There is a common adage that all great things come from hard work and perspiration. But there are some great accomplishments that from optimal use rather than maximum effort. For example, it goes without saying that professional swimmers want to swim fast. Their speed and endurance are highly influenced by optimizing the anatomy and physiology of their bodies. “Just kick harder” would be a somewhat simplistic direction to a rather complex system. Essentially, their strength plus the nuances of posture, range of motion and the fluidity of gestures, ultimately determine an impressive speed.
Similarly, singers want an impressive performance. They aim for power, range, beauty, freedom and emotional connection. And just as the professional swimmer capitalizes on optimal use, the singer can achieve the highest level of artistic expression when the instrument is used in optimal capacity.
I subscribe to a pedagogical approach where the balance of resonance, breath energy and phonation type are the
primary means of achieving projection (power), clarity (beauty), fluidity (freedom), and sustainability (endurance). I primarily utilize practical physical tasks to train vocal coordination and reinforce these tasks with imagery and conceptual ideas. Since tactile adjustments are viscerally measurable, they allow the singer to experience an immediate sensation. The results are, therefore, more concrete with greater chances of consistencyy.
Each singer and voice is individual and should be treated as such. No one wants to be a mere carbon copy of somebody else, because the most moving performances stem from an authentic individual communicating with clarity, immediacy and direct intention.
People move at different speeds. Consequently, a supportive and encouraging environment is a vital part of the learning process, regardless of age or proficiency. After all, masterful skills come from practice and determination, with a knowledgeable and motivating coach to guide the way.