Singing: The Human Connection
Though music may not be a universal language, it is a facet that can help us understand each other across cultures, languages, and borders. This project explores the experiences in singing and teaching voice lessons of individuals in different parts of the world. It was designed as a case study not to analyze individual’s experiences as a representation of the whole, but rather as a point of comparison between individual experiences in different parts of the world. Through interviews with people who have sung or taught singing in Italy, Chile, Canada, and the United States, cultural values and practices of singing are compared. This study was conducted over the course of several months using virtual meeting technology. Each interview was recorded with the express permission of the subjects and the recordings were analyzed after all the interviews were collected. The interview answers reveal several connections and contrasts between the individual subjects. Some interviewees found different aspects of singing and learning to sing more important than others, such as lesson pacing (technique versus repertoire) and preparation (performing versus rehearsing). There were also many similarities that resonated in each singer’s experience around the world. For instance, all subjects discussed the mind-body connection that is experienced in singing. Even though certain values varied between subjects, this study highlights the connection that different individuals have with their voice as part of their identity as a human in the world.
Keywords: singing, global perspectives, human cultures
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