I was thinking recently about horses. I didn’t grow up around such magnificent creatures, but I’m awestruck by them. They’ve got to be the most ripped animals on the planet. I think they know how strong they are, otherwise they might not be as wild and stubborn.
Did you know that in order to use a horse for recreational riding, you must break it first? “Breaking” is not a literal term of course. But it means to break their will and train it to follow its rider. They put the horse in a circle and make it run the circle over and over and over again until it is fully under the control of the trainer. They get so sensitive to the rider that they respond to the smallest of tugs of the bit in its mouth.
In many ways we have to also “break” our voice. As we vocalize with our exercises over and over and over again, it’s like we are the horse running in that circle slowly breaking our bad habits. Until even the smallest bad habit triggers a red flag and we can quickly correct it.
Just as it might seem mean to break the stubbornness of the horse by running it in circles, it’s sometimes feels annoying or pointless to constantly run through your exercises day in and day out. But without breaking the horse, it is dangerous to the rider. A person could easily get bucked off and badly injured. Similarly, if you do not train your voice well and keep it in shape, then, when you go to sing big songs, you could hurt or damage your cords.
The result of the well-trained horse is a smooth enjoyable ride. The result of the well-trained voice is a powerful singer and artist who knows how to use their instrument soundly. So do not forsake the discipline of your craft! If not actively growing, you are in fact diminishing your gift. You are either moving forward or backward. There is no staying the same with your voice. Which will you choose?
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