Oui, vous pouvez lire ceci, mais est-ce que vous parlez? 

The struggle of learning a foreign language is not necessarily the grammar, the verbs, the vocabulary, or the writing.

The real test is the ability to SPEAK it. Live. In front of a native speaker awaiting our message. 

How many say, “I understand exactly what I’m reading or hearing but I’m not able to speak it!”

Speaking is the central difficulty for many. 

So it is with singing.

As one can learn intimately particular nuances of tense, active and passive voice, and the subjunctive – and still not speak well, so can those who understand the voice from the anatomical, acoustic, and physiological perspectives – and still not sing well.

Why this disconnect? 

Comprehension of a subject is wonderful for tests, but we must not lose sight of the fact that to be a singer is to SING.

We can have a vast knowledge of the voice on paper, but does it translate into actual words when you’re standing in the boulangerie and want to order your favorite pain au chocolat

We learn to sing by singing

We learn to speak a foreign language by speaking, warts and all. We WILL make mistakes. (Fear of perfection holds people back from speaking a foreign language more readily. People are afraid of looking and sounding foolish.) 

Communication is messy. So is singing. 
Speaking to another is a kind of verbal performance, n’est-ce pas? 

Our audience wants to know what we have to say musically, not necessarily how much we know about every usage of the passé composé. 

As language is about connection and communication from one human being to another, so, too, is singing.

We must never forget that.

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2 thoughts on “Oui, vous pouvez lire ceci, mais est-ce que vous parlez? 

  1. then you have just talked yourself out of a job Justin, unless you are going to change your title from “teacher of singing with all the technical baggage” to “natural voice trainer, additive free” Patti never knew what a larynx was and knew nothing of the technical side of singing, she just opened her mouth and let the diamonds fall into her cupped hands from her admirers. Perhaps we lay far too much value on scientific and technical language which 99% of singers do not understand anyway and not enough importance on communicating with the audience and enjoying your work.

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