Having a Voice doesn't Make you a SINGER!

Having a Voice doesn't Make you a SINGER!
Sunday musings...

We have all experienced it: a performance that seems flawless vocally but doesn't move us, nor do we take the experience away with us.

On the flip side, a performance that IS flawed perhaps,  maybe a voice that hasn't developed completely, has issues, or a voice that is simply not an athletic animal,  and yet the performance is VIVID.  We are moved, we are changed.  We never forget it.

It doesn't matter the genre,  the voice doesn't make you a singer.  The voice is a tool - a very important one - but the communication and narrative is so much more than that.

Once we allow ourselves to SING,  the voice will follow.  The demand on perfecting your technique,  the demand of "not being ready yet", the demand, the demand, begins to lift,  and the reality of what you are ABLE TO DO can be claimed.

Singing - and BEING a singer uses the voice as a vehicle.  But what fills that vehicle?  Technique only?  Physicality only?  Athleticism only?  I have heard some voices that are athletic animals and certainly make a great deal of impressive sound - but no music.  No singing.

Discovering the voice - its faults, its growth, its imperfections, its flaws - is crucial to recognizing where you are in your technical development and simply where you are in the development of the vocal body.  These discoveries,  wins and losses are about the vehicle.  They are never going to be perfect.  However, those physical discoveries are important to explore in order to find out what you CAN do, and simply what you can't.  This work happens in the studio,  in private.  This is not singing yet in the larger sense. 

The SINGER lives.  Experiences.  Discovers.  The SINGER doesn't spend 23 hours in the practice room and never experiences life.  The SINGER knows how to LIVE.  The SINGER experiences laughter, pain, loss,  anguish,  joy.  The SINGER knows what passion is.  The SINGER embraces the road map and lets it lead.  Scars are simply part of the fabric.  Passion and compassion, laughter and tears, fear and joy are complimentary to the singer.  They are integrated and woven into the fabric of the life the singer embraces and acknowledges and breathes each day.

The voice is a life force that is generated by that experience.  It is not important to be perfect.  It is important to DISCOVER.  It is not important to be flawless.  It is important to accept the flaws.  Every flaw has a story and a uniqueness that is YOU.  It is not to be hidden away.  It should be drawn out to see if it can be used to further the narrative or not.

If a singer discovers a voice - the voice is a vehicle of narrative, of passion, of anguish, of whatever the music demands it to do.   The singer can allow the ego to release and the song to be sung.  These are the performances that are riveting and remembered.  The voice can be flawed and no one remembers that.  Why?  Because the singer is aware of the fully integrated performance and what they are there to DO.  The audience is taken on a journey and will remember how it made them FEEL.

We work in the studio on what we cannot do yet.  We LIVE as singers.  We lead with the integration of life in our work and in our sound.  We do not hide away until it is perfect.  Perfect will never arrive.  Perfect has no place in our world.  A singer in progress who dedicates themselves the life of a song and wants to SAY something through it,  commits to the narrative and never lets go finds a glimmer of truth that the audience can absorb and be changed by.

Study yes!  Learn and discover about the voice,  but remember it is a vehicle that is highly motivated to absorb more than a physicality.  It can absorb TRUTH through living and release that passion through true singing.

My dad used to say "boredom comes from within".  If the voice is boring to an audience,  I wonder why? Could it be that boredom is projected? Something to think about...

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

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