Monday, January 23, 2017

Your voice is your first instrument

If you were asked to name an instrument, what would come to your mind first?  Most people would think piano or violin or maybe guitar.  Something that would be found in an orchestra or a band.  It is interesting that the instrument that is most important in music training can sometimes be neglected. I'm referring to the instrument you were born with, your voice.  

Your voice is important because it is integrally connected to your brain.  Your voice does not sound without your brain engaged.  This is why the singing voice should be your first instrument.  In order for your voice to sing, your brain must first think the note.  Thinking musically is called audiation.  Learn more about audiation here.  An example of audiation is when a song gets stuck in your head.  You don't hear it out loud, you hear it in your brain. 

The better you are at the skill of audiation, the better you are at singing and matching pitches. Singing then becomes the evidence that your brain is audiating.  Singing is important to help us know that a student's brain is engaged in the musical process and shows us evidence of progress.

This is why Sound System focuses so much on the singing voice as preparation for other instrument learning and why instrument lessons seem to come easier to our kids.

What have been your experiences with learning an instrument?  Was singing involved?

Speaking of singing, for those in our baby music class, here are the lyrics to the traditional song "Michael Finnigin":

There was an old man
named Michael Finnegan
He had whiskers
on his chin-again
The wind came out
and blew them in again.
Poor old Michael Finnegan.

Begin again!

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