How to approach a voice

Two years ago I wrote this article and after talking about this subject with a student this week, I wanted to share it with you:

Yesterday I went to a seminar which introduced 2 currently very popular schools of singing in popular music. They built their reputation on their scientific approach and how important it is to know more and more what it is a voice does, when it produces different sounds in order to teach or sing them. So in the beginning there was a very short introduction of important „voice explorers“ before them. Garcia, Husler and Reid.
Reid was spoken of well in general, but his work couldn’t answer all the questions that arise in popular singing. So the idea is, that we simply have to know exactly, which button to push, because we saw in an MRT what goes on during a certain sound and then we are free to use our voice any way we want. So as a student of Cornelius Reid and as a firm believer in a process of voice building I have to say it yet again: Reid’s biggest achievement doesn’t lie in any scientific knowledge he dug up about how the voice works. It is his knowledge of how to approach a voice! So whatever I can take from this seminar as a singing teacher – and there were a couple of interesting nuggets – would be useless to me, if I didn’t have Reid’s background of what the voice needs to function well and to develop. And when it is fully developed, most of the topics discussed yesterday don’t have to be discussed anyway, because the root of the problems is gone. To put Reid in the line of ancestors to these 2 methods is just outrageous to me, since it takes away everything he stands for. I could go on and on but that is a story for another day.
I will quote this wonderful statement, even though I don’t remember right now, who said it first and if I quote it correctly, but the main message stands:
„The moment we started seeing the voice, we stopped hearing it.“
Let us be aware of this danger and honor the complexity of the human design!!

Autor: Monika Kopp

Stimm- und Gesangspädagogik nach Cornelius Reid Alexander-Technik