The people who believe that “it’s all the same”, you just sing however you do in whatever style you are in are still out there. The people who say that it doesn’t matter if you have ever sung, good or bad, you can still teach are out there as well. The folks who say that singing is all about breathing or all about placement/resonance are around as well. Those who would simplify everything are not new to this world.
We also have the people who teach who make singing so complicated that you can barely manage it. They have so many “things to do” and so many “ways to make sound” that it can take decades just to figure out their approach. To some, there is a glamour in learning a method that is extremely complicated, even if it doesn’t always make sense.
Of course, there are people who give the entire process no thought at all. There are people who relegate singing to the back burner. If they sing professionally (and they do) they only think about singing when they are in trouble and then only long enough for someone to give them help enough to get back to what they were doing. Hopefully, they don’t teach.
There are the people who have a very fixed idea of what’s right and good and what kind of sounds are “allowed” versus those that are not. There are people who only like a certain kind of voice category or only want to listen to one kind of style. They base these categories on their personal taste and nothing else.
There are the folks with lots of “merchandize” who will sell you their tapes, CDs, books, exercises, T-shirts, coffee cups and pens. They will give you “the keys to vocal success” in six, eight, or maybe 10 sessions. They will teach you to sing via osmosis, since they never hear you or watch you sing. That’s really magic.
If you wish to be in one of the groups described above, you probably don’t want to read this blog. The purpose of this blog is to write for those who love singing and who respect it. It is for those who understand it and who want to dig into it deeply. It is for people who are interested in all kinds of music and a wide range of vocal behaviors. It is written to provoke thought about the entire process from every aspect from mechanics to spiritual implications.
In relationship to singing, there are many roads to Rome but the roads need to get you there, not keep you wandering around. This is not, actually, an idea that everyone shares.
Young people are still in a situation where they must gather information about singing slowly, since there are no guidebooks or maps that give you a good overview. Each singer is still pretty much on his or her own in finding a way to be with singing that works for him or her in life.
It’s only through open discussion of ideas and exchange of information that singing will become more available in a viable and practical manner to those who seek it and who wish to remain comfortable with it for all of their lives.