genders, and gender expressions are welcome and honored.
I had the great blessing to work with one of the finest voice teachers in America, Dr. Barbara Doscher, while I was a student at the University of Colorado. I watched her teach hundreds of lessons, and she watched me teach many times as well. She helped me develop a positive and affirming method of teaching which is based firmly on scientific fact, prizes functional freedom and individuality of sound, and fosters independence of thought. Dr. Doscher also taught me to have great respect for the power we have as teachers over the emotions of our students.
My teaching philosophy is student centered. I had the great fortune to grow up with a college professor as a father. His mentoring of students has been a great inspiration to me. He did not just teach art education; he taught people, he changed lives, and he used art education as a means whereby to do so. He took students who had a passion for learning under his wing, and guided them, not only while they were students at the university, but also after they graduated, through helping them to find employment, counseling them in the direction of their careers, and supporting them during difficult times. I try to follow that example as a voice teacher.
Click the icon below to see a list of John's publications as of January 2023
More videos can be found at John's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@johnnix3990/videos
Workshops Master Classes Lessons Teacher Mentoring
John has organized international conferences, given workshops on voice science and voice pedagogy at symposia in the US and Europe, and taught at universities around the US. If you are interested in having John speak to your organization or class in person or via the internet, please use the contact form below or his e-mail/phone to discuss your needs.
John is a frequent masterclass clinician. While he specializes in mainstream Western Classical style singing, he is well-versed in musical theater and popular genres. His masterclasses focus on freeing singers from technical constraints, enabling performers to reach their full expressive potential. If you are interested in booking John for an in-person or online masterclasses, please use the contact form or e-mail/phone below to explore availability.
Individual lessons and teacher mentoring
John maintains a private in-person and online voice studio which is oriented toward young career-minded singers and active professionals. He also advises and mentors a growing group of voice teachers who wish to improve their teaching methodology. If you are interested in discussing either of these one-to-one learning opportunities, please contact John through the form below or his e-mail /phone.