There is a difference between “classical training” and singing in a classical style. Over the years, new students have been slightly concerned that they might inadvertently become opera singers by studying “classically”. They soon find out, consistency in simple sound production presents many challenges, and no one accidentally becomes an opera singer. Studying classically is an approach that raises awareness to optimal resonantion, full breath support, placement, control, stylistic variances, and musicality.
Vocal resonance can best be described as the process of where product of phonation is enhanced by the space it passes before it exits the body. Resonance allows the human voice to fill an opera house without electronic amplification. While exploring an individual’s resonance, we discuss placement. Placement is a matter of choosing and controlling where we vibrate sound inside our bodies.
What is “full breath support”, you ask? Well, a bite-size (blog-size) answer is: a very low breath taken with proper balance and posture. Your body will know what to do with this breath, but I find an awareness of an open rib cage and lifted sternum allows for lower-partial resonance and consistent air pressure.
All of this takes time to explore and apply in and out of lesson. Once singers seem comfortable demonstrating optimal resonance and support within vocalizes, we choose appropriate repertoire that suits the student’s most immediate goals (and this isn’t always classical literature). We learn the rules, often, so we can break them. 😉