Perception is all we have. Points of view, based on what we are exposed to, what we conclude from that exposure and how we regard all of it. This is what we have while we are alive in a body. We take in the world through the 5 physical senses. Some people notice or rely upon one sense more predominantly than another. The connecting ingredient in all this is language. If you cannot put words to what you are experiencing it is difficult to categorize it in a conscious manner.
Singing is an auditory, kinesthetic and visual experience. We hear sound, we feel sound, we feel movement in the body while we make sound, we have a visual feedback on the outside of the body (in the mirror or on video) and we have a mental image of how we think of it. The mental parameters of singing are personal. Which is the most important aspect of mental categorization? It is different for each singer.
If you experience singing as bone vibration, is that the best way? What if someone else doesn’t experience singing like that? Is that wrong? Could he still be a good vocalist? What if you vividly hear sound but someone else doesn’t get much from listening? Who is better off? And what about the singer who sees the music very clearly in her mind but works with a person who never visualizes sound or singing at all. All of these are potential scenarios for trouble between two people who want to try working together.
Taking in the point of view of the singer is vital if you are a teacher. If you want to communicate something and draw out that which is best from your student, you have to understand how we process information. Insisting that students learn to do what you do, exactly as you do it, in exactly the same way that you learned it or that you determine to be important isn’t good teaching. It is, however, popular teaching. No wonder the profession sometimes seems chaotic.
If you think singing is no big deal you will have trouble with someone who thinks it is very important. If you believe that singing training is a hindrance to personal authenticity and you are working with someone who holds that vocal training is the only way to develop your instrument to its maximum, you will have trouble. If you assume that singing will take care of itself and then get into trouble you may find that you need to find someone who will teach you to pay attention to how you sing, and when and what, in order to get out of that dilemma.
Most people don’t do a lot of soul-searching when it comes to teaching singing, they just leave the topic alone until and unless they have a reason to examine it. If you intend to be a professional singer (or a high level amateur) or if you are going to teach someone to sing, you can’t afford to not know your point(s) of view about singing. Don’t be asleep.