My body knows how to sing. I have studied vocal technique for fifteen years, and I’ve studied with some legendary voice teachers. I feel so privileged to have worked with each one of them. And yet, almost every voice teacher I’ve known has given me the same rotten piece of advice: “Forget what you learned before you came to me.”
This advice was given to me, over and over again, by well-meaning teachers who wanted to correct some issue in my vocal technique. No matter how many degrees I had earned or how many roles I had sung, they always wanted to start from the very beginning. They wanted to begin with a clean slate.
Since I am now a voice teacher, myself, I know exactly how they felt. When I meet an advanced student who is already an accomplished singer, but who has a bad habit that is holding her back, I wish I could eliminate the problem. I want to go back into her past and fix the bad habit before it started. But that’s not how it works.
It is very hard to change a “muscle memory.” When you repeat an action over and over again, your brain learns to engage… READ MORE
Muscle map image courtesy of The Muscle Help Foundation
Full Post at iCadenza.com
“I am going to remember everything. I am going to embrace everything. Every teacher. Every school. Every nugget of wisdom. Even the conflicting information. All of it.” And in that moment, I felt free.
This is wisdom.
Why do singing teachers need to compete with each other to the point where they try to destroy ALL the work done by a former teacher instead of building on it? So much of the success of teaching depends upon building a trust relationship. It can be traumatic for a young singer to switch teachers or schools. They can be led to feel they have been betrayed by former instructors. Music festivals and competitions can be nasty places when this attitude shows up. What happened to professional courtesy?
You’re so right, Charis. Professional courtesy seems to have been forgotten. Let’s revive it!
You Rock! And I’m glad to have added kinesiology to the mix of things to confuse you! Love ya!
Kinesiology deserves its own blog post! Maybe a whole series. 🙂