Saturday, December 19, 2009

Vocal Technique is not an Art, it's a SPORT!

Saturday musings...

I cannot take credit for coining the title but rather, it came from my mentors and great friends - Ted Baerg and Irena Welhasch-Baerg who gave it to me!!

There are many ways of speaking about vocal technique - and I have blogged about certain aspects here as well...but ultimately, the physicality must create FORM in order to execute the idea. Wanting to sing is great, but if you can't, it's just an idea, a thought, a desire. Ideas, thoughts, desires need to take FORM in order for them to live and breathe. It is the form, the behavior, the physical athleticism that allows the voice to sing!

As I have said before, technique is about physical behavior. The entire body needs to be involved, and the psychology needs to be involved! This is how the "sport" of singing is crucial to the singer! You cannot and will not sing with consistency without developing the "sport" of your athleticism and the "sport" of your psychology.

Look at the great athletes and what makes them great! It isn't just talent or prowess - it is how they build their instruments, how they treat their instruments, and how they look at and approach the game, and how they are dedicated to being better than their previous selves. The focus, the physicality, how they develop physical strength, mental strength and psychological strength in NEVER compromised. This makes them champions.

The technical behavior of ANY physical athleticism needs to be considered SPORT in that it involves the body and the mind - and the DOING!! Nike coined the "Just do it" and it applies across the board.

As singers, we are often riddled with roadblocks - excuses, getting in our own way, emotional and psychological barriers - and yet, our technical discovery needs us to get physical and athletic with it, and JUST DO IT!!!!

We must learn how to claim our STRENGTH - physical and psychological. We must learn to turn those negative voices off while we work, in order TO WORK.

Art is journey and creation; Technique is physical DOING. It is strength and power through physical behavior and mental steel and focus. There is no room for anything else. You either do it, or you don't.

As I have said before, the technique is the physical balance - the nakedness of the voice - and the art is how you accessorize and dress it!!! If the structure underneath does not exist, it will not show the creation draped on it! It will only show what ISN'T there.

Dare to be an athlete. Dare to discover the SPORT of your voice. Dare to claim your physicality, and REJOICE in it. Dare to discover what it can do and what it WILL do. Dare to sweat!!!! Dare to work some muscles!!! Dare to engage the psychology of the athlete you are and who you are becoming! Dare to discover what your physicality does and develop it further! Dare to leave your pitfalls, emotional roadblocks and excuses at the door and JUST DO IT!

Dare to be committed to your SPORT so that your art has a place to LIVE!!!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Susan,
    I commend you for the title of your article. The sooner the music community really recognizes that we have much in common with sportsmen and ballet-dancers, the sooner we could start revising the traditional ways of music-making and start looking for specific procedures which would properly *introduce* our students' bodies to effective - and safe - operating in these artistic endeavours.
    Question is, when (or rather, looking at what's been happening over last 30 years, IF) we'd start this journey.