Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Why the Less You Think of the Theory and Technical Aspect of Singing, the Better off You Are

In this—my one hundredth, published article in Business Times Newspaper, I begin to realize how much information I have dispensed in my column. Michael Jackson’s longtime vocal coach… who trained The King of Pop for 36 years once said, ‘you can’t learn to sing from a book!’ And I agree with him completely. However, having said that, he went on to write a book—albeit ghostwritten whilst shadowed by the writer for a while—and the book, in my view, offers valuable technical details on singing, which I find very informative and extremely handy. The purpose of this article is not to reiterate the importance of knowing why we do certain things in training—which I tend to want to explain as I run my classes—although it doesn’t always stick. No-matter how many times I try to drum it into some of my pupils. Well, in this article I want to say, it doesn’t really matter.

Singing being a practical business, I would probably relegate the mechanics of singing to teachers to decipher, understand and use as part of their weaponry whence passing on this knowledge to you as a pupil. Maybe the last thing you want is to crowd your brain with all of the technicalities of learning to sing. If it gets too heavy for you, I fear you may well give up on the idea of learning to sing all together. And I wouldn’t want that for anyone. So let me reassure you that, if some of this information is a wee bit too much for you, you don’t have to cram it all in. Absorb what you can, and let the voice do the rest of the work for you.

Typically, we tend to forget that nobody ever really showed us how to use our voice at birth. The first thing a baby does when they’re born is scream, is it not? So we have it in us already. You don’t have to know HOW your vocal chords function; nor HOW exactly speech level posture works FOR you when you use your voice to sing. If you do specific vocal exercises to develop your range and pitch accuracy, for example, the voice WILL find its path AND take care of itself without any additional input from you. So in essence, do the training and just allow for the rest to happen. It’s that simple. I wouldn’t dare insist that you also know the technical details. In fact, the less you dwell on it, the better off you are and the quicker you’ll grow as a singer. In my next article, I want to address the importance of loosening up a little to help you tie it all in.

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Vocal Coach & Author "Letters from a Vocal Coach"

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