If you are a singer or voice teacher looking for training options, you will soon discover that there are multitudes of people, products, and ideas out there claiming to be able to help you. How do you sort it out? How can you advocate for yourself in an increasingly crowded and confusing marketplace? How can you determine whether the training you are getting is upping your game?
Sane Singing will help you to evaluate voice training identify the relative importance of method and teacher measure your own vocal progress ask better questions hack your way through the jargon jungle!
The voice is born and lives at the intersection of mind and vocal tract, a functional whole. For hundreds of years singers were trained to very high levels without a knowledge of laryngeal anatomy or scientific measures of any kind.
All the “voice science” in the world, all the imaginative ways of conveying sensations, all the mimicry you can muster, can’t take you all the way to your own vocal freedom. You must find out ways of working with Nature, to elicit easier and more athletic vocal responses, so that you can develop a healthy voice that responds to your musical and lyrical thoughts.
Some teachers and singers relish the mystery. It keeps them coming back for more. If a teacher can give the student the impression that she is a wise and intuitive master with knowledge and ways beyond mortal understanding, she can create a hook that fascinates the student.
The techniques of observation and experimentation of the Old Masters are totally congruent with a scientific mindset, so I’m not categorically anti-science. Music is an expression of humanity, so I’m not categorically anti woo-woo. But if imagery and computer-assisted monitoring are your main toolsets, you are missing a lot of what used to work about voice training before the late 19th century. It was so darned practical.
You can self-consciously build a vocal persona as many do, but you will have more potential expressively and technically if you constantly grow who you already are.