The Human Nature of the Singing Voice: Exploring a Holistic Basis for Sound Teaching and Learning

The Human Nature of the Singing Voice: Exploring a Holistic Basis for Sound Teaching and Learning

The Human Nature of the Singing Voice: Exploring a Holistic Basis for Sound Teaching and Learning

The Human Nature of the Singing Voice: Exploring a Holistic Basis for Sound Teaching and Learning

Synopsis

Human beings have a deeply ingrained desire to sing, and the human voice has inspired composers to write some of their most beautiful music. But what is 'the true singing voice'? Why do some voices work while others do not? How do we discover our singing voice, and how can singing teachers most effectively train their pupils' voices when it seems such a demanding individual and personal matter? Peter Harrison starts from the holistic principle that human beings are designed to sing and believes that through our voices we are able to communicate our collective as well as our individual humanity. In The Human Nature of the Singing Voice, he offers a fresh and lively insight to the understanding of the voice with which we were born. In this major new exploration, the author interrelates all aspects of singing, including breathing, emotional expression, the articulation of words, and musical interpretation. He also outlines what can be expected of those responsible for teaching singers and of those eager to learn. Invaluable to teachers and singers, and of more than passing interest to all those who work with singers and care for their voices, The Human Nature of the Singing Voice provides thought provoking ideas on how we can learn to liberate and enjoy our voice while offering practical advice for the proper maintenance of the voice in our daily life and professional work.

Excerpt

In this book I explore the singing voice and its relation to life, art and communication. Writing from a teacher's point of view for anyone who deals directly or indirectly with singers, I attempt to answer the critical question 'what are we actually dealing with?' in answering this question our teaching and care can assume a logical process which recognises and makes the most of individual potential and quality while avoiding common pitfalls, practices and diversions which are contrary to our voice's nature.

My observations over 35 years of teaching have taught me that understanding and working with the human voice has as much to do with its natural context as with its artistic employment. This has led me to the holistic view of voice and singing which I express here in both practical and philosophical terms. My hope is that this approach, understood as a whole, will provide a stimulating basis for those who require a different perspective from the usual strictly scientific or academic one for the development of their work in this fascinating and life-enhancing field. Above everything else I appeal to the evidence of the human ear and the spirit of wonder in the soul-searching quest which is teaching and learning singing.

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