Singer Sundays #5

As with any profession, the more experience gained, the more knowledge possessed. After seventeen years of working as a professional vocalist, I have picked up quite a few tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy voice. Singer Sundays is my means of passing on this information and hoping it will serve useful to those who enjoy sharing the gift of vocal music.

Tip #5 — Enjoy the Gift!

This week’s tip has nothing to do with sore throats or allergies, but rather the emotional side of singing. Age brings a bit of wisdom and insight with it. There are things I recognize when teaching now that I was oblivious to ten years ago. One of the more apparent things I have realized for myself as a singer and through teaching others is to ENJOY THE GIFT.   One of my major disagreements with all the competition vocal shows is that a voice is not something where there is a winner and a loser. Some voices are more trained, skilled in certain areas, and/or developed than others, but a winning voice is a preference of the listener. If all listeners had the same ear and same listening taste then I am sure there could be quantifiable measurements for a best but because that is not the case with humans than the best differs from person to person. Vocal development through exercises and training is an excellent discipline but if the joy of singing is lost along the way then I would say it is time to evaluate whether it is worth it. With every gift there is training, repetition, strengthening, and development along the way, but the love and joy of the gift should be the drive behind this journey even when painful. Remember that your voice is unique to you. Enjoy the sounds you make. Enjoy the experimentation with different colors and qualities of your voice. Enjoy the rigorous exercises that strengthen and eliminate trouble areas. Nothing in life is always fun or great – not even the greatest things in life, but singing – the ability to express yourself through music in a way that only you can—should be a joy and a lifelong journey of vocal growth. Record yourself and listen to your voice with an open ear instead of critical. Celebrate the nice sounds and colors you hear. Note the notes, phrasing, etc. that need work and then get to work experimenting with your voice in order to better the parts that aren’t truly what you want to express.