Release The Voice, Don’t Fake One

The singing voice, however, has suffered from varying degrees of neglect and abuse, thus frustrating this desire to some extent. There seem to be two solutions to this problem. The first is simulating or ‘faking’ a singing voice, by learning how to make what you imagine to be a singing sound, or by devising ways of satisfying the requirements of the music you are singing. This usually amounts to coping with difficulties without eliminating them, and of skilfully manipulating the voice to make different sounds as desired – a mind-directed process, in which the voice remains under conscious control.

A far more effective solution is that of releasing the voice. This is a sense-directed process which aims to restore something we possess by nature, enabling it ‘to be’. It acknowledges that the singer and his voice are one and the same, and that in enabling the voice to achieve its potential we are enabling the person to fully express himself in sound. It’s understood that the various attributes we normally ascribe to singing (skills, if you like) are inherent to the instrument, and that matters of colour and character, tessitura and dynamic range are unique to each individual. In considering the broader human implications of our work we must guard against conflict between what we want or expect from a voice and what it is, or might become.

Harrison, Peter T. The Human Nature of the Singing Voice: Exploring a sound basis for Teaching and Learning. Dunedin Academic Press Ltd. 2006.

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