August 24, 2016

Your Purpose for Practicing

Being able to understand and perform professional-level singing gives a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, even if a career in music is not being pursued. When listening to music or observing a virtuoso performance that fills one with awe and exhilaration, we are the effect of the music. Imagine what it would be like to be the cause of that awe and exhilaration—to reach the ability level of the musicians who have inspired us, and then cause the feeling in other and ourselves. 

Before you being studying singing, follow these steps: 

  1. Decide to be a singer, regardless of your current ability level. This is the foundation of your involvement with music. Stay true to your intention—it is the fuel that will keep you going.
  2. Ensure the intention to be a singer is yours and yours alone. It must come from within, not from others pushing you to be something that you do not want to be. 
  3. Keep your focus. Do not let the problems of life overshadow your musical goals. 
  4. Be wary of people who discourage your singing goals in the guise of being concerned for your well-being, perhaps suggesting you should do something that "isn't so risky" or "will earn you a better living." Your goals belong to you. 

Adapted from "Piano Practice and Performance" by Barry & Linda Wehrli.

When I was just beginning my life as a singer, I had a teacher who thought I would make a better conductor. She wasn't exactly wrong seeing that I had conducted, and was even quite good at it. But I hungered for something else, so didn't listen to her. Instead, I followed an inner voice which led me to a teacher who changed my life, and resulted in a multi-decade career at New York City Opera. 

No one can listen to your inner voice but you. 

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