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Being Gifted Singer Doesn't Mean You Have a Healthy Voice

Join Kathy Alexander as she explores the idea of a gifted singer.

Kathy Alexander

Music Teacher | Vocal Coach | Co-founder of Singdaptive

This week’s Tips from the Team are all about gifted singers! Today, we hear from singer, author, vocal coach, choir director, and Singdaptive co-founder, Kathy Alexander on what makes a gifted singer and how gifted singers can often suffer from vocal damage.

What Makes a Gifted Singer

Tips from The Team Transcript: What is the difference between a good, excellent and gifted singer? Well I would say actually, you could be a very gifted singer, but just be at the beginning of your development. I would almost rather say, what is the difference between a good, excellent, and masterful singer? And I think we have all felt the difference before. I think a masterful singer in a performance setting, whether the performance be listening to a recording, or being in a live performance, when a listener experiences a performance of a masterful singer, it affects you. It hits you. It does something to you, whether it makes you joyful, or sad, or it challenges your ideas, or anything. It’s all about the impact of that performance on the listener. And I really think a masterful singer has the ability to really impact people and move them.

What is the Difference Between a Good, Excellent and Gifted Singer?

Gifted Singers with Vocal Damage

Tips from The Team Transcript: Okay. Well, I have to say there are times where we tend to strain or do things that are quite harsh on our voices. We all can do that at times, where we sing with way too much tension or we’re forcing air out and our poor little vocal folds are just holding on for dear life. And this can really cause wear and tear on the voice. And if it goes on for a long time, yes, it can cause vocal damage. But I don’t want to focus on that because I actually think the issue is more of a mental, psychological, and emotional issue. And that is several things. One is that singers sometimes can’t say no. And especially a singer who has a lot of commitments on the schedule, we don’t like to back out of things. We’re scared to back out of things because we’re scared of how we will come across to others.

We don’t want people to think we’re kind of fickle or “prima donnas” like, “oh, I can’t sing today.” And so we will just barrel ahead, no matter what is going on with our voices, just to uphold our commitments. And of course we feel obligated and we want to serve our audience. We want to serve our fans. We want to just give them our very best. And so we will push ourselves when really we should be saying no. If our voice is really in trouble from a serious illness or whatever the reason may be, and we carry on and sing through that, and we do that over and over again, then yeah, that’s probably going to result in some kind of vocal trauma.

Why Do So Many Gifted Singers End Up with Vocal Damage?

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Singdaptive Team

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The Singdaptive Team feature a collection of contributions of thoughts from Singdaptive founders, instructors and currated vocal experts.