Scribblings of a Mad Soprano

‘One does not need buildings, money, power or status to practice one’s Art. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.’
– The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba

Throughout my educational and professional career (such as it is) I have collected little quotes and phrases, some copied from books, some scribbled down during master classes and workshops, that either inspired me in the moment, or seemed important enough to hang on to for later dissection and better understanding. As Facebook, Upworthy, cleverstuffyourfriendsarerading.co.uk etc hadn’t been invented yet, I had to keep track of all these pearls of wisdom myself.

From time to time, I have managed to type up a few of my favourites and share them with my own students, post them on Twitter, or otherwise try to spread the joy. But still I carry on collecting. Why? Don’t I already know all this stuff? Am I not out there doing the singing career? Do I still need advice, help, truisms to live by? Well, yes and no. Yes, I do know (most) of this stuff. However, a big life lesson for me is: one forgets nearly as much as one learns, and many important tenets of developing as an artist need to be re-learned, again and again. The best metaphor for this is to see the process as a spiral: you’re not going around in circles (really!) but rather you are learning the same things on an ever deeper level. ‘I knew what my teacher was saying the first time around, but now I really understand why he/she was saying it.’ No, perhaps I don’t need these ideas for my own practice anymore (or I have incorporated them into my practice already) BUT I do now have serious voice students, plotting their own path into this difficult and confusing industry, AND there is the wonderful world of the Internet: I can share these delicious nuggets with all of YOU, via Twitter, Facebook and….this blog.

‘Forget the idea that inspiration will come to you like a flash of lightning. It’s much more about hard graft.’
– Mark-Anthony Turnage