All posts by Jeannette LoVetri

“Post-Truth” Singing

It is hard to imagine but we are currently living in an age of “post-truth.” It is difficult to wrap my mind around the idea that truth is not real but whatever someone says it is, yet this is being stated every day. This is incredibly dangerous. There is also “post-truth” singing.

Hiding behind things that are lies is not new. Many have done that  since recorded history began. What’s new is that our mainstream society has become comfortable with that as a new normal. It has taken on the idea that we each “create our own reality” and grossly distorted what that means.

Let’s get something straight. Each of us is responsible for our own lives. We can choose how to react to what happens to us, or has happened in the past, and we can choose to deal with all repercussions of our existence in a positive manner, even if that is sometimes very challenging. Together, we create families, groups of friends, organizations, local and state governments, federal governments and world governments. In each of these we have groups of people who, more or less, agree to hold the same or nearly the same point of view. As the group increases in size, the power of the thoughts that hold it together magnifies. When the beliefs are held by millions or people, they get very powerful. Those who know how to harness those beliefs can be helpful or harmful, depending on their own philosophical ideas.

Only those beliefs which are uplifting are worth holding. All negative beliefs lead to pain and suffering, to harm and to deterioration. That which is dark, hidden, distorted and twisted produces the same. The only counterbalance to this is light, openness, honor, and yes, truth. That which is redeeming and uplifting is worthy and that which is degrading and condemning is not. A choice. A necessary choice, in every human being, every day. As Yoda would say, “Beware the dark side. It will overtake you if you let it.”

In singing, there have been individuals who have decided that what they believe, others should also believe. Some have done research (if you could call it that) on their own throats, assuming that what holds true for them automatically holds true for others. With hubris, these people decide that everyone else should cause the same movements within their throats that they see in their own. They dictate that these manipulative movements, whatever they may be, are good and useful. This ploy is powerful particularly to those who know little about the voice and who are easily swayed by any argument.  We in our Western society have for hundreds of years rested upon the belief that science is based on truth, on data, on findings which are shared in order to be replicated without bias by others. Those who use science to build their case by manipulating the data to favor their own ideas are dangerous, as this is not science at all. It is “post-truth” information.

Only by observing a wide range of behaviors in a wide range of singers and comparing them, one to the other, can there be any science, valid and provable by objective measures. And, without a context in which the data is evaluated, the importance of it cannot be known. If I study gorillas in a cage in a lab, what does that tell me about gorillas in a rainforest? If I study “belters” in African bush culture is that the same as studying “belters” on Broadway? How can any valid conclusions be drawn?  If I study myself, and I assume that all singers do exactly what I do, is that even possible to assume? By what means can we determine that?

Beware those who claim something based solely on their own experience. Beware people who would make themselves more powerful than others by declaration. “I am the only person who can tell you the truth” is never truthful. No. The only things that cannot lie, that will never lie, are the body itself and the throat as part of the body. Therein only lies the truth of freedom, of expression, of being alive as a human being.

Now, more than ever, it is necessary to take only that which can be found to be objective, and proved by objective measures, to be true. Beware all those who tell you they have the only answers. Do not be fooled by the noise, the packaging, the show, the marketing, the media circus. Trust, instead, your own voice and body, your own wisdom and your own heart. In singing and in life.

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Conscious Singing

Most people do not fully understand the power and depth of sound as a creative force in the universe. Conscious singing, that is, being  a conscious sound-maker, or being one who brings forth the primary creative energy of the Universe, is an extraordinary experience. It is  simultaneously transformative to do and to hear.

Someone singing from the depth of his or her soul, pouring all mental and emotional energy into the sound and the intention of the words and music, is aligning with the energy of life itself. In the beginning was the Word or the Sound is real. Particularly for those who do not process the voice through any type of  electronic amplification, sound uttered in this manner carries an irresistibly riveting  magnetic energy.

In some traditions such as Indian, Islamic and Hebrew, the people who are the “keepers” of the sound understand this and are trained to be able to encompass it. It takes years of dedicated work to be able to “get out-of-the-way” and let the sound sing you. In order to be able hold and use such sounds, made through the physical body,  a singer must develop an exquisitely prepared mechanism, one that is both pure and strong.

