Being a singer can come with great pride and admiration for your craft. Other singers will recognize this and you will recognize this in them, but on the other hand, you have people who are absolutely clueless to the world of a singer. Here are a few things that all of us singers and voice majors are tired of hearing.
1. If I sang for you right now, would you be able to tell me what my voice part is?
No, I cannot tell what your voice part is on command. I'm not technically trained to do so nor am able to tell what you are trying to sing.
2. "But voice isn't an instrument..."
This is a statement that really grinds my gears. When you are a music major, people will ask what your primary instrument is. When you respond with "voice" this is a typical response. Voice is an instrument. It just so happens that I carry mine around everywhere and my case is my body. Thanks.
3. Why do you have to practice all the time?
Just like any other instrument, you need to practice to maintain how well you can play it or in our case, how well you sing. If we don't practice, we can develop bad singing habits which leads to losing our voice or something even worse.
4. Are nodes from "Pitch Perfect" actually real?
This is the "or even worse" I was talking about in my last point. Vocal nodules are real and they are gross and terrifying. I had a friend who got nodes in her senior year and she had to go to voice therapy for months. Months. Nodes are no joke. You don't magically become a bass from them either. You get gross buildup that is like a tumor on your vocal folds that can damage them forever. Bye-bye voice.
5. Because you're classically trained, does that mean you only sing classical music?
Nope, we can sing whatever we please. We can sing anything from Adele to Hayden to Etta James. Don't mess with us and our talent.
6. You breathe directly from your diaphragm, right?
This is a phrase we hear from every vocal coach or anyone who even remotely knows what singing is. "Breathe from your diaphragm." This will help you imagine a deep breath, but no we don't breath from the diaphragm. We breathe from our lungs and our diaphragm will move naturally when we take a good, deep breath.
7. But isn't singing easy? Anyone can sing!
Singing is an exercise. You need correct posture, proper technique, proper breath support and an understanding of what you are singing. Sometimes you're singing in another language than your native tongue. Yes, technically everyone can sing, but can everyone sing well and in a healthy way? Not really.
8. Why don't you ever "sing" sing with the radio?
We can't all be belting it out 24/7. Sometimes our voices are too loud for confined spaces such as cars. Sometimes we don't want to perform. We can still sing without giving you a full performance.
9. I sang in a middle school choir once! We should duet sometime!
Why do you assume we want to sing with people all the time? We don't. Sometimes we do, but we will tell you when.
10. You're an alto because you haven't tried to be a soprano, right?
I actually witnessed this conversation before,
Non-singer: *Says above statement*
Alto: "No, my voice physically cannot go that high. I like singing low, is that not enough?"
I have mad respect for altos. As a soprano, I wish I could go as low as you all can. Get those mama tones, girls.
11. What note was that you just sang?
Sometimes when you sing, you don't know the exact note that you have sung. I do not have sheet music in front of me all the time.
12. Do you have perfect pitch?
I do not have perfect or relative pitch. I can't just pluck a pitch out of the air and say, "Ah yes, that was a B flat that was just sung. Ah yes, the one below the middle C."