If you ever want to feel small, and lazy, watch a nature program.
Sitting down to watch a part of the BBC’s Planet Earth I immediately began to wonder, contrasted with the rest of bustling Mother Nature, what exactly it is that I do with my time… But while watching each animal explained, and how well suited to it’s own habitat, I was struck by something:
Humans are an interesting breed in that we do things that we are not meant to do. We are not meant to fly, but we do. We are not meant to survive under water, but we do. We are not meant to go in to outer space but we do. And then there are the things we aren’t designed to do easily: We aren’t swimming creatures, having no fins, flippers or gills, but we do, and at length. We aren’t the most natural of runners, being bipedal and upright, but we run marathon distances. Next, addressing the things we are indeed designed to do in some measure, we find that we take them to olympic proportions. We are verbal, and we get Shakespeare. We are vocal, and we get Joan Sutherland.
As regards Singing; despite being made of reasonably strong psychological and emotional stuff, we are still only flesh and bone, and this can make for a very imprecise instrument. So one of the first things any singer must do, and must continue doing, is to forgive themselves for not being perfect. We will never, ever sing the same thing the same way twice. It is important to strive, in any skill. We have certainly been show that amazing vocal things are possible. But it’s kind of fascinating to step back from time to time to reflect. The mere fact that we can discipline ourselves to something even approaching consistency is really something amazing.