Why Practice?

Learning without application is of questionable value; in a skill such as singing, learning is arguably worthless — unless validated by consistent practice. One does not learn to sing only in the voice studio; vital concepts are introduced there, but the student builds with and upon those concepts/techniques in the practice room (the coaching studio, the opera rehearsal, the choral rehearsal, in performances…). It is important that techniques introduced in the studio be promptly, thoroughly and regularly supported by generous amounts of time in practice.

Practice is also about rediscovering or affirming choices that have previously been identified as desirable. This truth is essential for continuing progress, as one builds a cohesive network of choices that make up technique. As a singer develops and experiences physiological changes in the maturing process, it is valuable to rediscover earlier choices and make subtle adaptations.

Perhaps the most important reason to practice is to develop confidence. If one does not practice to “work out” the technique that is ostensibly being developed, he/she must depend on over-effort and luck. To come to a voice lesson or performance without effective and frequent practice — thus to be constantly “on guard,” often second-guessing oneself — does not allow the singer to make valid, true artistic choices. He/she will not develop the technical freedom that empowers expressive freedom, and will quickly lose faith in the technical approach. The approach that I offer is based on poise, balance and flexible strength — not on manipulation — and the singer must be willing to take necessary risks to develop consistency.

Any activity (such as singing) is more rewarding and fulfilling when one is well-prepared, and has therefore earned the expectation of success. Besides, practicing well is often exhilarating and always good for the soul!

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