Sometimes these people become famous singers, recognized in the world, but not always. Some are known only to small groups, some are never known. Those who dedicate their lives to generating sound as this level are moving the sub-atomic particles of the universe (as we understand it now). This requires the purest heart and the most profound willingness to serve the highest good with nothing asked in return. That there are people who do this could be hard to imagine but they do exist although they are very rare.

At this time, when our entire planet is being challenged by energy that is dark and forbidding, conscious singing is needed to help strengthen everything that is of love and light. If you respond at all to these words or if they seem to stir in your heart any awareness or desire to know what the words truly mean, you must listen to your intuition. Singing not for fame and fortune, not for recognition in the world but to transform daily life, asks for many spiritual qualities: dedication, perseverance, humility, courage, insight, clarity, open-heartedness, sacrifice and many other qualities. Singing consciouly  becomes a force for healing and for good. It lifts up those who hear it and it carries the vocalist on a stream of energy that is indescribable.

When ones sings from the source of sound in the Universe, out of, as it were, the heart of God, the entire planet hears and is energized, whether they are aware or not. If you are called to sing in this way, you will not find in the many popular methods of vocal training a quick answer in maneuvers to give you special effects as if you were a singing circus. You will not find answers on YouTube in the “trending” videos or on Facebook from teachers of singing who have thousands of “likes”. No. To find a teacher who can guide you on this specific path, you have to arrive at his or her studio through the guidance of the Universe itself. And do not be  quick to judge the book by the cover. Sometimes those who look least likely are the True Masters hiding their inner glory from the world. The light within cannot be seen with just your physical eyes and the information in your intellect.

Stand, if you will, in the light of your glorious, beautiful, effulgent, radiant voice. Do the necessary work to liberate it in and through your physical body, harnessing the depth and power of your breathing to the clear intention of your mind. Allow your sound to be the bridge between this world and the next, between your body and your soul. Allow the sound to be present in each moment by releasing it as it passes through you to die away after you utter it. Accept nothing less than that as truth and let what sounds you make in this way ring out to the world, if only in the solitude of your home. Be a conscious singer.

This is what is needed now on this earth. Now is the time. Are you called? If so, then seek and ye shall find.

Please share this with anyone who may be interested.

 

 

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Never Too Late

It’s never too late to find your true voice. If you are open to exploring, if you have a sense of singing, if you are willing to have that experience, age is no barrier.

Recently, in a master class, I was able to help someone find his voice in a way that he never had. In about 30 minutes we shifted into a sound that was truly beautiful, in a classical vocal production, and he was surprised and delighted. After we were done he said he felt he had found the voice he had always searched for. This man was in his mid-60s and has been singing all his life. The shift was small but produced huge results.

With my work, this happens on a regular basis in master classes and in the studio. It also happens in the studios of those who have taken Somatic Voicework™ into their own hearts and use it wherever they may be. It isn’t some “magic” that exists only in me. It works because the throat and the body function in certain ways and when you sing in ways that are in concert with those behaviors, the sound emerges. By itself.

It hurts to see people teach things that tie a student in vocal knots, or force a student to sing in a particular mode or style at an early age, or ask for the student to make the throat do things it doesn’t like or want to do, or ask the student to strive for “resonance” at any cost, or deliberately constrict, hold, move, position, force or manipulate any structure within the throat itself. Absolutely none of that is ever necessary. If you don’t believe that, go back to the home page and listen to me go from Bellini, to Carmichael, to Three Dog Night. I did not need to do any of the above things to make those changes. Live. Unedited. At 66. With a bum left vocal fold.

If you still want to force your voice in the name of “vocal technique” you need to ask yourself why. It’s never too late to come home to the voice you have always had and couldn’t find.

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Accommodation

Some people are very accommodating. They will do their best to help you, grant your request, assist you, or even inconvenience themselves so that your needs are met. This can be very important in relationships and in life.

If you sing you have to accommodate the lyrics to the music or vice versa. You have to make sure they work together well. This is true whether or not you sing someone else’s music or if you write and sing your own. You must accommodate the intention of the words — what do these words mean to you and why is that important? If you are hired to sing something you don’t necessary like or would have not chosen to sing on your own, you have to find a reason why doing it really enthusiastically makes sense. You must accommodate the work you are being paid to perform. Period.

If you work with other musicians or vocalists you accommodate them by being a good colleague, making sure to maintain a flow between you all as you rehearse and perform. If you want to make any situation work, you need to take in the largest possible picture and then work to accommodate the overall good of the scenario, even if you have to step your own expectations down.

