FEAR

Do you think that babies are afraid to cry really loud, lest they lose their voices? Perhaps infants do get laryngitis, but I have read also that vigorous crying is necessary for lung development and for strengthening of the muscles of the throat and mouth. Do you think that children on a playground generally worry about the sounds they make? It is true that children can and do injure their voices, but many children just play, making various kinds of noises and sounds, and end up just fine.

At what point does really using the voice fully and freely begin to engender fear? When does the fear of making some kinds of sound override the spontaneity and joy of just letting sound go?

Think about this. If you want to sound like an opera singer you must not let yourself do anything to disturb your set-up. (If you are a pop singer, you don’t have a set-up available that will let you authentically sound like an opera singer, so that’s not an issue.) If you are a popera singer (a la Bocelli or Sarah Brightman), you can’t really sing classical or pop music full out. Isn’t all of this odd? Some sounds are better than others because of how we have accepted them and labeled them culturally.

Fear isn’t a good basis for any art. Art implies that there is creativity at the bottom of the process and that anything could or can happen. Fear of being spontaneous or creative seems to be anti-both. On the other hand, since being afraid occurs frequently on the road to being a vocal master, it is something useful to look at, explore, investigate and absolutely face. The fear is within, it is real, it is a block, and it is a useful teacher.

What frightens you most as a singer? When? Why? What have you done about it?

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