Elizabeth Ann Benson

Elizabeth Ann Benson

Associate Professor
211 Telfair Peet Theatre
(334) 844-6748

Office Hours

  • By appointment


Dr. Elizabeth Ann Benson is recognized as a dynamic scholar, pedagogue, and performer. Her book, Training Contemporary Commercial Singersis hailed as “a remarkable and long-awaited contribution to the world of voice pedagogy” (Journal of Singing). She has published research in Voice and Speech Review, The Journal of Singing, and American Music Teacherand regularly presents at conferences for The Voice Foundation, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Music Theatre Educators’ Alliance, and the Association for Popular Music Education. She has been a livestream guest speaker with national and international organizations including the Grammy Awards MusiCares Program, Vocology in Practice, A Voice and Beyond, Voice Essentials, VoiceLessons.Com, and the SpeakEasy Cooperative. Her current research program examines issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in collegiate musical theatre programs and within the voice studio. In 2021, she co-authored the seminal article “Practicing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Singing Voice Studio,” with Trineice Robinson-Martin (Princeton University) and Marisa Lee Naismith(Griffith University, Queensland Conservatorium).

As a master class clinician, Elizabeth has presented for The New York Singing Teachers’ Association (NYSTA), for Colorado-Wyoming NATS, and at several universities and theatre companies around the country, including The University of Colorado in Boulder and Queensbury Theatre in Houston. She specializes in versatile vocal function, with stylistic applications spanning from opera to musical theatre to rock singing. She is trained in Somatic Voicework™, the LoVetri Method, Lisa Popeil’s Voiceworks® Method, Estill Voice Training®, and Soul Ingredients® Method. She has completed further teacher training with the CCM Voice Pedagogy Institute, Broadway Teaching Group, Rock the Audition (Sheri Sanders),Scream with Melissa Cross, and Sharpening Your CCM Toolkit with Dane Chalfin and Kim Chandler. She earned her certification in Vocal Health First Aid (Vocal Health Education, U.K.) in 2021, and is currently working toward her certification as a Vocal Habilitation Professional.

Elizabeth is an Associate Professor of Music Theatre Voice at Auburn University, where she teaches applied voice (singing)for music theatre majors, and class voice for non-majors. She also regularly serves as the vocal director in university theatre productions. Highlights include The Integration of Tuskegee High School,Bring it On, and Spring Awakening. She directed and music-directed Elegies: A Song Cycleand Puttin’ on the Hits(an original cabaret show co-conceived and co-directed with Auburn colleague Jeri Dickey).

Praised for her “delightful” (The Boston Globe) and “delicately compassionate” (Times Herald Record) singing, Elizabethis acknowledged as a vibrant and versatile performer. In her Carnegie Hall début, she created the title role of Lucyby Tom Cipullo, and her performance was acclaimed as “excellent” (The Big City). She has sung leading roles with Loveland Opera Theater, Luminous Thread Productions, and Cabaret Otaku. As a 2015 winner of The American Prize Chicago Musical Theatre Award, she made her solo début at Chicago’s Symphony Center singing songs by Rogers and Hammerstein. She made her Telfair B. Peet Theatre onstage debut in her 2018 solo cabaret show: Weaving Stories: A Cabaret of Connections, which featured songs drawn from classical art song, musical theatre, and contemporary pop/rock. As a member of Opera on Tap Colorado, she performed regularly on the 2020 livestream concert series “Love in the Time of Covid-19: An Apocalypse Cabaret.”

Elizabeth holds a master of music degree from New England Conservatory, and a doctorate from The City University of New York Graduate Center. She is a graduate of the NATS Intern Program (2016) and a recipient of the NATS Emerging Leader Award (2012). She currently serves asa member of the NATS National Mentoring Initiatives Committee and coordinates the national “Mentoring over Coffee” program. She also serves as the International Mentoring Coordinator for the Music Theatre Educators’ Alliance, and as the secretary for the Alabama Chapter of The Voice Foundation. In 2021, she earned the first ever College of Liberal Arts Diversity Fellowship at Auburn University, with an initiative to create and direct a college-wide faculty mentoring program with a focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.







Benson, Elizabeth Ann, Training Contemporary Commercial Singers, Oxford: Compton Publishing, 2020. Look here.



Journal of Singing: “A remarkable and long-awaited contribution to the world of voice pedagogy,” (Justin John Moniz, March/April 2021).

Classical Singer Magazine: “A unique and valuable contribution,” (Brian Manternach, March/April 2021).

Interviews about the book: Read here. Watch here.


Journal Articles

Benson, Elizabeth Ann, Trineice Robinson-Martin, and Marisa Lee Naismith, “Practicing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Singing Voice Studio,” Voice and Speech Review, Published online August 17, 2021. DOI: 10.1080/23268263.2021.1964723. Read here.

Benson, Elizabeth Ann, James Stover, and Tara Snyder, “Dual Roles, Dual Voices: Analyzing Vocal Function in Hamilton: An American Musical Through the Estill Voice Model™,” Voice and Speech Review 14, no. 1 (January 2020): 28-44. https://doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2020.1687161. Read here.

Benson, Elizabeth Ann, “Reclaiming ‘Romantic’: The Art Songs of Tom Cipullo,” The Journal of Singing 75, no. 3 (January/February 2019): 253-268. Read here.

Benson, Elizabeth Ann, “Modern Voice Pedagogy: Functional Training for All Styles,” American Music Teacher 67, no. 6 (June/July 2018): 10-13. Read here.


Book Review

Benson, Elizabeth Ann, “The Estill Voice Model: Theory & Translation,” review of The Estill Voice Model: Theory & Translation, by Kimberly Steinhauer et al., Voice and Speech Review 11, no. 1 (2017): 112-114, https://doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2017.1370810. Read here.



Benson, Elizabeth Ann, “Can you hear me? USB Microphones for Online Voice Lessons,” The Association for Popular Music Education Blog, January 26, 2021. https://www.popularmusiceducation.org/blog/can-you-hear-me-usb-microphones-for-online-voice-lessons/. Read here.



Interview with Lyndia Johnson, The Grammys (Recording Academy) MusiCares Webinar Series on Vocal Wellness: “Vocal Cross-Training,” March 15, 2021. Watch here.

Interview with Marisa Lee Naismith, Podcast - A Voice and Beyond: “Episode #13: Dr. Elizabeth Benson – A Voice for Social Justice,” May 30, 2021. Watch here.

Interview with Dr. Daniel Robinson, YouTube Live - Dr. Dan’s Voice Essentials: “The 3 World of Voice Training,” September 6, 2021. Watch here.

Interview with Matthew Edwards and Mike Elson, Facebook Live - VoiceLessons.Com: “Discussion of Training Contemporary Commercial Singers,” November 5, 2020. Watch here.


Last Updated: October 14, 2021