Singing is not only the creation of a beautiful sound….
Learning to sing is not just about being a singer. It is about understanding yourself and your place in the world. If you have a firm belief that you were born to be a musician, then you have a valuable contribution to make to the arts, and to society as a whole. For that reason alone, you owe it to yourself – and to future audiences – to undertake formal training, establish your technique, and become the most accomplished artist you can be.
Everyone has some raw or natural talent in varying degrees. Training is taking that wealth of talent, and a plethora of accumulated information, knowledge and understanding, building on it, and finally boiling it down to a pure state.
During the training process, students will be exposed to, and sing, material that they would normally not perhaps learn about. In turn, this gives a student a chance to find out what it is that they actually like from a vast resource of material.
Your training will be expansive. If you have employed an experienced teacher who has an established track record of success, you will be trained to not only sing, but in the fundamental elements of your craft. Aural training, sight singing, music theory, and stagecraft to mention but a few. This, in turn, will lead to your becoming a well rounded musician who can converse with other musicians. If you follow your career as a musician, you will need everything that you have to throw at auditions for placement in higher learning or auditions.
Training will give you a space to experiment within a controlled and supportive environment. It allows you the freedom to make mistakes, to try different genres, to engage with fellow musicians, to shake loose the bonds of old ideas, and embrace new concepts. It will afford you the opportunity to work on things that do not come naturally to you under the guidance of a knowledgeable teacher. Learning to sing will open the door into an entire new world of experiences.
Learning an art – music, piano, or singing – is a holistic experience. It is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and ethereal. It is stepping into the realms of the truly great who have gone before us, and scrutinising every aspect of that which makes us artists and human beings.
Finally… “I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning” (Plato). An eloquent quote, and yet, one I prefer is this ….
“This is why I teach music. Not because I expect you to major in music. Not because I expect you to sing or play all of your life. Not so you can relax. Not so you can have fun. So you will be human. So you will recognise beauty. So you will be sensitive. So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world. So you will have more love, compassion, gentleness, good… in short, more life. Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live?”
In so many ways, these two statements are as we perform. We learn the piece academically, putting into place all of the dynamics, the minutiae of notation, the lyrics, the technique. And then we must take that song from our head, place it in our heart, and let it soar.
Happy singing, everyone!