All Kinds of Sounds Are Correct

The only kind of sound that is not “correct” is one that is very squeezed, tight, caught, swallowed, muffled, held, or constricted. Guess what? That is what you hear most of the time, not just in beginners with no training, but often in professional singers. Even on Broadway and at the Met you can hear all manner of squawking, woofing, barking, wobbling, bleating, wheezing and who knows what all else. The people who do the casting don’t care, don’t know, or don’t know that they don’t know and don’t care, or don’t care and don’t know that they could.

If it is possible to line up various criteria based upon musical and real-world expectations, then wouldn’t it also make sense to say that the training should line up the same way? Functional training assumes that you can train not only the vocal folds but the vocal tract and the breathing mechanism to do a wide range of things freely and strongly, even though the training is indirect. Functional training is not about “liking someone’s voice” or “liking their artistry” or “thinking the person is talented”. Functional training is about getting each and every muscle and element that has an impact upon the end product we hear as voice to do not only its basic task but to go well past normal response. It is about training each element to be highly developed and sensitive to commands from the brain. THAT, and that alone, makes a vocalist able to express his or her viewpoint while singing.

It is absolutely amazing to experience what a well-developed vocal instrument sounds like in person. A recording NEVER has the same energy, no matter how fancy it is in terms of how it was recorded or how one hears it on expensive electronic playback equipment. Think about it, folks. How many people have been in close proximity to a powerful, open, free, expressive voice that is singing with deep emotional connection? Even the people who belong to big churches or syngogues are listening to singers through microphones and speakers and maybe from pretty far away in a big building.

If you are in a voice studio……..a small or medium sized room …..listening to someone sing at about 95 decibels, while feeling deep powerful emotions, let me tell you, it is not something you forget or take lightly. I often get to do that several times A DAY! It cannot help but effect you for the better. It cannot help but to make you feel humbled by the greatness of the human spirit, pouring through two very small pieces of gristle in the throat. Smaller than the last joint of your pinky finger (by quite a bit), hiding inside a cartilage that is as soft as your nose, vibrating at whatever pitch you are singing (A440 maybe), a fully developed voice can go straight through your heart as maybe nothing else ever could. Listening to such singing is one of the most potent experiences human beings can encounter.

All kinds of sounds are correct but the ones that have the most impact are oh so much more!

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One thought on “All Kinds of Sounds Are Correct”

  1. I had the experience of hearing that sound this week from an unexpected source. One of my grade 12 guys, a bit of a goofy kid and quite a cut-up is going to flying school in the fall to get his pilot’s licence. I introduced him to Craig Carnelia’s “Flight” at his last lesson and this week, Brian was soaring! We both got chills many times during his lesson as he connected for the first to the emotions the song brought up. It’s a humbling experience to see and hear this kind of sudden transformation. Thanks Jeanie for giving me the tools to let it happen!


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