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Have you ever known a singer who sounded worse after taking singing lessons? The unfortunate reality of vocal training is that some instructors teach technique in a way that stifles style and individuality.

Read below to learn how not to ruin your voice by correcting your technique.

Singers need good technique for a variety of reasons, but they should never lose sight of what those reasons are. Proper technical training enables singers to get the most out of their instrument in a healthy manner. Technique is what gives singers control over their vocal range, dynamics, timbres, and so on. Sadly, many instructors teach technique as a set of narrow rules that can never be broken, which instantly creates problems for the singer. However, technique properly understood and applied frees a singer to serve the fundamental purposes of music.  

A singer’s number one job is to be believable. The listener needs to believe that the singer is really feeling the emotion they’re expressing through the song. Technique exists to help accomplish that goal. A well trained voice is better equipped to be deliberately expressive. However, some are trained in ways that limit expressiveness. For example, some Americans are taught to pronounce words in ways that change their accent to some strange combination of British and North American, which ends up sounding like neither. Consequently, some of the singer’s natural vocal identity is lost. Similarly, many singers are taught only to sing lightly or loudly on higher notes, which stifles expressiveness on those pitches because now they’re confined to one volume.

Music is primarily about two things: expressing emotion and creating a mood. We must never lose sight of the fact that singing is a form of human expression, and human expression has innumerable layers of diversity and complexity. So don’t let technique set rules and limitations on what you do as a singer. Instead, use technique as a tool to maximize your expressiveness as a singer.

Benny Meza

Author Benny Meza

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