Technique takes work so it can SEEM natural

Technique is the unnatural approach to a problem that, with practice, becomes second-nature. Technique is the non-obvious solution that amateurs and hard-working beginners rarely stumble upon on their own. — Seth Godin

I have had students who came in with so much natural ability and innate talent that I thought for sure that this would be the student who would go into performing and had an excellent change to make it.

And then they didn’t.

Sometimes they didn’t because they found a new passion and didn’t really want to pursue a professional performing career. And that’s fine.

Sometimes they didn’t because circumstances came up, or they didn’t have the support they needed, and they had to change course. And that’s fine, too.

And occasionally, they didn’t because they were used to being the best one in the room, the big fish in the little pond, and they didn’t think they needed to work at it. And when the bond grew bigger and other fish started being noticed, suddenly they weren’t as interested as pursuing it because to stay ahead or even to stay relevant, they had to put in more work than they expected. So their goals changed, and sometimes that was fine and they were okay with it. And sometimes, it wasn’t and they weren’t.

According to Seth Godin, Natural technique doesn’t exist. I agree with this 100%..

  • Natural ability exists.
    • I have a good sense of pitch
  • Innate talent exists.
    • I learn music quickly
    • I have a pleasing vocal quality.

But it takes “commitment to a practice” to develop the technique to become consistent and to hold your own as the pond gets bigger. Being “a natural” will only get you so far before you either have to buckle down and commit to working on your technique – or decide that it’s not for you, after all. And decide if that’s fine and you’re okay with it.

Notice Godin didn’t say “commitment to practice.” He said “to practice.” That is different. “A practice” is a routine that you establish. It is a noun. “To practice” is a verb – it’s something you do. In the UK, they’re spelled differently – “practise” [v] vs “practice” [n]. I suspect there will be another blogpost about this down the road….

What does your practice consist of? What are the steps you need to take on a regular basis to develop your technique to achieve what you want to achieve?


If part of your practice is going to involve voice lessons, I do have a few openings available.
Contact me to talk about it or set up a Vocal Discovery Session, if you want to plunge right in.

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.

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