Technique Isn't Everything

photo: Brian Wimer

photo: Brian Wimer

As a vocalist, I began informally.  My mother used music, rhythm, and singing to help entertain four growing children at home.  That was reinforced in the church, and I participated in all things related to music throughout my school years.  You could say that singing came naturally - and not just for me.  All of my siblings can hold their own in karaoke AND on a dance floor.  ;)  

When I began studying voice formally, as an adult, I was introduced to a variety of vocal techniques.  I certainly needed some tools to help me maintain the health of my voice.  

And here is my DISCLAIMER - Without a shadow of a doubt, vocal technique has expanded the possibilities of my vocal expression and saved its health - I used to get most of the sounds I was looking for at the expense of my voice.  Now I can sing confidently with less effort. I've expanded my range beyond what I even need for the styles I prefer and  I continue to refine what I've learned and expand my technical knowledge.  I teach my own students with an emphasis on this personal truth.

HOWEVER - vocal technique is not everything.  It can turn into something to hide behind.  There is a balance between technical mastery and stylistic expression.  A clear, resonant tone has its place. It’s a strong place.  However, there are textures and tambres in voices that really speak to us as human beings. It may not be possible to express yourself fully within a particular phrase or style with 'technical mastery'.  So what!  We use the voice to express the full array of human emotion . . . and that’s not always ‘pretty’ - thank goodness.

It’s amazing how many sounds we can make with our voices.  When exploring the possibilities of your voice, I encourage you to do so with a sense of openness and curiosity.  There is a place for us all to find freedom within a form