Saturday, June 21, 2014

Finding Your Own Voice

At the memorial gathering for a highly unusual drama-vocal coach many of his former students spoke of his insistence that they sing with their own voice rather than try to sound like, for example, Frank Sinatra.  There were some extraordinary testimonies to the power of that advice. Attractive?  Some, certainly, more than others.  Genuine?  Unquestionably.

It was such a contrast to the made-in-the-factory quality of a woman who sang (incomprehensibly, I must add) two songs of her own composition at a gathering of admirable people seeking to raise consciousness of our society's lack of understanding of persons with mental illness.  How is the cause of mental health addressed by imitating the worst effects of commercialization on human expression:  for isn't our voice one of our most cherished manifestations of self-hood?

Maybe everyone needs a good vocal coach, in whatever guise such a person comes.