The Parable of the Deaf Frog

There once was a man who had a frog. He trained him and taught him to jump on command. Testing his ability, he was astonished to discover that his frog could leap twenty feet. Soon the man began to wonder about the amount of propulsion contributed to each hind leg. Accordingly, he cut one hind leg off and again urged the frog to jump. Struggling under his terrible handicap, the frog did the best he could, but was unable to manage more than seven feet. “Humph,” said the man to himself. “Interesting. I wonder how far he can travel with no hind legs at all.” Straightway he cut off the remaining leg and repeated the command. Naturally, the frog could not move. “Damn,” exclaimed the man. “My frog must have gone deaf.”

This story is, of course, analogous to the way vocal training has been practiced for much too long a time. Attitudes are employed as principles, opinions dignified as facts, theories accepted without challenge, and, frequently, whenever valid principles are embraced, they are misapplied. Unable to learn, the student is then blamed for all short-comings because of an inherent lack of talent.

Reid, Cornelius L. Functional vocal training. Journal of Orgonomy, Volume 4, Number 2. November 197o.

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