Singing with Meaning

Good vocal technique
enables greater freedom of expression

With good vocal technique comes greater freedom of expression.  Once the body and mind are supporting your voice it is possible to:

  • make words come across clearly without tiring your voice
  • channel your thoughts and emotions into your singing
  • express meaning through words and music

 Understanding the words of a song is important

Understanding the words of a song is important.  When we are fully aware of the story and the feelings behind the words we are singing, we sing in a more meaningful way, and it makes such a difference to the listener if they can easily understand what a song is about.  When we are totally committed to putting an idea across, in speech or song, our body responds to that desire and enables us to communicate powerfully.  When learning repertoire it is important to understand the meaning of the words being sung, as well as the technical skill required.

Choose repertoire that is meaningful for you

When choosing what to sing it is important to consider what you want to sing about.  A singer’s role is usually to present someone else’s ideas.  As we make the words of a song our own we begin to embody the story and sentiment they convey; the words become ours for the duration of the performance.  We can learn much about the meaning of a song to the composer, the lyricist, and to ourselves, by studying the lyrics in their own right and in relation to the music.  We may find that the meaning of the words affects which songs we choose to sing and which we choose not to sing.  A singer’s performance will generally be more credible if they are able to empathise with and relate meaningfully to the words they are singing.

When you sing with meaning and expression you:

  • make the words of a song your own
  • convey what that song means to you
  • bring the story of the song to life
  • re-create the emotional landscape of the song
  • give a unique performance
  • communicate meaningfully with your audience

A great singer can truly communicate through song

By linking reliable vocal technique with emotional drive and the purposeful use of words, a great singer can truly communicate through song – so an audience hears more than just beautiful music, they receive the story and emotions that inspired the song.

Emma Pooley

Teaching Singing in Marlborough