So Judy Davis went away. And I was left with ten years of learning from her, adopting her method, and hanging on to it for dear life, while enjoying the new results of her vocal wisdom. I started like most ladies in her class with a range in my real voice of roughly 5 notes, and thanks to her exercises I could sing close to 2 octaves in my real voice. Here are some of the things I understood Judy to believe, and I in turn believed myself, when it comes to how singing works:
* if I could hear a note in my mind's ear I could train my vocal muscle to produce it in my real voice
* falsetto was not enviable, though a lot of pop music and singers used it, according to Judy, singing in falsetto meant you were using the "false" vocal chords, those muscle folds next to the "real" vocal chords. Judy said that if you kept going back and forth between the two eventually your sound could slip; you might aim to hit a note in your real voice but the tissue between your real vocal chords and the false ones would become distended and you could no longer control where your sound would go.
* everyone had one falsetto, that could not be augmented on thickness or volume, you just have the one you're born with.
Other things I learned:
* sounds were formed by shapes made with your mouth. So we learned a notation system, each vowel and diphtongue combinations had a corresponding written symbol. We learned which ones were which by taking lots of songs and transcribing the vowels with those signs. And practiced them phonetically as such, to train our mouths to go where they were supposed to go to produce the correct sound.