With this post, we reach 200 articles. I began this post three years ago on my birthday with the simple desire to share what I have learned about the science of singing, because I thought that so much valuable, pedagogical useful information had been denied many singers and teachers who really desired to understand. Much of vocal science can appear daunting at first glance, but indeed we are not dealing with brain surgery and the average person can over time master this information. Yet singing and the teaching thereof is no simple matter. Knowledge is only one prerequisite for teaching. The art of teaching requires courage, faith and patience as well because the information we have, even if we were to master everything available, is incomplete. We must make up the rest, we must intuit it, we must guess it, we must hope and pray for it. Beyond having courage, faith and patience, a teacher must have the ability to inspire them. And to be truly credible, a teacher must challenge himself/herself every day. Teachers are on a journey with their students and there must be trust, which develops often to a level of intimacy and even love. Love in the sense of caring enough for the student to challenge them beyond what they imagine to be possible, and love in the sense of creating a mutual caring that eliminates possessiveness, for every good teacher’s wish is to make his/her students independent.
I have tried to maintain a balance here, whereby I do not write anything if I do not have something worthwhile to write about and I try to write often enough to keep the blog family engaged. Indeed the readership has multiplied to several thousand over the last year and many followers of the blog have become friends. I had always hoped that the blog would remain respectful, a place where ideas can be exchanged even if I lead the discussion. The blog has gone beyond everything I had hoped and has transformed into an entity of its own. I have received many private emails in the last year from singers who were about to give up and read something here that has inspired them to continue on their journey. I received one such letter a few days ago from a young woman who I know will become a special singer. People write with such heart and conviction, such as this young woman did, that I feel humbled. Whatever the ills of technology, to be able to share so deeply with people I hardly know is proof that we can engage each other in positively transforming ways without even any face to face contact. This is something to celebrate not feared.
The blog has become a bond between me and my students as well. As I travel a lot, it is a way of sharing principles with them and simply remaining connected. For that reason I try to share my own journey here as openly as I believe is constructive. I have not posted any clips in the last couple of months because my own development has been snowballing that if I post something today I would be dissatisfied with it tomorrow. Much has happened with my own singing since the last clips and I am looking forward to share. I know that the next year is going to bring the final results of my journey to tenor. Like the blog, my voice has taken me to places I did not think were possible with a voice like mine. I am excited to share this as well. As often is the case, the end of the year meets me with a cold. Anticipating the possibilities of another bout with bronchitis, I went to the doctor and had a three-day antibiotic as a preemptive measure. It worked. A few days from now I anticipate sharing some exciting clips with you.
The next year will also see the creation of a book based of the principles and knowledge presented here. The process is already on the way. Many of you have written me about this and I believe I have amassed enough knowledge and experience through our exchanges to make such a book worthwhile.
I wish to take this opportunity to wish all of you around the world a very joyful holiday season and the very best in singing and in your lives during the coming year. Kashu-do (歌手道) will be one of the singing places to be in 2011. Your interaction has made this blog valuable to the wider community and I hope you are as proud of our work together as I am. I wish you a new year filled with faith, courage and patience. Hard work is a given.