Lynn Helding's Headshot

Lynn Helding

Professor of Practice in Voice and Vocal Pedagogy at USC’s Thornton School of Music, Helding is also the author of The Musician's Mind: Teaching, Learning & Performance in the Age of Brain Science, the chapter “Brain” in Your Voice: An Inside View and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Singing. A devoted teacher, she was recognized as a “legendary figure in the field of voice pedagogy” by the Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University, receiving their 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing. Her stage credits include leading roles with Harrisburg Opera, Nashville Opera and Ohio Light Opera, and solo recitals throughout the US, Italy, France, England, Germany, Spain, Australia and Iceland.


Voice Teacher

Lynn Helding’s vocal technique is based on her years of experience as a performer in the classical repertoire as well as musical theatre and cabaret performances. Her “science-informed” methodology, based on over 30 years of experience, empowers singers with knowledge while building the sustainable technique necessary to support artistic expression. Her students have sung with LA Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and received fellowships at the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals, among others.


Lynn Helding uses the term vocologist to designate her special training and qualifications which allow her to work with a variety of vocalists on a myriad of vocal problems, from singers with functional weaknesses to singers who have recovered from voice surgery and wish to transition from a post-therapy phase toward an optimal level of vocal activity. She is a team member at The USC Voice Center, Keck Medicine of USC.


Singers describe their experiences in Lynn Helding’s masterclasses as “life-altering,” and “truly jaw-dropping.” Having proposed cognitive science as the “Third Pillar of Voice Science,” she is equally in demand as a presenter on cognitive topics. As both master teacher and lecturer, she has presented at major voice conferences, symposia and schools of music throughout the United States, Europe and Australia.

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“…you’ve truly changed my life as a teacher. …I will be forever changed as a teacher because of your visit.”
"I am moved to write to you to say thank you. … What a wealth of useful and applicable information you shared with us! … I had a transformative experience at my performance this evening. Everything felt easy, clear, better placed, and more consistent. … I kept thinking, this is all Lynn."
“Lynn’s work with our students is nothing short of amazing. She has a great facility for quickly and easily assessing a student’s ability level, and a broad base of knowledge from which to draw to give students a concrete method for improvement. … we have witnessed breakthrough after breakthrough as she guided students into a better understanding of their own instruments.”



The Musician's Mind: Teaching, Learning, and Performance in the Age of Brain Science

Where does learning begin and how is it sustained and stored in the brain? For musicians, these questions are at the very core of their creative lives. Cognitive and neuroscience have flung wide the doors of our understanding, but bridging the gap between research data and music-making requires a unique immersion in both worlds.

Lynn Helding presents a symphony of discoveries that illuminate how musicians can optimize their mental wellbeing and cognitive abilities. She addresses common brain myths, motor learning research and the concept of deliberate practice, the values of instructional feedback, technology’s role in attention disorders, the challenges of parenting young musicians, performance anxiety and its solutions, and the emerging importance of music as a social justice issue.

More than an exploration of the brain, The Musician’s Mind is an inspiring call for artists to promote the cultivation of emotion and empathy as cornerstones of a civilized society. No matter your instrument or level of musical ability, this book will reveal to you a new dynamic appreciation for the mind’s creative power.

"A fascinating book that adds crucial pieces to the puzzle of how and why humans make music, The Musician’s Mind is a ground-breaking examination of our engagement with an art form embedded in every culture, surrounding us even before birth. ... an invaluable contribution to the field of music pedagogy, advancing our understanding of an art all too easily taken for granted."

— Renée Fleming

"The Musician’s Mind may just change the paradigm for how musicians think about music. ... Essential."

— CHOICE Magazine

"A unique and outstanding contribution to pedagogy"

— Voice and Speech Review

"An exceptional contribution ...Stands to have a transformational impact on the field."

— Classical Singer Magazine

“An owner’s manual for the mind, specifically for musicians.”



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Lynn Helding created the “Mindful Voice” column in the Journal of Singing, authoring over thirty researched articles published there under her byline from 2009-17. Other writings include articles for Journal of Voice, the chapters “Science-Informed Vocal Pedagogy” in The Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Studies in Singing, “Brain” in Your Voice: An Inside View, and “Voice, the Music of the Soul,” in Singing: The Timeless Muse. Helding’s writing is described as “ground breaking and exciting,” “profoundly captivating” and “tremendously important” while also being “well-written and accessible.” For a partial list of publications, see Helding’s Google Scholar page; for the complete list, download Helding CV.