Still dangerous after all these years…

Still controversial. There are still some people who teach singing that think singing CCM vocal music written after 1968 is dangerous.

This is not news to anyone in the field, but it is still, in it’s own way, astounding. Think about it. Forty years after the fact, singing music that is rock based, and almost everything mainstream has some rock or pop influence, is still regarded as bad or unhealthy by quite a few folks.

It’s a good thing that sports don’t operate that way. The Olympics wouldn’t have any of the newer sports that are now part of both the summer and winter games. Changes in the way people use their bodies and rules in the various sports that have been adapted over the last 40 years wouldn’t exist.

What about if we had to watch TV programs that were made the same way as those of the late 60s? Or films? Think how much new equipment and new viewpoints have changed these media.

Dance would still be the same and all the modern choreographers would have to stick strictly to the same forms that were around in 1968. If you follow dance at all, you will know that even the strictest ballet companies have allowed some modern choreographers in, and that dancers bodies look very different now than they did in the 60s, in part to the way they are trained.

We could go on, but the point is obvious. In singing training we are still arguing about something that is simple and clear. Rock and roll is here to stay. Bel Canto methodology isn’t particularly useful if you do Christina Aguiler songs. Why is this controversial? Isn’t it just a fact?

Think of what could be accomplished, and then studied, if we took seriously that singers are capable of making lots of different types of sounds! Even a well trained opera singer with a highly functional instrument and excellent artistic capacities can’t sing all styles of music with equal ease, if that’s all they have ever attempted. You have to give up various things in order to be really good at just one thing. But do you? Is that really necessary? How can we know when people don’t get a chance to test the waters to find out if it’s possible or not?

I live for the day when young vocalists can learn to sing songs by Springsteen and Bon Jovi alongside Schubert and Brahms, and have expert guidance in all of them. Think that will ever happen? What millenium would you say? 22nd? 23rd?

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One thought on “Still dangerous after all these years…”

  1. Kind of like giving birth is still dangerous after all of these years, but that’s a tangential pet issue for me.

    You say: “Bel Canto methodology isn’t particularly useful if you do Christina Aguiler songs. Why is this controversial? Isn’t it just a fact?” And I, a classically-trained singer and teacher, totally agree.

    I would be interested to hear from you whether teaching “Schubert” is useful at all for CCM singers. Perhaps for the non “belters” or to bring more mix (head dominant) into the sound?

    Glad to see that you’re back in action. We would have really loved to work with you at the NATS Teaching Program but were happy to at least hear your presentation. Hope all is well.

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