LEARN HOW TO SING WITH A FIRST RATE INSTRUCTOR
The following information is from the book “Mastery”, by George Leonard. If you haven’t bought it yet, buy it.
Here’s some wisdom about learning to sing being self-taught or finding a first rate instructor.
Hi I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. I will read excerpts from the book, Mastery, by George Leonard. This is about learning any skill. Apply this to learning to sing. In chapter 5 he gives the first key to gaining mastery. Key number one is “Instruction”.
“There are some skills you learn on your own, and some you can try to learn, but if you intend to take the journey of mastery, the best thing you can do is arrange for first-rate instruction. The self-taught person is on a chancy path. There are advantages: you enjoy the license of not knowing what can’t be done; you might wander into fertile territory previously ruled out by mainline explorers. Some of those who taught themselves…have made it work. Most, however, have spent their lives reinventing the wheel, then refusing to concede that it’s out of round…
“Instruction comes in many forms. For mastering most skills, there’s nothing better than being in the hands of a master teacher, either one-to-one or in a small group. But there are also books, films, tapes, computer learning programs, computerized simulators (flight simulators, for example), group instruction, classroom, knowledgeable friends, counselors, business associates, even “the street.” Still, the individual teacher or coach can serve as a standard for all forms of instruction, the first and brightest beacon on the journey of mastery.
“Respect for credentials…..shouldn’t blind you to other considerations. The instructor who advertises as a eighth degree black belt in one martial art, ninth-degree in another, and light-middleweight champion of the world in both could be a lousy teacher…. It’s particularly challenging, in fact, for a top performer to become a first rate teacher. Instruction demands a certain humility; at best, the teacher takes delight in being surpassed by his or her students….
“To see the teacher clearly, look at the students. They are his work of art… Even more, on the interaction. Does the instructor proceeded through praise or through damnation?
“… Maybe you’re looking for the type of instructor who’s comfortable only with the best, only with potential champions. There are such teachers, and they serve a useful function, but for me the essence of the instructor’s art lies in the ability to work effectively and enthusiastically with beginners and to serve as a guide on the path of mastery for those who are neither as fast nor as talented as the norm…. Knowledge, expertise, technical skill, and credentials are important but without the patience and empathy that go with teaching beginners these merits are as nothing.
“… If you should end up with a teacher who doesn’t seem right for you, first look inside. You might well be expecting more than any teacher can give. But teachers as well as students can be lazy, excessively goal oriented, indifferent, psychologically seductive, or just plain inept. It’s important to keep proper psychological distance. If you’re too far removed there’s no chance for the surrender that’s part of the Masters journey; if you come too close you lose all perspective and become a disciple rather than a student. The responsibility for good balance lies with student as well as teacher. When irreconcilable differences do occur, remember that the better part of wisdom is knowing when to say goodbye.
“Bear in mind that on the path of mastery learning never ends. In the words of the great Japanese swordmaster Yamaoka Tesshu:
‘Do not think that this is all there is. More and more wonderful teachings exist—the sword is unfathomable.’”
I would add if the sword is unfathomable, imagine the unfathomable-ness of the voice.
This is a great little book. You will benefit by reading this book and applying it’s lessons.
Learning your vocal type is an important step in learning to sing. I’m not talking about whether you are soprano, alto, tenor, or bass. Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing higher into your upper voice.
Go to power to sing.com and take the vocal test, which I call the power test. Take the quiz and discover your vocal type. Then go to the knowledge center and watch the videos about your vocal type. Download free exercises and start practicing them. They will help you progress rapidly.
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I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence, and power. I’ll see you inside the next video.