Why is it so hard for singing teachers to decide anything concrete? WHY????????
They can’t decide that you have to know even one single factual piece of information. The argument for this is that people have done very well learning to sing by knowing nothing and teaching only flowery images for technical training. Great. For all the people that find this useful, GREAT! The rest of us, however, would probably do better with someone who actually knew that we had a larynx.
Plus, even though knowing vocal function doesn’t mean you can teach or that you can sing well, not knowing vocal function pretty much guarantees that you are going to make things up. Why this is tolerated in the profession is because people are TERRIFIED to admit they just don’t know what they don’t know and they aren’t about to go find out while they hold jobs. They can’t admit they don’t know so they want a “standard” where no one has to know. It certainly works to protect the guilty.
I for one think this is truly astoundingly stupid. If you want to talk about pearls on a string or elephant’s trunks or sending the sound across the road, go ahead, but in the back of your own mind have a clear idea of what it is you’re trying to get the student’s throat to do. If you want to say that the sinus’ create lots of resonance, no one will stop you, but it would behoove you to read that NO voice science has ever found the sinus cavities to contribute in any way to “resonance” or to acoustic behavior in the vocal tract. If you want to tell someone to create a “watermelon sized space in your throat”, well speak up, but understand that your throat couldn’t ever open that much. We couldn’t even get a tangerine in there, although it might fit inside someone’s mouth if it were big enough. If you have some wacky idea about what people need to do when they are singing, and if you have not run that idea in front of someone who should know, like a voice scientist or a skilled Speech Language Pathologist, but you teach it as if it were “real” because you think it is, no one is going to pound on your door and lock you up, but I certainly wish there were some voice police who would!
Yes, being functionally trained does not make you a communicative artist. It does not help you share what you know with passion, but it does make it possible for you to do so without hurting yourself and it allows you to know how to change gears if you want to, and emotion alone won’t do that, no matter how crazy you get when you sing. Being functionally trained isn’t the same as being unique in what you have to say through your singing but not being functionally trained sets you up for more vocal health problems, limits your artistic choices and leaves you helpless if something technical goes wrong.
Why, then, would there be any sane reason for teachers of singing to undermine the goal of having every person who teaches singing know about how we make sound as human beings?????
Because teachers of singing are ……… figure it out yourself! Argh!!!!