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Thursday
Apr082010

The Big Tip For Singers No One Evers Tells You About...

I remember asking an old voice teacher of mine for his opinion of some good colleges to recommend to my singing students.  He said something I had not expected, something I found not acceptable at the time, but something I have come to regard as a brilliant piece of advice.  He said to tell them not to bother with college undergraduate voice programs.  Study with a fantastic private voice teacher and READ ALL THE GREAT BOOKS YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON.  Of course, there was no way I could tell my young students not bother with college (their parents would have had me run out of town!).  Besides, I do thoroughly believe in a great education.  But that's the point.  What this teacher of mine was really saying was to immerse oneself in great literature, philosophies, sciences, history.  What does a singer/performer do?  Presents life in a work of living art.  It's a bit shallow, don't you think, to just pulse on and on about the demands of a particular urge - for song after song.  But when the singer (or actor) is able to convey a broad scope of all the many subtle desires, considerations, even intellectual analyses, along with those human passions, WOW, we all grow!  It feels like someone else gets us!  We're not totally alone with all of these feelings and thoughts that consume us.  How does a singer/performer do that?  By being emotionally available and by having an understanding of the human condition.  It's exhausting (and risky) to try to live out all the possibilities of experience that might be presented in a performance.  So, reading about everything is a great second choice!

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