Sadly, some people can’t be accommodating to anyone ever. They have to have their way, they have to get what they want. They view accommodating someone else as an insult to their own sensibilities. Those people don’t do well unless they have other attributes that compensate — a great sense of humor, a brilliant mind, or perhaps a generous pocketbook. Sometimes even that isn’t enough.

If you are running a singing studio, please remember to accommodate your students by being attentive and adjustable as you meet their vocal needs. Go a little out of your way to do someone a favor, to bend your policies or to offer more than you had planned. Yes, keep clear boundaries. You don’t want to end up feeling like you were used or taken advantage of by the students, but you do not need to be rigid or strict in your behaviors either.

Being accommodating is the opposite of being self-involved. It is what used to be called “the customer is always right”. It implies that the other person or the situation is more important than you are or your life is and that by adjusting to the needs of others you are doing something good. In this day of “me first” it is more difficult than ever to find someone who is willing to be accommodating. When you encounter it, be sure to be grateful.

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Getting Your Voice Together For The First Time

Some people have never had the opportunity to experience singing with freedom and ease, making a pleasing sound and expressing their feelings while singing. This is a terrible loss.

If singing teachers were doing a good job across the board, anyone who took regular lessons for two years and practiced in between lessons, would end up sounding better and feeling better and enjoying the process, regardless of where they started. People who had little background would begin to sound good and people with natural ability could sound really terrific. Sadly, this is often not the case with training. In some small percentage of the cases, the issue could be with the student, but most of the time it is due to inadequate teaching. There are few good ways to learn to teach singing, as even in the schools that offer degrees in vocal pedagogy, most schools do not yet have programs that focus upon how to teach CCM teachers.

In order to get into a conservatory or a college as a voice major, you have to be able to sing decently or you would be rejected. The people teaching in those institutions do not have to teach you to match pitch, or to be able to sing a song, as you wouldn’t be a voice major if you couldn’t do that. And, with students who are mostly talented, mostly motivated and mostly open-minded, even generic teaching will help them gain more ability over time. Teachers don’t have to be particularly gifted for their students to improve.

When you work with singers who don’t have great voices, or are not very expressive, or do not have natural musical acumen, the opposite is true. You must really know what you are doing. You have to be creative, resourceful, dedicated and patient and keep your expectations modest. If you are successful with these students, you really have to be a very good teacher. If you succeed in helping these people get their voices together, sometimes for the first time, you have done something monumental and should be congratulated. Does that happen? Not usually.

This applies equally to helping an injured singer regain their ability to sing, even if they do not sound like they did prior to the injury. If you have been singing all your life and then suddenly you can’t do what you have always done, it is devastating. Finding a new way to sing, however, is far better than not singing at all. Locating a teacher who can assist you to make that possible is not an easy task, as many singing teachers wouldn’t have a clue as to how to start that process, but if you are persistent, you could find a skilled expert who could re-acquaint you with your larynx and vocal folds. You need someone who can also offer psychological and emotional support as you work your way through a difficult and daunting process. Getting your voice together for the first time in a brand new way is also monumental. It is always worth the effort to try.

Coming home to the voice you have always had but didn’t know you had is an extraordinary experience. Coming home to the voice you had to cultivate to take the place of the voice you had once upon a time is equally amazing. Either way, the journey is dynamic and challenging but rewarding. Finding a guide to help you along the way is a blessing.

Remember that Somatic Voicework™ exists to help you find the voice inside and let it out. It exists to help you create a vocal path that is satisfying, happy and musically powerful, but also healthy and functional to whatever extent is possible. If you seek to be a singer, Somatic Voicework™ will help you understand how to get there slowly and with conscious awareness. There are no gimmicks or quick fixes to get to be a star, just honest, useful tools that make sense to anyone who seeks to make use of them.

My work is for elite teachers of singing who view teaching in the broadest possible manner, with an eye to detail, who believe that everyone is capable of greatness. Revealing that greatness is a gift to be shared. Don’t forget!

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Teaching By The Numbers

Did you know that every vocal sound we make can be reduced to five numbers? Surprising, but true.

The human vocal tract has five specific “vibrating peaks” based on the length and diameter of the open tube between your vocal cords and your lips. As you sustain a vowel it interacts with that tube and, depending on the pitch and the volume, you get an interaction between the vowel and the tube that produces boosts in the sound. The boosts are called formants and when they align with certain harmonics of the pitch, you get a special configuration — one which seems like there is “more sound” or resonance.

