Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Really… Bad Singing!

Last night, we happened to catch a concert which originated in Paris and the venue held, no doubts, over 60,000 people! It was truly packed.


To the credit of all those people and the two well-known bands, in spite of the unstable political situation, the concert went on and actually, to my surprise, was very well received. 


While watching the concert, I became more and more scared that singing (off key, off tone and off tune) is becoming our standard. 


I originally came from Leningrad, (St. Petersburg, Russia), and was deeply enrolled from the age of 6 in all sorts of music. Education in Russia is taken very seriously; so I spent 12 consecutive years, 7 days a week doing music and, specifically, singing. 


I, apparently, possessed ‘perfect pitch’ which, I am not sure right now that I still have. 


I have been teaching singing since I was 17. That makes it close to 42 years now and 32 years in my own school here in Toronto. 


I have taught an estimated 20.000 students over the years and I think that has also contributed to my ears not being as sharp as they once were.  But lately, it is not as many students, but so called Artists and some of them, surprisingly enough, with big names.


Watching the aforementioned concert from Paris, I could not believe my ears, as at least 85% of so-called ‘singing’, by both bands, was beyond my comprehension. I felt scared, frustrated and embarrassed for them. 


However, again to their credit, it was commendable that they actually put the concert together, not being scared that something bad might take place. I, however, was scared that something bad may take place and not just on the premise of bad singing, but on the premise of totally unacceptable singing!!!

We all know that the world has gone crazy, but until yesterday, I was still hoping that it had not gone completely deaf and, I am sorry to say, dumb (to put it politely). Even now, here in Toronto, almost every morning on our news station, there are new up and coming “singers/songwriters” being profiled and introduced to the public. 


This is the next miniature horror.


They are introduced like they are the next best thing since sliced bread!

To be generous, maybe one percent of them could squeak out a couple of notes remotely resembling singing!


How sad is that? For me, it is sad beyond words!!!


I have spent over 35 years here in Toronto teaching all kinds of singers – beginners and professionals… 


For the last few years and especially since the recession, my singing business had somewhat slowed down, and I am not even surprised. I guess there is no point in coming and paying the money to learn how to sing. 

I must note, however, that my Non-Surgical Voice Repair business is thriving exponentially. Why so, you may ask?


Because incorrect, (bad singing) could easily cause voice damage.

It is not a secret that almost every second well-known Artist had undergone, or has been scheduled to undergo, a vocal surgery.


The lack of knowledge and training is the main cause of the voice disability of one who puts enormous pressure, (due to occupational hazard) on their voice.


In the United States and in Europe, all of those shows like American Idol and even The Voice are suggesting that you could be discovered “out of the blue” and become an “instant star”. 


So why learn anything?


Go and try your luck or, easier yet, upload yourself singing on YouTube

All of that suggests that you do not need to work hard on your craft (why bother and spend time and money on it), like in the good old days. For example, the singing group “The Platters”, were able to record off the floor (without digital recording and the use of Auto-Tune or Melodyne).

However, my burning desire last night while watching those two famous bands play, was to somehow plug in to their microphones or floor pedals, some kind of Auto-Tune to save not only mine, but hopefully some other people’s ears. 


But… OH NO!!!


This was a “TRUE LIVE PERFORMANCE”!

Go figure… 


Where was that technology when you TRULY needed it?



Thank you for reading.

Please be advised that it is a subjective opinion piece.

Reader’s discretion is advised!

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