What is The Purpose of Technique?
Unlike other instrumentalists who almost always need to learn technique before they can play their instrument, singers have the luxury of being able to skip this step sometimes. But, if the free expression of your voice is limited by lack of knowledge or skill, then good technique can bridge this gap.
Technique can help us reach higher notes, have more strength and stamina, and generally help us to do things with our voices that would otherwise not be possible!
But how you cultivate technique is important.
If you know how and when to apply it, and have the correct perspective on its purpose, then the benefits of technique are endless. I believe technique is to be acquired for the purpose of freeing. Freeing your voice, and your expression. When you focus on training your voice, be mindful not to get into the trap of using technique to help you decide what’s good or bad, right, or wrong.
Make sure you don’t develop it in a way that makes you feel less-than. If you rush technique, you may start to feel inklings of inadequacy and not know where they are coming from. If you try to use technique as your ‘compass,’ it may begin to rule you. If it only allows you to ‘sound’ better and not feel freer, then you’ve missed an important chunk of your training!!
Think of technique as the strength and know-how to do the thing you aspire to do (whether it be dancing, sports, writing, painting, or singing). I recommend making sure that your practice includes both a fitness component and an artistic one – technique will flow in and out of both of those! Technique is not your compass – it just helps you get to where you’re trying to go!
While we, as singers, are not necessarily required to learn technique before using our voice, developing it can certainly help us express ourselves more effectively, and that’s really the goal of singing, isn’t it? But remember:
Technique is for freeing you, not ruling you.
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