It’s tough when people in high places think they know something. It’s tough when what they know is outdated or wrong. It’s tough when you can’t easily tell them that their information went by the wayside a couple of decades ago.
I encounter this frequently. It seems like these people, in particular, ought to keep up with things and have a broad perspective, but they do not. And, sometimes the people who have provided the information they are sharing are the wrong sources and they don’t know that either.
Of course, I am writing here about a particular person, a particular source and a particular presentation but I can’t let on. I can only hope that in good time, the presenter will discover that he drank the wrong Kool-Aid and that the person who made the Kool-Aid is a sneaky, slimey creep who fancies himself a messenger from heaven. I shudder every time I think of Mr. Kool-Aid. Icky. Icky. Stickey slickey.
If someone is quoting you a fact from the past that has subsequently been proven to be false and that person is in a position of teaching or sharing information, do you, as a listener, correct that person, pointing out that his/her information is no longer valid? Do you say nothing, lest you embarrass the person and/or yourself? Do you try to obliquely make the inference that things have changed? It’s a very hard judgement call.
If you run into someone at a conference and the person is presenting the information that we all should “sing from the diaphragm” and that we should “vibrate the bones in the head” in order to know that we are singing correctly, should you just sit there? If there are people in the audience who don’t know any better and are begin given information that is old, out-dated and pretty much useless, should you just shrug your shoulders and say, “It’s not my problem!” If you care about the audience members, if you care about the profession and if you care about singing, how can you, in all integrity, sit there and say nothing? People do, all the time. It makes for the continuation of information that is really mis-information and that doesn’t do anyone any good.
Until more people are willing to take a stand for what is known in the present moment about vocal function and vocal behavior, we will have “experts” dispensing information that is not current or correct. Saying nothing makes us culpable for the errors we allow to be perpetuated into eternity.
If people don’t know to check their facts, (and they don’t), and they don’t know to verify with others their opinions on any given topic (and frequently they don’t check with anyone), then anything can happen and anything is possible.