Defending Ignorance

We are living in a time when being ignorant is considered to be a good thing. That is really scary, but it’s true. The populace is afraid of science, convinced the government is the enemy, and believes that the Republican party has the interests of the poor as a part of its platform.

We are living in a time when singing (generally) is at a low in terms of the kind of people who become successful at the highest levels in CCM styles (they are mostly the same) and the expectations of what it means to be a good singer (really, no one seems to actually know). If we use the human body’s own responses as criteria, you don’t need outside experts to tell you how a person “should” sound. The body will tell you how it sounds when the machine is working efficiently. It will reveal the sound it has inside when it has a clear pathway to do so. It only has to do with “style” when you already have an instrument that will give you all of what you are seeking in the first place.

The sounds that we respond to best are the ones we hear the best. Those are the sounds that we describe as being “resonant” or “reverberant”. They are the sounds that are distinctive and emotionally authentic. Good luck finding something that isn’t electronically altered, enhanced, or changed. Who knows what singers actually sound like live with no help? NO ONE. Good luck knowing what the vocalist’s voice is on its own.

People are often like sheep, being told what do to by the shepherd and then doing it. It takes a lot of guts to question what you are taught and see for yourself whether or not it’s true or if it works in your own life. If you believe, as I do, that everyone is responsible for their own life, good and bad, then you have to believe that in the end everyone is also responsible for their own voice and what they do with it. Many people have been taught in a way that ends up being either useless or damaging but the ones who really want to sing will keep going until they overcome the ignorance of their teachers and find a way to do what they want.

Rather than defend ignorance, or defend not knowing because it’s hard to know, question everything. Question. Everything. Accept nothing until you have investigated it for yourself in your own life.

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