Currently, in voice science, it is the hot topic everywhere that the first and second formants  and the first and second harmonic must “talk to each other” in order to help get a good sound. That interaction, coupled with the first and second harmonics, are about the differences between belting and singing classically. When you get the specific alignment that “hits the target” you win the prize, sort of.

How do you know you are aligning these ingredients? You have to have the equipment that measures them. There are software programs that can do that, even freeware. You just sing into a microphone and watch what shows up, sort of.

If you have to squeeze, contort or generally manipulate your throat into doing these maneuvers, well, too bad. Just get the right numbers, then you have it. It is this scary fact that has allowed some teachers of singing who don’t belt, have never belted, and will never belt, (in a song in front of an audience) to assume they can teach belting because they understand the acoustic science and read the info revealed by the software. They can tell you that you have the right harmonic/formant (H/F) alignment or not. Great.

This is not moving us forward. The only positive aspect of this development is that suddenly belting has gained credibility in certain classical circles. Since the teachers who have only classical training and classical experience have no idea what “good” belting versus “bad” belting sounds like, unless they have really developed  ears and perceptive eyes they might miss that difference. And, if the belting is deemed to be “bad” because the person is straining, even though they match the harmonic/formant partnership, whether or not the teacher has the means to get the singer to the correct response as well as keep the H/F configuration is completely unknown.

This “teaching by the numbers” is supposedly credible because it is based on objective measurements. So much for vocal pedagogy. It is the new version of “vibrate your eyebrows” instead of “vibrate your cheekbones”. More or less a waste of time, potentially harmful. Certainly disconnected from any kind of authentic communication.

I say again, this is NOT progress. It doesn’t even make sense in any professional universe. You do not audition by showing off your H/F ratio in a song.

Many of the proponents of this approach are middle-aged white males with classical backgrounds who do not belt. I can’t think of any women in this category. There is a popular speaking voice therapy that rests on “resonance” created by an older white female speech pathologist. I do not know about the details of her work so I can’t say whether it is related or not.

Most of the thousands of people who have sung CCM repertoire down through the ages and survived vocal problems did not know voice science. They did not have it to use as a tool of learning. They went by how things sounded and how they felt. Those are still the best two tools. Understanding the phenomenon from an intellectual place and knowing what things are is important. I need to know that I have an engine in my car and that it runs on fuel. It won’t help me drive or give me a good sense of direction.

Be very careful about people who have quick solutions to any singing issue. Elite singing doesn’t happen in anyone “right away” and attempting to get it to do that is a big fat mistake.

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Integrity, Respect, Humility

I was raised by a father who was born in Pennsylvania to Sicilian immigrants. My mother was from New Orleans and was of German and Irish descent but her family had been there for at least 6 generations. I rarely saw my mother’s family. I was in Connecticut and was surrounded by my father’s family and consequently, my social programming was largely that of working-class Italians. All around me was a large wave of people with similar backgrounds who were raised the same way.

One of the primary things that was emphasized while I was growing up was respect. (The mafia guys don’t kiss the ring of the Don for no reason.) Respect had certain parameters but was oriented towards the family, towards church and community, towards authority and civic duty. It was very very important to show respect. Everyone around me in the larger community had those same values. It was a shock to me as I ventured out into the world as I grew older that some people did not have those values or any values at all.

The idea that there was a clear right and wrong about things in life was a given of my upbringing. There were things that one did and did not do that fit in with the above ideals and you just did not go against those things unless you wanted to cause yourself a lot of trouble. We can see from the present election, some people just do not have values based on truth, honesty, decency, kindness, decorum, and, yes, respect. The horrible man running for the POTUS is an example of people who truly do not have any values that I recognize. Being rich and famous is a qualification for nothing.

Throughout my life my values have been both a source of great solace and  a source of self-examination in order to sort through what I was taught. I needed to decide for myself which of those values, repeatedly taught to me as a child, were premises I wished to keep as an adult whose life was very different from the one I had growing up. Interestingly, I kept much of what I was taught because the ideas fit who I wanted to be in the present.

