In Defense of … Stupidity??

OK, to continue from yesterday’s post.

Does knowing that you have an engine in your car make you a better driver? No.

Does knowing that your piano has strings, hammers and a sounding board make you a better pianist? No.

Does understanding you have a heart that beats all day long make it beat more efficiently? That would be nice, but no.

Does being ignorant of something benefit you in any clear way? NO!!!

Being ignorant of anything is not a plus unless the thing is some kind of awful horrible way to hurt others. Being ignorant in any way at all of something you want to confront every day for the rest of your life, will not be helpful or useful to you at any point in the game. Yet, I continue to encounter teachers of singing who say, “Well, knowing voice science is nice, but it won’t help you sing”. Not knowing is certainly not going to make things better. Knowing [not imagining you know] might not help, but it can’t hurt. In the hands of someone who understands how to APPLY that information it could help you sing very well indeed.

One of the reasons our culture is anchored to science (although there are people who would like to undermine science, too. Now that is stupid!) is because what we have learned from science has helped us advance our present civilization in many ways, ultimately allowing many of us to live longer, healthier lives and do more with them. It has allowed us to explore our universe, both here on earth and out in space, so that we may someday learn to live in harmony instead of hurting each other and our holy planet. I don’t think we would be happy if we hadn’t by now discovered that infections, which can be serious, can be cured by antibiotics, which also had to be discovered, ultimately making us safer than our ancient ancestors ever were. Imagine if no one had ever tried to find a way to explain infection. Would we still think it was the evil spirits that had taken over our bodies? Would this be……OK?

Singing teachers will argue that we need to make room for the person who says that learning to sing requires that you put an actual egg in your mouth (seen that) and for the person who teaches that your sinus cavities are what makes your sound good (seen that, too). We need to “allow for” the teacher who says that singing requires you to “support from your diaphragm” which is down by your belly button (yes, seen that as well). It goes on. OK, maybe these people had talented singers for students who just needed an outside authority to tell them “you are good” and that was enough to get them out there singing and securing a job. We should make room for teaching like this?

Well, not in my world. No. NO!

If teaching is about illuminating the path, shedding light on it for someone else, lest they fall, then the items above do not qualify as teaching, or education, or guidance, or advice or anything useful. They are examples of everything about the profession that makes it unprofessional.

Yet, my colleagues seem to think that making no standard, allowing for any and all kinds of “instruction” and giving people permission to use “artistic license” as an excuse for not knowing what they are doing or what their students are trying to do, is valid.

As long as that is the prevailing attitude, and it seems to be, then we are doomed to live in the land called, “let the buyer beware”. There will never be anyone to set a standard that can be trusted by those in the outside world who wish to learn. Woe be unto them!

As for me, you can count on me to set a standard through Somatic Voicework™. You might not like it, you might reject it, but, by golly, you are going to know what it is and you will know it is based on solid pedagogy, solid science and the balanced application of both, to serve the goal of authentic artistic expression.

Everyone is ignorant at some point. No fault in that. Hanging onto ignorance when there is reason to let it go is…….stupid. I can’t defend that at all.

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