A first blog post is tough. Lots of pressure to make an impression, send a message, "say something". So let me start with a somewhat incendiary question. One that might seem strange coming from someone who's been hired to teach vocal music:
I mean, the concept of singing is kind of strange, isn't it? If you tried to explain singing to an alien who's never heard of singing, how would you do it? "Speaking on pitch"? "Communicating melodically"? "Combining sounds that sound cool with other sounds that sound cool so hopefully you have a bunch of sounds that sound cool sounding cool together"?
There's also the fact that our instrument isn't something we carry in a case, or insert a reed into, or tune with a peg. Our instrument is literally a part of us, like...anatomically. So we can't just "tune" our voices. We have to very abstractly try and focus our attention to the pitch we hear and then, just...sing it. This also makes the process of singing incredibly personal. We're not just producing sound through a vessel, but rather we're producing sound from within us. So every time we sing to someone, we're sharing a part of ourselves with them.
And, finally - especially if you're in chorus - we sometimes sing together. Again, imagine an alien, completely unfamiliar with choral music, or singing, visiting Earth and trying to understand what it is that we're doing. We sometimes get together in groups, learn a song, then sing it together. All the while trying to get better as a group so the song can sound as clear and harmonious and beautiful as possible so we communicate the message and feeling of the song as clearly and effectively as possible.
I'd like to imagine, if the alien were able to observe and communicate, that it might say,
"Why doesn't everyone sing? You all use your voices to produce beautiful sounds that transcend language and communicate to masses of people. And you do it together, with other people of different backgrounds, races, religions, and skill levels!"
The simple fact is that everyone should sing. If not in chorus, then to a friend, or a sibling, or family. Whether you sing carols for the holidays, or a folk song at an open mic, or a pop song on a road trip, everyone should sing, as regularly as possible.
Rather than conclude, I'll turn it over to a wonderful man and musician, Deke Sharon, who essentially helped invent contemporary a cappella music and who has been a vital advocate for vocal music. Thanks for reading and just keep singing!