Learning how to sing, or even to sing better, is something that I venture to say, has crossed the mind of everyone at one time or another. Think about that. Every single person on the planet at one time or another has thought about learning how to sing or how to sing better. If there is a culture out there somewhere in a remote jungle or mountaintop without some form of music and singing, I’ve never heard of it. And believe me I’ve looked.
I’ve tried my best to find any study that mentions a culture without music, anywhere or anytime for that matter.
So, with that axiom established, it is true that music is the one true universally common human element next to life itself.
Sure as humans we all share basic traits. We all build structures, we all eat food, we all have the same basic physiology etc. But above the body and its survival, there is life and the mind. And in that same realm of existence is creativity.
But of all the creative impulses of all the people in the known universe, music is the one we all share. (I know I’m going to get some arguments on that one.) And of all the instruments of the world, the voice is the most readily available to all humans. It requires the least amount of effort with the shortest delay. We can use our voices faster that we can find something to beat on and move our arms and hands to do so.
Therefore, it is safe to say that singing is the most base form of musical creativity.
But before that there is concept. In fact, before anything physical or material, there is concept. This is what is happening when someone is asked to “get the idea”. They are getting a concept. As a matter of fact, we get a concept of everything we are GOING to do consciously before we do it.
One of the most common descriptive phrases for this ability is “The mind’s eye” which refers to the human ability to visualize or see things with the mind.
Now, beyond the various religious and spiritual references to the concept of a ‘mind’s eye’ a.k.a. ‘third eye’, ‘inner eye’, or ‘the mind of Christ’, the concept of a the ‘mind’s eye’ is scientifically proven to exist, although not understood.
Physiological activity has been measured and detected using fMRI or functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Even one of the top opinion leaders of the science that is the polar opposite, philosophically, to religion and spirituality – psychiatry, acknowledges the ‘mind’s eye’s’ existence. Dr John Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School said this:
“As humans, we have the ability to see with the mind’s eye – to have a perceptual experience in the absence of visual input. For example, PET scans have shown that when subjects, seated in a room, imagine they are at their front door starting to walk either to the left or right, activation begins in the visual association cortex, the parietal cortex, and the prefrontal cortex – all higher cognitive processing centers of the brain.” From his book The Users Guide to the Brain.
So, the consensus is the ‘mind’s eye’ is for real. We as humans do see things with the mind before we do them. It has been experienced and even scientifically measured, if not fully understood by science. The brain is connecting with something and that something is getting a concept before acting. Whether it is the mind, an undefined part of the brain, or what is commonly known as the spirit, is an entirely different subject.
The point of fact is, we get a concept before we consciously do anything. That includes singing.
So, before we sing a note, we get a concept of what we are going to sing. And the better of a concept that we have of what we are going to sing, the better we are at singing it. Let’s prove this out using Dr. Ratey’s PET scan test example of test subjects imagining walking either left or right when standing at their front door. They can imagine whether to walk left or right because they have seen their front door and what is beyond it. They know there is a left or right to imagine, or get the concept of, because they have experienced it. They have seen it physically.
Have you ever been in a maze? Or have you ever imagined what lies behind a door you have never been through? Think back to when you first walked up to your first school as a child before you actually went inside. Can you remember what you imagined, if anything, was behind those huge ominous doors? The answers to that question are as numerous as there are people. But I can guarantee that most concepts of what was actually behind those doors were wrong. In fact, if asked what they thought were behind those big doors, a good portion of the answers would have been “I don’t know.”
But I guarantee you the next day each child could get a much better concept of “going to school” before they walked through the doors a second time.
The point is the ability to do anything consciously depends on an ability to get a concept of doing it. The more experience you have with woodworking tools and crafting things out of wood, the better of a concept you can get of a that chair you are going to make. Therefore, the better the concept you can get of a chair, the higher quality of chair you can craft.
As you can see there is a much more basic step to putting hand to tool and tool to wood, just as there is a much more basic step to putting voice to song.
That is the basis of the Conceptual Singing Method™. The better of a concept you have of your singing tool and what it does, the better of a concept you will get of what you are going to sing, and thus the better you WILL sing it.
And as I’ve said before, Singing From Scratch isn’t just for the beginner. The theory and drills within can be utilized to enhance all skill levels. If you are just beginning, everything is there for you to develop from scratch an amazing ability to sing. If you are already a singer, imagine if you could develop your abilities further and get an even better concept?