Monday, August 8, 2011

What is preventing you from becoming a singer?

Q: What is preventing you from becoming a singer?

- You lack genes. This does not explain any thing. Postulating some entity doesn't explain; one needs to provide mechanism.

- You haven't cultivated the ability to sing ever since a kid; once you are past a certain age, you can't become a singer. This explanation has its cousin in acquiring native-like accent in L2 (see the 'rebuttal' in Dorothy Chun's Discourse in L2 Intonation). This explanation is ad hoc as well!

Q: Can you become a singer even if you are 70?

Yes, if you dont have articulatory problems (loosing teeth, TMJ). You can't become a singer without becoming a good listener. Perception precedes production: how many of us do perceive all fine details of what is sung? Not many.

What should one learn to perceive?

1. Pitch discrimination
2. Pause discrimination (time)
3. Vowels and consonants
4. breath management
5. Resonance and phonation

All of these fall under vocal awareness. We are hardly aware of how we speak whichever L1 we speak; after all, the way we speak etc is part of learning. However, majority of us end up equating these learned habits as being part of persona. Once you gain 'this' awareness, you will wise up: after all, you have been acting all along!

Wanna become a singer?

Find a good voice coach, shell out $10K or so. How to find a good voice coach? Follow the discussions on Vocalist to judge your coach. Money doesn't transform you into a good singer, the way Indian concept, techno, International schools have been selling. You need to be curious and willing to learn!

Can you learn to sing duets?

Hell yeah! In duets, you need 'emotional' awareness more than so in solo. Acting lessons help: coordinating emotions, emotional memory, etc.

Can you sing in any language?

Yes, it is possible if you know how to articulate vowels, consonants, pitch in that language.

Is it possible to find a good voice coach who can help you in all aspects: articulatory phonetics, voice, acting?

Not really. Find help as needed.

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