Power Performance for Singers: Transcending the Barriers

Power Performance for Singers: Transcending the Barriers

Power Performance for Singers: Transcending the Barriers

Power Performance for Singers: Transcending the Barriers

Synopsis

To perform well in today's highly competitive world where technical skills have been advanced to an unprecedented degree, a singer must be able to handle incredible pressure within the performing arena; his or her ability to deal with this stress will often determine whether he or she will succeed. Why, then, do singers with less technical skill sometimes out-perform stars? Why do some stars suddenly stop performing? What is that mysterious factor that makes an electric performance? Consistent, competent performances do not depend solely upon superior vocal skills, nor are they a matter of luck. On the contrary, the best performances result from a combination of mental attitude, concrete performing skills, and excellent technical skills in that order. Yet most singers have never had the opportunity to acquire the essential skills that make for a successful career. Written as a self-help manual for singers at all levels of expertise, Power Performance for Singers is designed to teach performing artists, and especially singers, how to experience elite performance at their level. The skills outlined in this book will help singers use what they have, to enjoy their voices during performance, and to perform consistently to the best of their present ability.

Excerpt

Within the first year that Alma Thomas, a performance psychologist, started working with singers in New York, her fame grew so rapidly that she was invited to adjudicate a New York State competition, which was an early stage of a prestigious national competition. There were to be five judges, four of them musicians and the fifth a nonmusician, Alma Thomas. Thomas demurred, declaring that she didn't have the necessary musical background with which to judge singers properly. Nevertheless, the competition chairperson insisted that Alma take part, advising her to define her own criteria, which she did.

Listening to the seventeen contestants, the four musician-judges busily juggled numbers (out of a perfect score of 100) for diction, tone quality, musicianship, and so on -- the usual adjudication categories. Alma had no such categories or numbers, but she made notes. Hearing about the results later, I myself was astonished. Alma had ranked the first five contestants in exactly the same order as the composite score of the other four judges; had scrambled the order of the next three to 7, 6, 8 instead of the 6, 7, 8; and had ranked the remaining nine contestants just as the other judges had!

Although I knew what the official adjudication categories were, I couldn't wait to find out what Alma's criteria had been. "Apart from the mental skills demonstrated," she answered, "I had only one criterion: Whoever has best shown me what he or she thinks the song is all about is number one, and so on. . . ."

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