I am keenly aware every day of how easy it would be to dwell on my own foibles, weaknesses, limitations, failings and obstacles. I know very well my negative habits that intrude into my life as a woman, wife, friend, and teacher of singing. I work to be the best person I can be, knowing that I will never be perfect, and strive to keep an open heart and mind, a loving point of view towards everything and everyone, to be honest in what I say and how I deal with others. Of course, I make mistakes, but since I will always want to forgive those who injure me, I hope that the same courtesy will be offered in return. I choose to look at myself and my life positively, gratefully and with compassion. It is what allows me to get out of bed in the morning and face the day with hope.

You cannot teach well if you do not look into your own mind and heart and face your dark side. You cannot hide from the places where you are wounded, small, frightened, and withdrawn. If you would bring light into the world, you must own your darkness. If you cannot be responsible for the harm you do to others, (regardless of any reason or motivation) you will carry the burden of the unexpressed guilt with you until and unless you can confess it, at least to yourself, and seek absolution (from yourself or others).

We all fail at teaching singing, even when we strive to be as effective as possible. When we sincerely want to help our students sing with beauty and joy but we can still not be able to find a way to illuminate that path.  If we cannot hold and acknowledge that we are human, our teaching becomes stilted and dry and our hearts heavy and occluded. If you teach, realize that you are not now and will not ever be perfect. You will never be the best or only good teacher, you will never help everyone, you will at times make mistakes in spite of all good intentions not to. You must realize that all of this is OK. It’s real. It just is what it is. To go forward with courage you must trust  your own inner integrity, knowing that you will always take the high road. That is all that you can do. It is a choice and must be made on a daily basis.

If you do not respect yourself it is not possible to respect others at a deep level and to live out of that respect. If you act with impunity to make yourself look good, or seem important, or glamorous, or smart, you will actually create the exact opposite. Do not be surprised if you cannot compensate enough for your own behavior and choices and that your own falsehoods and lies cannot be camouflaged with excuses and dismissal, denial and blindness.

Have the humility to face yourself with grace and kindness and allow that to inform your piercing honesty. Integrity requires nothing less. If you want to be respected you must first be respectful. If you do not begin with yourself, you will never get the respect you deserve from  others.

 

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Respect

Merriam Webster defines respect this way:

a) a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important

b) a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way

One way to respect music is to find out what the composer intended when she wrote it and to investigate what the poet or lyricist intended as well. Sometimes we don’t really know, but we should do our best to research things and discover whatever we can. Another way is to understand the general style of the music when more than one composer or lyricist has created in that style. Lincoln Center Library lists quite a few distinct styles including music theater, jazz, rock, folk, pop, alternative, etc.  While there is always artistic license, such that any music can be arranged in any manner, in order to express something unique, not bothering to find out what was intended in the first place, now that we have the internet, is unacceptable.

There are many ways to make analogies here. If you arrive in a place and decide the people living there are stupid barbarians and that you should suppress their customs and religious beliefs because yours are better, then you yourself are the barbarian. If you think that classical music is superior to all other music and that classical musical and vocal values should be applied to all styles —  you, too, are a barbarian. Fortunately, this idea is going away, but it isn’t gone. The old wives’ tales die slowly and the one that says, “If you can sing classically, you can sing anything”, is persistent. Sadly, it’s simply not true.

In previous posts I have written about “non-classical” as a term of disrespect. “Non” in the dictionary means:

a) not:  other than:  reverse of:  absence of

b) of little or no consequence;  unimportant,  worthless

c) lacking the usual especially positive characteristics of the thing specified

This means that “non-classical” music is of little or no consequence, is unimportant or worthless. Yes, we still have this term and we still live with its consequences. WHY? 

And, if you respect the music, then respect the people who teach it the way it was intended to be performed. Respect the teachers who understand the vocal, stylistic and performance aspects of  music and help you understand how to work with all styles in your own unique way. Respect teachers who do not insist that you must first learn to sing “An Die Muzik” in order to sing “Out Tonight” from Rent.

Respect is necessary. When you respect your teachers it is because you also respect yourself, your voice, your body and your artistic vision to express something unique and special. Contemporary Commercial Music (the term that has replaced “non-classical”) deserves everyone’s respect. If you agree with this idea, please share this post.

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Good Enough – Hopefully Not

In art, it is never OK to be good enough. It is never all right to decide to get by. No artist who is truly an artist is interested in being ordinary.

