Singing: Technique vs. Style

I know people don’t like to hear it when I say it, but the truth is that inherent talent and facility have a lot to do with a singer’s success or failure within a particular style. Voice lessons can teach technical skill, but they can’t create vocal talent. Yet every voice can find a style that is appropriate to its own strengths and persistent training can continue to build on what nature has given the singer.
Some metaphoric examples that may make some sense are as follows. Anyone can go to a personal trainer and lift weights, but very few will ever have the genetic disposition to compete as body builders. Does this mean that they shouldn’t train? Of course not. Weight bearing exercise can help everyone become healthier and more attractive. Anyone can take ballet classes. Does this mean that everyone who studies ballet will become a professional ballet dancer? Obviously not; however a good foundation in ballet can make a dancer proficient in other dance forms and can help a lay-person achieve poise, posture and confidence.
My point is that no matter where a student starts when they train, they can always continue to improve. But a good teacher will also need to be honest with their students about their potential to become professionals within a particular vocal style. In my own case, I am very fond of singing classical music; however I don’t have a voice that will make it in heavier operatic repertoire. It is, however, very well suited to lighter opera, oratorio and lieder.
Some voices are small. Some are big. Some voices are very high. Some are deep. Some have inherent “flaws” in them. Yet every voice can find its niche if both the singer and the teacher work together and are continually honest and realistic with their training regimen. Any singer can become technically proficient in balancing their bridges from the bottom to the top with no apparent breaks in the voice. But good technique can’t alter a voice’s inherent timber, nor should it attempt to do so. So continue to train, and build your technique, then find the style or styles that are best suited to your voice and sing, sing, sing.

Voice Lessons


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