The Imagination of Voice

The Imagination of Voice
Happy New Year's Eve...

I was inspired this morning by a post on that same singers board (!!) and so I thank that anonymous poster for his contribution to my thoughts today!

Where does voice begin?

We know it inhabits the physical being and the sport of technical behavior allows for it to function...

Yet, all possibilities exist in the imagination...

The voice must be imagined for the reality to occur. It is the imagination that begins the process, and it is the pedagogy/vocal science that backs it up!

Then, as each singer determines HOW they learn, they can take the languages given to them - be it imagery, metaphor, simile, be it vocal science terms, be it anatomy description, be it demonstration, be it looking at a physical model - and translate to the language they learn in, and embody it!

This is how the imagination can work! The voice begins in the mind - in the thought, in the desire, in the willingness, in the repetition...

Just as a child learns to speak - so our singing voices develop. It does not happen in a vacuum; there is no exact/correct/one way to sing! (Thus my blog about neutral voice...)

As a teacher, I must be willing and able to develop MANY languages to meet a singer where they are. I must also encourage and challenge that singer to discover THEIR language - and to discover how to translate back to their imagination!

If the imagination is vivid, the possibilities are endless! Thus, in developing and building a voice, if we conceive within our mind's imagination - learn to see/hear/taste/touch/feel - THERE, the tangibility in the physical body has a chance.

Vocal science can determine WHAT is going on; but there are many singers who know nothing really about the science of the voice. Yet they still sing. The body still responds. The imagination has allowed for it.

We have a responsibility as singers and teachers of singers to embody a fully-dimensional and tangible imagination! What does this mean? It means, building, developing, understanding from many angles, re-enforcing, re-creating, and being able to explain how we do what we do and why we do it!

Our desire for knowledge begins in the imagination! If we are a "science first" singer - our desire to read, to describe the physicality of the instrument, to know those intrinsic details, to experiment - still begins in the imagination!

If we are visual/metaphor driven - it is our desire to physicalize those visualizations in order for the voice is function - and still begins in the imagination!

We must know what leads us - HOW we learn and then if we are truly to be a singer of depth of knowledge, we must fill in and discover what else is going on - through science, through multiple translations to access the multi-layers of complexity we can learn within ourselves!

One singer may have a metaphor that allows their physical instrument the truth; another singer may be able to explain that truth through vocal science; yet another may be able to find a spiritual tangibility that creates that truth...all begin with the desire for truth/desire for voice/desire to SING! All begin with the imagination!!!

If voice begins with imagination, perhaps as developed instrument, it becomes a physical tangibility of imagination. There's something wonderful to chew on as you sip your champagne!!!

I am liking that! Voice is the physical tangibility of one's imagination.

Yes - I think I will keep that.

So, on this eve of remembering, clearing away, making way, making new decisions - I wish for you a year that is FULL OF IMAGINATION - and full of your own discoveries of your true voice!


Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

If you liked this post, please share it or comment with your thoughts below!