Raouf Zaidan, piano & voice instructor
When, as a fifteen year old boy, I told my father that I wanted to be a singer, he said, “That’s not a profession, it’s just a good hobby, nothing else.” I thought that a good hobby was enough reason to pursue a life of singing. I have never regretted my decision.
I have heard occasionally the comment from my students: “If I have a really wonderful voice I feel it’s a waste not to make something of it.”
I believe that every voice is uniquely special and benefits from studying singing.
So what is singing, why do we do it?
Every one of us has the ability to create music with the natural singing instrument existing within themselves.
Singers have all the elements of a musical instrument and more within themselves. Here are some of the elements:
- A pair of vocal cords or folds in the larynx, or voice box, which vibrate throughout a wide range of frequencies. An elaborate and intricate mechanism adjusts the length, thickness and width of these tiny vocal folds and results in the production of tones or pitches as plentiful as any man made musical instrument.
- A powerhouse of flowing air coming from the lungs in the chest cavity which has an amazing capacity to expand and contract via a series of muscles, tendons, and a flexible rib cage which surrounds it. The flow of air sets up the vibrations in the vocal folds thus producing the vocal tones.
- An ear and mind governing a whole system of impulses that enables matching of pitch.
- A mechanism for articulation which has the ability to shape the sound coming from the vibrating cords, creating a wide range of different vowel sounds and timbres or sound colors. The ability to make a series of complex consonant sounds by use of the tongue, teeth, lips, cheeks, soft and hard palates, which results in the ability to create speech and words in all languages. Maria Callas, the great soprano, described singing as a more beautiful way of speaking.
- A mind and a poetic soul or heart which feels and can express our emotions, hopes and dreams.
Singing brings all these elements together and creates an adventure of creating music with words.
But why study singing? I believe it is a wonderful adventure and opportunity to be able to explore the above elements functioning in perfect coordination within ourselves. Singing lets us see how capable we are at coordinating, using, and freeing this many-sided musical instrument.
Singing is also a path to better health, as well as a way to try to “listen” and understand who we are and what we are about.
Is it worth the hard work and commitment? Come to the Center for Musical Arts where we believe that music is for life, and give yourself a chance to find the answer to this question.
The Center for Musical Arts offers music lessons in all instruments & voice.