And so… another year is gone and a new one begun. My wish for singers, vocalists, song stylists, etc. is for, first of all, good vocal health; that we find and do whatever works to keep la voce healthy and singing well.
If you are a voice instructor, I wish you engaged vocal students who are open to the wisdom and experience that you want to share with them. Remember, reaching only one student is still an accomplishment.
If you are a voice student, I wish you supportive teachers and coaches who inspire and encourage you to stay on your vocal journey even if your chosen path strays a bit from the curriculum.
If you are a professional singer, I wish you connections to the people who appreciate your vocal gifts and are positioned to open the right doors for your career. I wish you supportive accompanists and/or bands; instrumentalists who work with you, not in competition, but who challenge your ears enough to keep things fresh. I wish you a team of supportive people (even if it’s only one or two) who are knowledgeable about the promotional/business side of things and can advise you so that you don’t feel like you’re out here on your own. I also wish you opportunities to meet your vocal heroes while they’re still with us.
For all of us, I wish focus and endurance. There’s a lot going on around us (positive and not-so-positive) that can be distracting and/or discouraging. We all should be aware of what’s happening but find creative ways to process it. Sing on!
I will not remember what you wore on your gig. I won’t remember how your makeup looked, or if you had any on at all. I won’t remember if you had on high heeled shoes and took them off during your show. I won’t remember how your hair (or wig/weave, as it were) was styled. I won’t remember how big your earrings were. I won’t remember any of those things unless they in some way seemed to prohibit your ability to sing well.
I won’t remember if there was a light show. I won’t remember if there was video displayed behind you. I won’t remember the set design of the stage. I won’t remember if you had dancers. I won’t remember if you danced unless you are the song-and-dance act à la Sammy Davis, Jr. I won’t remember what swung in the air or blew up during your show, unless you know… something really does blow up, or shots are fired in the venue because that is, unfortunately, the world we currently live in.
What I will remember is how well you sang. I will remember if you were in good voice. I will remember if you sounded comfortable; unhindered by wardrobe/accessories/staging from breathing well and singing well. I will remember if you sang a piece tonight as well, or better than, the last time I heard you sing live. I will remember how tight your band was. I will remember how well you and the band (or your accompanist) interacted or if you interacted at all. I will remember if the band/accompanist (also sound engineer) was supportive of, or in competition with, your vocal levels, colors and nuances. In short, I will remember the songs, and how well they were performed.