All singers should know the limits of other genres for informing their own –says Jeannette LoVetri
There is a point of view in the world (internationally) that says classical singing training sets you up to sing anything. That is simply not true.
Singers of contemporary genres are sometimes told they “should “ be classically trained to be a REAL singer. However, I want all contemporary singers to understand what classical singing [training] will not do for you:
- Rhythm & Style. Classical singing will not teach you how to work off the rhythm in rock and pop styles; it will not help you develop a free style, suited to the material you are singing and your own voice. You will not learn how to improvise a vocal line, or bend the notes by sliding into them.
- Tech Matters. You can’t discover how to work with a microphone, monitors, a speaker and a sound engineer, because classical singing doesn’t use any of those things. You won’t discover how to amplify yourself in different venues and on different equipment because they don’t do that, either.
- Vocal Noises & Landscape. You won’t learn how to make vocal noises for effect or how to use the interplay of sounds between you and the band to good effect. It’s not possible to learn how to create a total sound landscape in the studio, using all the effects that are now easily available, to get an overall texture in the music.
- Movement. You cannot learn how to move around a stage while singing and playing an instrument, or how to sit still and play drums or piano while singing, as the skills are not related to what classical singers typically do.
- Rhythm. Classical singing won’t teach you how to do syncopation, or specific rhythms to great effect.
- Sonic Creativity. Classical singing won’t teach you how to combine words, pitches, phrases, volume, and meaning into something that is unique to you and to each song you sing.
- Vocal Health. Classical singing won’t teach you how to keep your voice healthy, as what classical singers do is not the same as what rockers do, and a rocker has to understand what extra demands rock makes on the voice that classical singing does not. Both are challenging forms, but they are different.
- Speaking Voice. If you would like to be able to work with a speaking voice dominant sound as your primary vocal output classical training will not help because classical singing is pretty far away from normal speech sounds. You won’t learn how to get your speaking voice to be a great singing voice from classical singing.
- Marketing. You won’t learn how to market yourself and get work, because classical singers get work in a very different way than a rocker or pop singer does. You won’t find out the best way to work in a band because classical singers never work in a band, traveling together and creating together.
- History. Rock singing comes from jazz and blues, so you won’t learn about the history of your preferred musical form because classical singing comes from European royalty and aristocracy and from the Church. They have nothing to do with each other.
My Reaction to This Week's Singing Competition Entry
Signe Gry Thorup - Solitaire
Nice rendition. Heartfelt, sincere. You sang honestly, and that’s always good. The song itself is simple and repetitive and many of the verses and the chorus were almost exactly the same, which makes it hard to stay interested in what you are singing. Try to find different variations as the song goes on, both with the music itself and the words. Watch out for using the register switch as a way to be expressive. Vary that more.
Why I chose Signe Gry Thorup as a Finalist
You are my choice for moving forward in the Singing Competition due to your heartfelt and sincere approach to this song.
Jeannette LoVetri is the creator of Somatic Voicework, her method for teaching Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM), a term she herself created which has since become widely used. She has been teaching singing since 1971, arriving in New York City in 1975 and currently lectures and teaches across the world.