Fear of Change

If you are in the midst of a career one thing you certainly do not want to do is totally change the way you sing because someone told you that is a good thing to do.

Do you have a real fear of change?

If you want to be an ethical singing teacher, you need to be able to make whatever sounds the student needs to hear. Talking about the sound is never going to be as good as making the sound. After all, we learn to speak by the age of about 2 simply by hearing our parents and caregivers talk to us.

That means that if you are a CCM singer — you do jazz or blues or gospel or rock — and you want to be a true master of vocal function, you will have to learn and master a classical song and a music theater song well enough to perform them with the appropriate sound quality and stylistic characteristics in front of an audience. The audience, furthermore, needs to think that whatever style of music you are doing in each moment is your home base style. That means no accidental bleed-over.

Most teachers of singing are afraid to let go of what they do because they do not want to lose it. OK. I admit, it can be scary to look at what’s on the other side of the fence, particularly if you are deeply invested in what you learned and how you use it. I am not afraid to make any sound that human throats make and that is because I wanted to make every sound that humans make, but in organized ways that are codified by the musical marketplace. I know that if I am going to sing repertoire, I need to put myself in that sound long enough to do a song and do it well. If you would like to consider yourself to be a vocal master, then you must be able to get into and out of every style well enough to make it fly. So, if you understand how to do what you do, and if you are willing to make sounds that your students need to make even if you don’t need them yourself, and if you are willing to trust that you might have to temporarily let go of the known to go into the unknown, then I encourage you to dig deeply into your singing skill set and ask yourself how much you want to increase your mastery of your throat, body, mind and heart. It’s scary but you won’t get lost. You might even find something really valuable that you didn’t know existed. It’s up to you.

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