In the previous article I followed up on the free video provided at www.TheSingingZone.com. I outlined why it is that people who have a hard time singing on key can learn to sing on key in a very short amount of time. I also mentioned why it is rather impossible to accomplish these dramatic and rapid results as long as you sing scales.
But what about advanced singers? Are the strategies I outlined only for beginners?
Not at all. The advanced singers who engage in the strategies of the Bristow Voice Method (whether in private or via The Singing Zone/Sing With Freedom home study program) know that much of the training encourages you to turn off your auditory sense temporarily (at will), and the reason for that is to help you develop a greater kinesthetic awareness than before (which can’t be done as long as you are listening and judging yourself).
With this greater awareness you can now effectively release tension, develop greater freedom and effectively develop strength, flexibility (range) and more.
In the precious article, I used the act of throwing a ball at a target as an analogy. I explained why making the child “focus on the target”(which engages the visual sense) is as counterproductive as telling a singer to sing scales and listen for the notes.
This applies just as much, if not more, to an advanced singer who has little need to just "sing notes" over and over again.
So let’s go back to the "throwing a ball at a target" analogy, but let’s this time use a professional baseball pitcher as an example. The “pitcher” is the person whose sole job is to throw the ball at the target. Does he, therefore, practice throwing at a target all the time?
Of course not. He spends an enormous amount of time on other activities to develop strength, coordination and flexibility. Many of the activities never even include a ball. And when he does practice with a ball, much of the time he will focus on parts of his body – on the execution of a movement - rather than on the target. If he has an injury or weakness, his focus and training will change accordingly.
A professional pitcher knows better than to believe that he will develop strength and flexibility of his rotator cuff, or heal an injury, by just throwing a ball over and over.
Yet, many singers believe they are practicing effectively by just singing the same scales over and over. Many follow warm-up tracks, or pre-recorded audio exercise tracks, and sing the same scales in the same tempo, and in the same order, day in and day out.
Many become stifled and stagnate since they continue doing what they’ve always done The day a problem occurs they, understandably, don’t know what to do. Naturally, no scale, pattern of notes, or vowel/consonant combo is ever going to heal a physical problem.
As I mentioned, when my professional clients develop a deeper level of awareness, they can also rapidly do something about the “problem” they might have. They can release restrictions and effectively develop greater strength, range, resonance, endurance and so on. Singing patterns of notes and trying to hit the notes “correctly” is not what a professional needs when he/she experiences restrictions in the voice.
With greater physical freedom, you can perform with greater freedom and create a greater bond with your audience. Your performance will, therefore, become more successful.
Now, you might be thinking "but you still need to sing the notes to be a good singer". Yes, of course you need a good ear to be a musician, and there are ways to effectively develop that. However, that is for another discussion. The issue here is to learn what to focus on at any given time.
We could discuss this forever, but understanding intellectually obviously does very little in this case. To really develop the awareness and freedom we’re discussing, you must of course engage in doing – in the training. There is just no way around it. Nor can we experience any significant results if we are not mentally willing to let go of preconceived ideas and truly experience something new. (This applies to all learning)
But I hope, at least, this has helped you understand some of the underlying principles that have proven so effective for many thousands of singers worldwide. And also why it really doesn’t matter how “advanced”, or how much of a “beginner”, you are.
So let me finish by claiming that your mind and body is truly phenomenal. Once we tap into your potential and develop an extraordinary awareness of your body and mind… once you give yourself permission to let go of preconceived ideas of what you can do and cannot do… once we give you permission to explore, experiment and discover new abilities within you… then dramatic results are not only possible but very predictable.
And most of all it is fun. Learning is fun. To feel a sense of growth is the juice that makes life exciting – at least it is for me. How about you? Have you noticed some shift by changing the way you approach your training – perhaps even beyond singing? Have you perhaps already engaged in the training and made some interesting discoveries?