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The Hardest Practice

Jun 10, 2022

There’s one thing that’s harder to practice than anything else. Master it, and everything that you’re working for becomes more possible. Fail to understand it, and your struggle can be magnified to the point that you give up.

We might think that it’s something fundamental, such as breath control, or, equally necessary in both popular and classical genres - upper register singing.

We’d be wrong on both accounts though, as necessary as those skills are.

What I’m talking about is patience.

Master patience, and the daily practice of scales, music theory, and repertoire becomes a step on the path as opposed to a destination that we can’t quite reach. Patience facilitates the upper register practice that begins as difficult or impossible, becomes tenuous, and then eventually becomes second nature.

Patiently practicing our posture and breath management takes that which is difficult to explain, confusing to read about, and hard to observe and turns it into a regenerative process that supports our singing voice, and grounds us mentally so that our best performances become possible.

Patience is tricky sometimes, because it longs for us to look outwards. To blame the engineer that, ‘works too slowly.’ Get angry at the other group members who ‘don’t understand’ how the music is meant to go. Patience is eager to encourage us to deflect responsibility, but there’s only one person to turn to.

In taking that responsibility, however, we must then exercise patience and kindness with ourselves. Our journey begins and ends with love; the love of song, art and expression. If we look at patience through caring eyes we can extend that to ourselves, and grow our patience on a day by day basis.

There is a fundamental practice here that I think makes our journey easier and more productive. It’s really simple.

We can accept responsibility and at the same time extend compassion. This is important in general, I think, but especially so when we’re talking about ourselves.

RVC Members check out your exclusive podcast where I go a little deeper still into this practice!