Sports and Singing

What do they have in common?
"What do they have in common? When you watch an athlete do what he does best, do you think of what it takes for him to get to that level? What about singing? Why compare it with sports?"
Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit-The Voice Station-Core Melody Voice Studio Sports and Singing

"is it true that anyone can sing?"

Sports and singing: what do they have in common? When you watch an athlete do what he does best -hopefully, the sport in which he has become famous- do you think of what it takes for him to get to that level? Once he is at the top of his game, how does he maintain his quality?

Name an athlete and his sport -or, take a sport with which you have had experience (soccer, wrestling, or perhaps, football? How about swimming?), and ask: "When a person makes his decision to participate in an athletic activity, what is the first thing he acquires? Would he march into a football stadium all geared up and throw himself into the linebacker position cold turkey? Should swimming be the chosen sport, would he jump into the pool before learning how to swim?" When my eldest son was five, he took the liberty of calling up his piano teacher and informed her that, because he had chosen to become a (golfer like) "Tiger Woods," as much as he'd like to continue piano lessons he couldn't spare the time. When I found out he had quit piano for golf, I asked him to consider doing both, but this five-year-old looked up at me and responded, "Mommy, I'm in KG now. I don't have time to do BOTH piano and golf, because it takes a lot of time for lessons and practice, so I had to drop one." For the next two years, everyone would see my son accompanied -and sponsored- by his grandparents at the driving range. He took lessons from a pro a few times a week, and on the days he wasn't given lessons, he'd be practicing with help from my parents. We went through a lot of blisters and band-aids with him. What about Tiger (Woods)? I had heard that he had gone out onto a putting green when he was three. He didn't just "play" (with) golf, did he? Somewhere along the line I'm sure he took up golf lessons. I also heard stories of how similar famous athletes practiced so many hours in a day, and so many days in a week; and, when they didn't practice, they still did some sort of eye-mind-brain coordination activities to help with their sports professions. -Basically, these athletes work very hard to become good, and even after they become really good at their sports they continue to apply themselves in order to maintain their excellence.

Our bodies come already equipped with tissue and muscle, and it's common knowledge that in order to have a healthy, lean, and strong body, we should build and strengthen the muscles further. Everyone agrees, and all run out to join yoga, pilates, all kinds of fitness programs, and some even hire a fitness instructor to "train" them. -No one makes any loud complaints about that, because in order to get-in-shape they must comply by investing and applying their time, money, and themselves. Yet, when it comes to singing, because we are born already with a "sound-making" instrument, most people take it for granted, because "everyone can sing." Just because we have a noise-maker, though, doesn't mean we automatically know how to sing -never mind properly. As a singing professional, I've come across many individuals who are very quick to put their noses up at me. Why? Because they, too, can "sing;" therefore, they don't put any special value on something that is already a given. To most people, if you have a nice voice then you were born with a talent, and that's that. -Nothing has to be added to raw talent. No voice lessons and no voice study are needed. This is why some parents feel dismayed should they find out that their son or daughter wants to become a (starving) music professional. I've been teaching voice, both as an adjunct professor and out of my own studio, on-and-off for seventeen years. Even when my students were committed to their studies, their parents -most often- were not. The singing art is very important to me, and I found myself heart-broken over and over when my young singers, with so much potential, came to me in tears to inform me that they had to give up voice lessons because their parents felt that they are good enough to sing on their own. Some of them, of course, gave up lessons because they have a conflict with their football or soccer practice; or, worse than that, because they need their weekend time for resting from their strenuous sports.

Singing is not taken seriously because of the misconception that "anybody can sing."

Singing is truly a sport, though, and one that is more athletic than any you or I know. It requires muscled, solid strength and total body involvement, your trained and focused mind, and the wisdom of your soul: determination, persistence and resolve. It takes years to learn before it becomes second nature. Singing is philosophical: the more you learn the more you know, the more you know the more you become. Singing makes one smarter and a better human being, for one has to be mindful: observe and recognize, bravely admit and accept, learn (from mistakes) and constantly search for a better way. Not to mention, if you take the time and end up going in the direction of operatic singing, on top of really knowing how to sing well (hopefully) you will gain a lot of extra knowledge along the path. For instance, you will know a lot of history to math and science in various aspects and, chances are, you will understand and speak -to varying degrees- languages other than your mother tongue. -An earnest question was posed to me a few days ago, "How do opera singers sing in languages they don't understand? Do they just pretend and act along with the music?" My response was, "We do not perform in any language we don't understand, but instead, we DO understand every language in which we perform."

Anybody can sing, but I would love to help all who "can" sing know "how-to" sing WELL.

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The Voice Station-Core Melody Voice Studio

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