Addressing Vocal Ignorance

Choral Hub

It is a well-known fact that music is a universal language. It is a language that does not necessarily need words to be understood. It speaks to the heart and soul of man but just as every language has its native and foreign speakers; true knowledge of this universal language is seeming to be a luxury, even in this present ‘Age of Truth’. Particularly, a basic understanding of the vocal mechanism is truly lacking even in individuals who label themselves “Professionals”. This article brings to the fore, the teeming lack of proper knowledge on vocal training which besieges the Choral world, especially in Nigeria.

The root of the problem begins to manifest when an untrained individual decides to join a choir to gain singing experience. Usually, the Music Director or Choirmaster has the responsibility of assigning the individual a vocal part and subsequently train his/her voice. Sadly, this is not the case most of the time because some music directors have little or no idea about Vocal Classification, let alone other aspects of vocal training, which the aspiring singer must undergo to be placed on a solid foundation.

A singer is expected to know and understand their voice. This includes, but not limited to, vocal range, texture, tessitura, weight, etc. A good understanding of these part of the vocal mechanism will aid in selection of appropriate repertoire, vocal exercises and long term vocal goals.

Voice training classes should be a staple in any and every choir. This is primarily due to the fact that singing is a biological activity. Do it right, and life is great. Do it wrong, and your overall health pays the price. Bad vocal techniques have been a bane of the existence of surreal experience in the choral world. This goes out to all musicians, musicologists, choral directors, music directors and choirmaster,  and to all singers and music enthusiasts alike. The human voice is a beautiful gift. It is also the hardest instrument to master. It should never be taken for granted that one already knows how to sing or how to teach singing. Proper training of both teacher and student is key to the development and propagation of pure Vocal Knowledge.

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