Friday, October 9, 2009

Singing with One Voice!

Friday musings...

This question came up this week - "Do I have to sing with different technique or a difference voice if I change styles or languages?"

The short answer is no. And of course, the next question is "why"? and "How do I do that?"

My philosophy on vocal behavior, and thus technical behavior, is that the singer creates a voice that is uniquely theirs. It is built and balanced in a neutral position that is informed by nothing by self. This can be very exciting to discover and embrace - like creating the most balanced, naked mannequin of our own voice. This is what the voice does in balanced behavior.

It is then, and only then, that we accessorize with style and genre and language!!! Within these accessorizes are further technical behaviors to access style/language/genre comfortably.

What does this give us as singers, ultimately? It gives us PRESENCE, UNIQUENESS, CHOICE!

Do you really want to sound like someone else? Be a cookie cutout of another singer? Is that the goal??? I absolutely say NO!! Dare to find your voice - and sound like YOU!

This can be daunting on one hand, as ironically, many singers "hide" in their sound - as it becomes manufactured and mannered. However, finding and claiming the true voice in its physical balance, frees us to the power of what that voice can do in its nakedness, and then ultimately, what it can take on in repertoire choices!

Only when you find that truth of instrument will the genres and styles and languages inform with authenticity. It is truly working from the inside out!

The accessory of style/genre/language will begin to draw out the subtleties of our instrument - and how we can further enhance that which we choose to develop!

Let the style inform the tone. Let the genre inform the instrument. Let the language physicalize its authenticity. English vowels are NOT Italian vowels. French vowels are not German vowels.

Studying voice encompasses the truth of the neutral instrument, and then the authenticity of style and genre and languages. And in that authenticity, the execution of what is required to produce it.

We then find that the physical instrument, although capable, will tend to favor and lend itself to certain genres and language and style. And even more, the psyche and spirit of self will also gravitate toward that physical language more organically.

As the physical language, the organic language, the spiritual language and the soul move together, the instrument transcends and SINGS!!! So many levels of consciousness and behavior come together to become the uniqueness of YOU the SINGER!!!

So ultimately, it is YOU - ONE VOICE - informed by the authenticity of the physical and spiritual instrument of the voice - tangible and intangible - that sings.

The core of your voice remains authentic in order to explore and CLAIM whatever genre, style and language you delve into.

The core of your voice is YOURS. You must find it, claim it, realize it - its uniqueness, its balance, its flaws, its beauty, its LIFE!

If you do not have that core behavioral balance - unique in its nakedness - it leaves all other discovery false and manipulated.

Trust the core behavior. Accessorize with flare and DARE to explore it!


  1. The thing I've run across (and maybe you've addressed this in earlier posts) is auditioning for Musical Theatre. It's obvious I'm an opera singer and have classical training, even when I sing MT. I try to choose the more legit roles and songs, however, I've run across directors who absolutely HATE hearing classical singers singing MT. How would you advise someone when running across something like that? Besides 'Stop singing for that director'! ;)

  2. thanks for your post and question!

    My question is this: why do they hate hearing classical singers singing MT? Is it because it sounds too classical? Is it because the repertoire choices are wrong? Ultimately, the choice has to be this: are you singing for your voice or the style in which the music is written? A singer must USE her/his voice to allow the style to inform it, NOT to let the voice inform the style. There are MANY styles within the MT genre - know what you are working for ultimately and inform your voice thus. All so-called "legit" material is not the same!