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Cheri Montgomery

Adjunct Senior Artist Teacher of Vocal Diction

Cheri Montgomery is an author and lecturer on the topics of voice and diction. Her published texts include: the Lyric Diction Workbook Series (for English, Italian, Latin, German, French, Spanish, and Russian lyric diction courses); the IPA Handbook for Singers, Phonetic Readings for Lyric Diction and Phonetic Transcription for Lyric Diction (for the abbreviated diction course); and the Singer’s Daily Practice Journal, volumes I, II, III and A Sketchbook Atlas of the Vocal Tract (for private and class voice).


She is co-author of Exploring Art Song Lyrics published by Oxford University Press. In her work with Oxford, she provided pronunciation and phonetic symbols for more than 750 Italian, German, and French art songs. Her method of transcription and choice of phonetic symbols are published in the appendix. She also served as an external reviewer for Oxford University Press.


Her Grade 1 Braille Readings (a textbook and workbook for adult readers who wish to learn braille) has been adopted by the National Federation of the Blind of Tennessee for their adult grade 1 braille courses since January 2021. Her novel creation of IPA Braille (a mutually accessible phonetic system for teachers and students) was used to adapt four texts for singers who read braille.


Book reviews are available via the STM website.

Prominent professional organizations invite her to present on the topics of voice and diction. She is a guest clinician for the Nashville Opera’s Fellowship Program Masterclass Series (2022-23 season) and was a featured presenter and mentor voice teacher for the 2019 National Association of Teachers of Singing Summer Workshop at St. Olaf College. Her presentations cover a broad range of topics: A Beginner’s Guide to Russian Diction for Opera, a Strategic Approach to Discovering Proper Pronunciation (National Opera Association National Conference, 2022); IPA Braille for Lyric Diction (National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference poster presentation, 2020), Teaching Lyric Diction Online During COVID (National Association of Teachers of Singing NATS Chat, 2020); Singing in French, Italian, German, and English (DictionBuddy Podcast, 2021); The Voice and Diction Connection, a Diction Instructor’s Approach to Voice Pedagogy (Nashville Opera Fellowship Program, 2022 and National Opera Association Regional Conference, 2020); Incorporating Diction Studies into the Private Studio and So You’ve Been Asked to Teach Diction... (National Association of Teachers of Singing Summer Workshop, 2019); and The Dynamic Classroom, Creating an Engaging Learning Environment for Voice Related Studies (National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference, 2014). She offers post-graduate instruction to voice teachers, diction instructors, and vocal coaches in her Lyric Diction Workshop, co-hosted by the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries at Vanderbilt University.

Articles published by the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Journal of Singing include: Defining the Schwa for English, German, French, and Russian Lyric Diction (Sept/Oct 2022); IPA Braille for Lyric Diction: A Mutually Accessible Phonetic System for Teachers and Students (Nov/Dec 2020); Diction (Still) Belongs in the Music Department (Jan/Feb 2020); The Voice and Diction Connection, A Diction Instructor’s Approach to Voice Pedagogy (Jan/Feb 2018); and The Dynamic Diction Classroom (Sept/Oct 2011).


Performance credits include the operatic roles of Gilda (Rigoletto) and the Shepherd Boy (Tosca) with the Nashville Opera. Oratorio engagements include appearances with the Knoxville and Nashville Symphonies as soprano soloist for the Messiah. She was awarded full scholarships for graduate study at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville through the Grace Moore Graduate Scholarship, and the Phi Mu Alpha Scholarship. She was a first-place winner of regional NATS auditions as a senior at UTK. While in school, she was employed as a classical radio announcer for WUOT, Knoxville. Upon graduation, she and her husband Tim owned and operated Green Hills Music Co. which specialized in music education and the sales and rental of band and orchestral instruments.



Instruction in

Lyric Diction

Read Montgomery's 2020 NATS Journal of Singing articles: