Category Archives: Jeanie’s Blog

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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Compassionate Teaching

Would you be surprised to know that many times students are blamed for the teachers’ lack of ability to communicate effectively?It’s sad but true. They do not know how, as teachers of singing, to deliver compassionate teaching.

Students come in to see me with a laundry list of “things they do wrong”.

I like to hold my jaw.

I like to squeeze my throat.

I am always thinking too much.

I don’t let go of my tongue.

I’m very resistant.

My breathing is messed up.

I remind them that they are students. Students have to think a lot, and they don’t really understand how to do some of the things on this list which is why they are students. They should not have to carry a list of things they “do wrong”.

If you are a singing teacher and you get to a dead-end with a student and you cannot find a way to help the student improve, what do you do? Do you blame the student? I certainly hope not.

You could, if you were motivated, look for smaller clues. Go over the same thing again but with a more perceptive eye and ear. Stop trying to get the student to fit into your agenda of what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to sound and find out what they are doing and how they already sound. Look for simpler things that can be accomplished and request less obvious change. Be present with the student, with the student’s body and with the student’s voice. That should be enough.

You can also enlist the student. Say, “I seem to be out of options. Do you have any idea why you are not able to do what I’ve asked? Perhaps you could tell me what you think I want? Do you have any thoughts about how you could help me to help you? How do you experience our impasse?” You might be very surprised about the answer.

Do not forget to include all manner of things from the student’s past  that may seem to have no bearing on singing. Old accidents, dance training, instrumental training, old scolding about singing, old feelings about the voice, systemic physical illnesses that effect the entire body and require daily medication. Old surgeries (not vocal), old habits from childhood (speech issues?), family history (mom was always hoarse from yelling?) Sometimes being the child of a famous or successful singer is difficult. (“Could I be better than dad without making him angry? Maybe it’s better not to try that.”)

Dig a bit. Ask questions. Be creative. Be kind. Be gentle. Teach human beings not throats. Teach people not larynges. Teach vocalists not time slots or lesson appointments. Teach singing not sound-making behaviors. Teach with compassion. How can you possibly develop artistry in singers if you do not work within a philosophy of compassionate teaching?

 

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Olympic Singing – Vocal Athlete – Body Type?

Olympic Singing? Vocal Athlete? Body Type?

Training As If It Mattered

We all know that the beach volleyball women are very tall. We know the female gymnasts are very short. We know that weight lifters have thick, dense muscles throughout their bodies and that swimmers, who are also very strong, don’t look like them at all.

It is so, then, that your eyes can see consistent body types in each sport and development of those bodies such that the very structure of them is consistent within a sport. In other words, many of their bodies in each sport look similar.

Why, then, would it not be so that voices are also that way? Someone in a large frame is more likely to make a big sound than someone who is tiny. It’s not that is it impossible for a small person to make a “big” sound, it’s just that there are tendencies. A tall man with a long tall neck and a large larynx is going to be a bass.

There is much discussion regarding “fach” or “voice type” in classical singing. There all kinds of designations of vocalists. In CCM not so much, but there are differences and similarities there as well. We don’t talk about them, but we should. If you search YouTube you can find belters who have similar vocal production — that is if you know how to listen for vocal production as a goal in the first place.

It would be great to have research along the lines of testing whether certain physical types are more or less likely to produce certain kinds of sounds, but I realize that this would be very hard research to do. That doesn’t mean, however, that it isn’t possible. There is such as thing as sports medicine and there is far more knowledge today than there was decades ago about how muscles work not only in each sport but in each individual in that sport. Trainers understand that many kinds of exercise are necessary in order to have a body that is uniformly strong and flexible no matter what the sport, but that work on specific aspects of that sport have to be mastered. They support each other.

It would be interesting to see how the small female gymnasts would do in beach volleyball and how the tall, lean women beach volleyball players would do in gymnastics. It would be equally interesting to see a true belter attempt to do an opera aria or an opera singer try to do some high belting. I know, a few have tried it, but no one has been really successful. There are reasons for that, surely, but we do not know what they are. We still have only our eyes and ears (and life experience) to guide  our choices in our professional students.

And, yes, training matters. You can’t train for volleyball and be good at gymnastics. You have to be trained for the sport you do. That’s true for singing as well. Being prepared is a combination of natural tendency, proper training, long-term conditioning and true dedication to the chosen goal, whether it be for sport or music theater, or gospel, belting, rock, or jazz.

 

 

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Positioning the Larynx, Moving the Soft Palate

If you are a teacher of singing and you are learning to “move your larynx” or “lift your soft palate” or constrict your throat in any configuration at all, in order to add to your tool box, please, please STOP!!!  You are wasting your time. You are doing things that do not need to happen and you are tying your throat in knots so you can “learn”. Do not practice things that interfere with the free use of your body’s own instincts. You may feel proud of the fact that you can wiggle your soft palate around like a little flag in the back of your mouth, but I seriously doubt that any great singer has ever done that while singing, even as an exercise.

It is literally painful to think that people who should know better  might still believe that “adding” to their teaching expertise would be enhanced by moving their larynx or positioning the soft palate, or doing any other deliberate activity that makes the muscles within the throat do things they do not need to do, things they should never do.  That is exactly not what Somatic Voicework™ advocates.

The body moves when it is free to move. It responds (eventually) to the mind. The mind and the body belong together. The idea that your body is a machine to be beaten into submission goes right along with Western thinking such as “no pain, no gain” and it feeds into the idea that if you do not force the body to “do things” it won’t be capable of doing anything. This is WRONG thinking.

If you trust your body, if you allow it to respond to your deep emotions in ways that human beings react naturally, you do not need to deliberately manipulate anything inside your throat at any time for any reason. Yes, in a skilled singer a lot of things move in a lot of ways. Or, they stay still because they stay still. You cultivate this behavior over time through exercise used as stimulus until the reaction becomes conscious and deliberate. Then you practice it until it becomes muscle memory and you forget about it even though you will use it every day. The way you measure movement or response is through the sound of the singing itself. 

Really, if you find that you treat your body as if it were dumb, you have completely missed the point of how the body operates. Your body is an amazing miracle. It is strongly programmed to stay alive by breathing. It has to go towards wholeness because the will to live is the strongest wiring we have. The body (and the brain) will unconsciously strive to keep your throat as relaxed as possible because that it the easiest way for it to take in oxygen.

THINK, people. THINK. Don’t just go to workshops and do whatever you are presented with. Question all of it. Do some outside study. Find out what the body does before you accept something presented, most particularly if it is presented by someone who cannot sing and sing well. If you are taking guidance from someone who is 40 instead of taking guidance from someone who has been teaching for 45 years, I ask you, “Why would you do that?”

You can do parlor tricks with the structures within your throat or you can learn to sing honesty, expressively and with skill and leave things alone. Your choice.

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Coming Back After Vocal Injury

Coming Back After Vocal Injury or Illness

If you are a professional singer and you sing long enough you will encounter some kind of serious vocal problem that may have nothing at all to do with how or what you sing. If something impacts your vocal health, impairing your vocal folds and how they function, you are unable to do your job. Very scary indeed.

If you are lucky enough to have a laryngologist to see and you are told what exactly is wrong with your vocal folds, you can begin a path to recovery, hopefully. Hopefully  — because there is never a guarantee that you will recover, no matter the treatment or the person administering it. All health issues are unknown in terms of how much they resolve, or when they resolve, or even if they resolve.

If you do not have a laryngologist near you (and you might not since there are only about 400 nation-wide) you will have to see an otolaryngologist.  A laryngologist is a otolaryngologist with special training. The typical otolaryngologist (ENT) sees kids with ear infections, people with sinus infections and swallowing issues and all manner of other things that affect the ears, nose and throat.

A laryngologist specializes in voice issues. Not all ENTs understand the professional voice user (speaking or singing) so if you consult one, the more you know about vocal health, the better off you will be. Your vocal folds can look normal when visualized with a laryngeal mirror but not operate normally and that can typically only be seen with an exam that includes a stroboscopic look. If the problem is microscopic, you need a special high-speed camera that few doctors have since it is very, very expensive.  Even if you see a highly-rated medical expert you can still be diagnosed incorrectly because of the many factors that affect making vocal sound.

Depending on your diagnosis, treatment protocol or medication, you may have a minor problem, something that is moderate or something really serious. Most doctors will recommend doing some therapy first (with a qualified Speech Language Pathologist who has experience in voice issues) to see if what you have can be helped with therapy, but not all do. If you have some kind of intervention and the doctor does not refer you to a SLP voice expert, please find one on your own. Then, before you go back to singing, be sure to work with a vocal expert, preferably a Singing Voice Specialist, who understands how to gently but surely get you back into your best vocal game. You need  to work with someone who has experience and skill and a good track record. In this case, particularly, although it is the case in every situation, the singer is the one responsible for finding the person with the right expertise to help. There are no referrals for singing teachers who have an excellent track record of helping singers return to high level vocal skills, particularly if the singing is in a CCM style. Operatic training may not be helpful. In fact, it can be counter-productive. Much depends on the person teaching. Breath support and resonance may not help, no matter what kind of “breath support” and “resonance” it is!

Be aware that most singing teachers who are successful think they know everything. Many with doctoral degrees get some amount of vocal health training but that is not and will never be a substitute for Speech Language Pathologists with proper vocal health training. Be aware, as well, that an SLP who does not sing may not understand the demands of singing hard, driven music. Keeping your speaking voice in a nice relaxed place is terrific but if you sing powerful rock music or Broadway belt songs, that isn’t nearly enough to get you where you need to go.

You absolutely can come back after the majority of vocal health issues. If you are determined and look until you find the help you need, you can get there. Many others have. Do not give up!

I welcome questions on this topic, by the way, so do contact me if you want an answer here (but not personally).

 

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No Boundaries — No Life

It has been written elsewhere that if every kid gets a ribbon then the ribbon loses its value. If all things are equal, then there are no boundaries between winning and losing, good and bad, right and wrong, forward and backward. There’s nothing but grey. You can get lost when everything is grey. You can get severely lost and not even know that you are! Some people spend their entire lives in grey.

These days, there are few boundaries in our society that seem to work. The old ways don’t hold, the new ways are still being created and the in-between moves around so much it isn’t really possible to tell what it is at any given moment. There are the folks who want to “go back” to what worked in the past because they view it as being “better” (safer) through the lens of their memory. There are folks who want to change everything as soon as possible because they  have a utopian vision. (Nothing changes that quickly unless it is through exceedingly abrupt, sometimes violent means.) In the messy transition time, leaders are those with a clear vision that is not extreme, straightforward but not rigid, encompassing of the good things from the past but hopeful enough to go forward newly without fear. Rare thing, to find this combination but not impossible.

Humans are being and always in a state of movement, as is the entire known universe. Even things which seem to be unchanged are changing, although that could be at a rate too slow for most to be able to notice. The test of time, however, is the only valid test. That which lasts a very long time, which endures, has to have value. This is particularly true in human beings.

Character is built by resistance to difficult, challenging circumstances through months and years. Those who are most to be admired have withstood tests and emerged victoriously and become better for the experience. Those who let adverse circumstances make them hard, bitter, resentful, defensive, angry or revengeful lose out in the end. Those qualities eat away at us over time from the inside out. They diminish our inner light. They make us sick. They subtract rather than add to who we are.

Honesty, integrity, truthfulness, vulnerability, openness, trust, warmth, flexibility, loyalty, gratitude, appreciation, compassion, caring, forgiveness, kindness, generosity, humility, acceptance, patience, perseverance, tolerance, nobility, graciousness, courage, remorse (for something negative you have done or said). This list is not the entire list of words that describes what we would call someone of “good character”. It used to be that people were taught about these qualities as children as part of being “good”. Not so much now. They also learned about the 7 Deadly Sins which are pride,  greed,  extravagance/ lust,  envy,  gluttony,  wrath, and sloth. In the USA we actually encourage pride, greed, and extravagance and don’t notice either sloth or gluttony. Lust and envy are useful tools in Hollywood movie scripts.

If you don’t evaluate yourself from time to time, probing to see what qualities you consider yourself to be in possession of, you might think of doing that. You might also consider what your vices are. They will show up in how you view the world and in what you do with your life on a day-to-day basis. They will also color your artistic possibilities, and that’s not good for an artist because you can’t transcend what you do not recognize. If you want to have appropriate psychological and professional boundaries you need to understand what those are. Many people don’t have clear, flexible boundaries and that causes trouble.

If you teach, you can’t afford to live in a murky grey haze. As a teachers of singing, you will make a deep impression on your students. With singing, as you teach, you are asking people to trust you, giving you something very personal, with the idea that you will treat them and their voices kindly and with wisdom. Have a good talk with yourself and be brutally honest with your self-assessment, thinking about the words in the previous paragraph. Rate yourself. Then think about how that is part of your own singing and your teaching. What enduring qualities do you bring to your art? It matters.

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Voice, Lies and Videotape

Quite some number of years ago I did two workshops with the noted  Speech Language Pathologist, Dr. Daniel Boone (grandnephew of the famous D. Boone). He has been an important researcher in mid-20th century into speech science and has his practice in the southwest. He kindly told me I was the only singing teacher he could ever understand. The blogpost title here was the one we used for the first workshop.

Currently, we have a plethora of videotaped “experts” from all over the globe offering every possible manner of “instruction” regarding the voice, particularly the singing voice on the web. It  is the case that the vocalist has to be really careful as there is no organization, no governing body, no objective set of standards and/or expectations to guide a singer, (or a parent), nor is there any recourse to having spent thousands of dollars and many years (even decades) on training that turned out to be very substandard. PT Barnum had it right when he said “a sucker is born every minute”.

Further, many of the people teaching all over the world, cannot or could not themselves, sing well. They were limited in what they could sing and how they were able to sing it but that did not stop them from developing methods based entirely on their own abilities (or lack thereof) and marketing them to countless thousands of people who knew nothing, or almost nothing, and could not deflect the ridiculous information being sold. This is still true. Most people don’t know enough about singing to recognize the good from the bad, the truth from the lies or the able from the not-so-able, until it is too late.

The voice is inside the body in the larynx, and we must choose to   make sound deliberately (we can speak or remain silent). Sounds  like  laughing, crying, coughing, sneezing, or shouting,  typically happen spontaneously and are not exactly choices. Cultivating deliberate vocal behavior, enhancing natural capacities, has been a goal for over two hundred years, but it has not stopped people from making up truly crazy ideas about what people can and cannot accomplish through training.

I say again, and again, and again — if it sounds good and it feels good, it probably is good. If it doesn’t fit the music, or sounds wrong, it is probably wrong. You can learn to make any sound comfortably but some sounds take longer to master than others and why that is the case has many factors. You can shout, yell or bellow your way through music and voice lessons but that does not mean you will sing well for a lifetime, and if you are willing to sacrifice your long-term vocal well-being for a quick result, hopefully you do that from a very informed place.

As I have also said here previously, I have a number of people who studied with me on a regular basis for at least a year (some for quite a bit longer), who are using my work as if the concepts and approaches in it are things they came up with on their own. They claim to be vocal experts when they are absolutely not, but there is no one to stop these individuals from using what they gleaned from  my work as if the ideas were their own. If you encounter one of them, you will be at their mercy and you are on your own with what they have made of my lifetime of study, investigation and application of principles which operate in accordance with vocal health, vocal honesty and artistic integrity.  From what I know, it’s unrecognizable and I guess I’m glad for that. It would be worse if they were publicly claiming to teach my work and making a mess of it in my name. Yikes!

Be careful of videos, and the multiple lies about voice. Just because someone says something doesn’t mean it’s true or accurate. Keep your guard up, folks. It’s a wild world out there.

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