Vocal performance pros are projecting Christina Aguilera’s online masterclass to fall flat.
Aguilera is teaching anyone with an Internet connection and $90 how to sing through online instruction next month. The class is featured through newly launched company MasterClass, which just secured $15 million in funding. The company offers classes from Kevin Spacey, Serena Williams, and Dustin Hoffman who give tips on how to succeed in their respective fields.
But Aguilera gave us a little teaser of what’s to come in a video tutorial called “The Secret to Hitting High Notes,” and let’s just say it struck a chord.
Others weren’t so quick to skewer the multi-Grammy award winner, arguing that her perspective has value as an extraordinary vocalist with an accomplished career.
“It saddens me to see how my colleagues are so quick to judge other people,” Juan Carlos Rodriguez, a doctoral student for voice performance and pedagogy at the University of Texas at Austin, told the Daily Dot in an email. “If you are going to criticize the fact that you feel that she has no right to be teaching voice, at least do it with a sincere heart.”
A masterclass is more about style rather than technical work, taught by people who have achieved their goals, according to Rodriguez. He also said it’s important to consider the values of contemporary commercial music, which is more about what sells and what is sexy.
“[E]mulating Christina Aguilera should be unhealthy to your voice, but as she has been favored by the media and her audience then, I see some merit into learning from her style and what it is that has gotten her where she is,” Rodriguez said.
Aguilera cites her experience as a veteran professional musician and as a judge on the reality TV show The Voice as part of her inspiration for teaching.
“Having to fight to be my own person and my own artist, I’ve learned a lot, so I’ll be sharing that to help others be able to come out the other side after the course, hopefully understanding themselves better without having had to sandpaper their way through,” Aguilera told the Hollywood Reporter.
Aguilera’s online course launches in May, according to a MasterClass spokesperson.