An artist is someone who views life through a unique perspective, one that cannot be shared with anyone else in exactly the same way. An artist illuminates some aspect of life, shedding new light and new insight so that others may come to appreciate it in a manner that would otherwise not be possible. Any artist who is truly an artist will ever seek that which is over the next hill and valley, the path untrod, the new and challenging, until they no longer are capable of creating.

To be an artist is to tread a lonely path. While the outside world can give support or condemnation, it can bestow accolades or criticisms, it cannot tell an artist what to create or not to create. The artist is bound to make whatever arises from inner inspiration. In being true to herself, an artist is compelled to bring forth that which must be given existence, and will often overcome monstrous obstacles to see that the creative end product is birthed according to her passionate vision.

You can study. You can develop skill and craft. You can have excellent mentors and guides. You can have multiple influences along the way but no one can motivate you to confront yourself and your own limitations, your foibles, your fears and your lacks. No one can give you the courage to keep on keeping on no matter how discouraged. Outsiders cannot make you keep your skills and talents in top shape, nor to trust others to seek their thoughts about your work. It cannot prevent you from falling victim to praise, sucking you into the abyss of your own self-admiration, fooling you into thinking that you are more significant because the world has congratulated you. This is, perhaps, the greatest horror of all.

It is very easy to be complacent and to take the easy way out. It is, sadly, in our culture, all too often the case that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. That means, in this case, that the people who can manage to get lots of “followers” on Twitter or “likes” on Facebook can be noticed by that alone, becoming “famous” even though they may have absolutely nothing of value to contribute to the world. These people are not truly artists even though they may become “celebrities” — famous for being famous.

If you are a vocalist, you cannot really hide. If you have something to say, musically and vocally, you must find a way to say it. You will have to “pay your dues” by studying with the best teachers you can find, seeking out ways to learn and grow through performances and by seeking to be as uniquely yourself as possible. Then, when you are “older” you will be able to look back to realize that you left behind a new path, one that others may follow until they find a better one of their own. You might even discover that you went where you never dreamed you would go. You might smile and decide that you were, in the end, an artist after all.

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Boundaries and Choices

It is necessary in singing, as in life, to have appropriate boundaries. Not to have them or be able to understand their usefulness is a mistake.

Even if you sing well and have solid vocal technique/function the only way to know what your voice wants to do happily is to work on repertoire. You can’t really determine how your voice will feel best doing only exercises. You have to read through and then thoroughly work repertoire of various eras, composers and styles in order to find out what your voice can and cannot do easily.

Yes, you can choose to make your voice and body sing in an unnatural manner through lots of hard work on both sound and breathing. Yes, you could manage to sing that way and survive. You may even end up sounding very good and making a great impression, but singing this way will require you to give up everything outside the sound as you have cultivated it. You will sacrifice variability for consistency. If, as an adult, you truly want to make this choice, and are informed about its consequences,  you have that right.

If you want to be able to sing with maximum freedom and versatility, however, you need to find out what happens when songs fully reside in your throat. If you work on a piece that exhausts your voice even though you are technically secure, that piece is a wrong choice. If you want to do contrasting pieces and styles, and you find that one style truly interferes with the other, then one of those styles has to  be adjusted vocally or you can’t sing them both. If you want a chesty penetrating high belt and a soft floaty heady high, alternately, I will tell you now — that isn’t really possible. It’s the old saw, “You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything you want.”

Too much weight in the middle voice will (yes, WILL) pull you out of your top tones no matter how much breath support you provide and how much you work on “forward resonance”. It might feel good and sound fine, but it will not work up high. It will not. If you want to have easy high notes, the middle has to be calibrated such that it’s heady enough to stay connected to the high range without effort. You cannot make that work some other way. While you are young, however, you can probably get away with trying. After that, age will start to calcify your thyroid cartilage and you won’t be so lucky.

Will you read about this somewhere? I don’t think so. Am I correct? You will have to take my word or wait and see for yourself. If you are going to be a master of moving from one style to another you have to calibrate the entire machine to be able to do that easily and keep doing that all the time. If you are going to choose to be a high belter or a spinto soprano, you will have to specialize in that and not try to be a star at something very different.

Remember, you need to understand function measured against repertoire. In the end, your throat will tell you how far it can go and still return to the same starting place. It will tell you what it can do to vary things and still have the capacity for them to remain the same when you return to home base, vocally speaking. If you let your throat establish appropriate boundaries and choices are made based on how your throat/voice works in repertoire, you will have a safety net that allows you to sing anything (not everything) you want.

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