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My Opinion on The Point of Vocal Exercise

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It's been my own experience as well as the experience of my clients that "thinking" while singing cannot be a part of this process. If you are thinking about technique while you sing, you will lose the emotional content of which you wish to express as well as the artistry.

I had to learn for myself ,and then teach my students, that vocal exercising was just that: exercising the instrument. I use vocal exercising to warm up the voice, see where a voice is at, fix any difficulties a singer might be having, rehabilitate (a specialty of mine) from damage or injury, and train for proper support and breathing.

If you think about the things I've just mentioned about the use of vocal exercising, could you ever really do all of that while performing your songs? Would it truly be possible to carry your message with all that mind tripping going on? The only message ever conveyed from all that is "Pretty voice, but oh so academic in sound." What a horrible feeling. You shouldn't have to worry about your voice when you sing and perform. Everything should be such second nature to you that you are free to express yourself.

The ONLY time to think about your voice is when practicing your exercises to get rid of bad habits that have either damaged your voice or are keeping you from having the voice you want. It's also my experience that although it's important to gain a good intellectual understanding of what needs to happen, intellect alone will not change anything. It is with the repetitive PHYSICAL experience that you gain true knowledge ( the dictionary definition of knowledge is 'understanding gained AFTER you have experienced it').

The repeated action of vocal exercising that takes place when getting rid of bad habits is what the experience of exercising is about. Also, using any exercise of choice to warm-up the voice will help you discover any weak points you might have on any given day. Once uncovered, you can choose an exercise that might help to open up that.particular section. That's when you really know you've gained true control.

Thinking should actually take place BEFORE practicing a vocal exercise run. Learning what you are doing wrong before you can learn how to do it right is the first part of the process. It is with the correct intellectual information that you contemplate, not concentrate, what you've been told must happen to undo any bad habit. When you begin a run, you SHOULD NOT be thinking about it. Rather, you remind yourself just BEFORE you do it and then just GO! NO thinking! Tape, listen for steady streams of sound, and feeling when it's uncontrollable. If you can't figure out what you did that made you feel uncomfortable, listen back to the tape and make fun of the sound by imitating it. This is a proven way to figure it out .

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