If you love singing, if you are passionate about singing, if you can’t live without singing, you are a good candidate to become a singer, and then later, a teacher of singing.
If you are lifted up when you sing, if your heart feels full and overflowing with joy and love, if you know when you sing that the sounds you are emiting emerge with ease and grace and if you feel at one with the music and the lyrics, then you are a very good candidate for the title “Professional Singer”.
If you are curious about singing, about the great vocal artists of all time, about all kinds of music and all kinds of vocalists, if you want to listen to singing for fun and learn from singers of every ilk, then you belong in the company of those who call themselves “singers” and mean it in the truest sense of the word.
To identify yourself when asked, “What do you do for a living?” by answering with the words, “I am a professional singer”, is an amazing response to make. How few people in this world can actually say that? How special is that as a profession?
If you are working on your voice, your style, your ideas about singing all the time, if you seek always the next thing to know, to learn, to try, to explore, if you are ever restless to see what singing will reveal to you next, you belong with all of us who share this passion for voiced music and who regard delving into it as a privilege and an honor.
And, if you teach singing, you bring to teaching all the same requisites, all the same passion, enthusiasm, dedication, curiosity, openness and unmitigated joy, then you will be a marvelous teacher, an inspiration and a source of happiness for your students as they walk upon this same incredible path.
There are far too many people singing and teaching singing who do not have any of the above characteristics. They are intellectually skilled but boring, they are musicians but not musical, they are educated but not wise. There are people teaching who do not have any awareness of the broad world of vocal music, its history and its many styles, nor of the great singers of all eras and places that have graced this planet with their gifts, generously shared. They are people who imagine themselves to be good, they imagine their voices and their music to have value just because they are alive, can make sound and are breathing. They seek fame, glory, attention, recognition, wealth and importance, and not much else. They understand only their own desires and push them into the world, whether or not the world is interested.
Those who would take a stand for the best in singing are often ridiculed by those who are more than content with being mediocre. Those who would speak out for standards for the profession are told to “be quiet” by those who could not adhere to even minimum criteria. Those who would oppose mindless singing and singers, clueless teachers and teaching are regarded with distain by those who don’t know that they don’t know.
That which lasts is grounded in those qualities which have not to do with time. Truthfulness, honesty, kindness, generosity, enthusiam, compassion, courage, dedication, loyalty, humility, trustworthiness, joyfulness and unconditional love do not have to do with any one place, time or person. They are universal qualities found everywhere in the human race. Singing is a reflection of humanity, one that does not have geographic, ideologic, cultural, social, racial, sexual or economic boundaries. It belongs to humanity and cannot ever be taken away.
If you are not in love with singing, leave it to those who are. We are many and we want to share our love with the world. Don’t get in the way.