Do You Know?
It is March.  Thank the Universe.

Spring is now possible, even though as I type, there is light snow falling.

This post is really about the questions you need to ask in your technical and artistic development.

I am always amazed, and yet not surprised at many singers' lack of knowledge of their instrument.  This can be for many many reasons honestly, so this is a general overview.

I was asked last week if I could tell singers and developing artists one thing that could help them,  what would it be.

And here it is, without hesitation: ASK QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(enough exclamation points for you?)

No one expects  you to have all the answers.
Nobody has all the answers.
Questions lead to answers or exploration or more questions.

That's what this is all about!

Sometimes you have to ask a question to simply find out what question to ask!  That, too, is fantastic.

From a purely technical, behavioral perspective,  do you know what building your physical instrument is going to take?

Do you know when the actual vocal mechanism reaches maturity?

Do you know what "reaching maturity" actually means?  (hint:  you aren't done when you mature!)

Do you know what the process is for YOU as you progress toward vocal maturity?

Do you know HOW you are building the instrument?

Do you know how the support mechanism works for YOUR body?

Do you understand how the basic vocal mechanism functions?

Do you know where your lungs are?

Do you know how to care for your instrument?

Do you recognize the athleticism of your vocal instrument?

Do you care?

Are you afraid to ask questions?

Are you excited to ask questions?

As a teacher, my job is to find the singer where she/he is.  Not to start them again.  I have to figure out where you are,  and access what you know, what you don't know, how you learn, how you respond. 

Guess what?  As a teacher, I ask LOTS of questions:  of you; of myself; of my research, of my experience, of my knowledge, of my intuition.

In asking lots of questions to discover MORE,  I expect the same of you.

It is YOUR instrument.  It is YOUR development.  It is YOUR journey.  YOU are responsible.

Development isn't passive, it's active.  It's action-filled.  It's exciting, and frustrating, and annoying, and thrilling and amazing.

Remember that person who never asks direction and thinks they can figure out how to get there and they never do or it takes all day and a tank of gas?  Remember how much EASIER it would have been to simply ask the gas attendant how to get there, cause he lives in the area and would actually know????

ASK QUESTIONS.  If you don't get the answers that help (not always the answers you are comfortable with btw) then go find someone else that can answer them.

You are never beholden to someone but rather, responsible for you.  You are responsible for your development,  and therefore, responsible to ask the questions, to find more questions, to discover more answers, and in more answers, more possibility.

So if you don't know.  ASK.

Ask some more.

Asking questions reveals a desire for truth and understanding. 

If you know WHY you can replicate the behavior.

If you don't know why,  you wander around,  and find yourself back in the same place wondering how you are still there.

So, do you know?

I think it's time to start finding out!

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

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