Ringing vs. Wringing (in Singing and Business)

I receive daily email updates from marketing guru Seth Godin, which have been inspiring me to make some changes in the way I approach my studio management. This morning’s advice resonated with me in a way that transcended business. It was:

Ringing vs wringing

Ringing is resonant. A small force causes sympathetic vibrations, and magic happens.
Wringing requires significant effort and can even destroy the object it is applied to.
When you ring a bell for your clients, you’ve delivered with care and empathy.
But when you seek to wring every dollar out of a transaction, you’ve probably engaged for the last time

Of course, we talk about resonance in singing, which is frequently called “ring” (or “ping” or “edge” or “focus,” but I like ring).

Ringing, in singing, is resonant. And when you engage things properly to cause sympathetic vibrations, magic happens.

Wringing, in singing, is manipulation and artificiality. You’re doing something contrived and unnatural and it will, ultimately, affect your technique negatively.

When you sing in a ringing tone for your audience, you are delivering your message with clarity and in a way that is pleasing and moving.

But when you seek to wring every last overtone out of a note, you are singing with too much pressure and force, and you are not engaging your audience.

So when we work on a resonant sound, work on finding balance and freedom to create clarity and magic. I’m working on new vocalise sheets, which I will distribute at the beginning of the fall semester (post-Labor Day), and we can go over any exercises with which you’re not familiar. 

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

What do you think?