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You can quickly find yourself morphing out of the job of a singer and into one of your own critic. 

We already have to memorize an entire opera, execute correct staging, focus on dramatic intention, connect with the conductor, practice good stagecraft, and count-----all while wearing a tight corset and communicating fluently in a different language in front of hundreds to thousands of people.


How is one suppose to take on the role of a critic?

They’re not. 

In my 10+ years of professional performing experience (and talking to a lot of musicians), this is what I've compiled:

- No two paths in music are the same.

Too many rely on others’ ideas of the artistic path “life script”, rather than personally forging their own.

Cue the “crashing depression” that follows when expectations are inevitably unmet.

- Many musicians want to make music the “right” way. 

We need to learn to make music our way, and therefore learn to accept the circumstances that come as a byproduct of our ownership.

- Many people do not fit into their own idea of what opera is. 

We as a culture often have a skewed idea of what opera is: an elitist world of socioeconomics that otherwise would have never welcomed most of the singers due to their backgrounds; they are there because they possess something powerful and elusive—talent. This skewed idea is often so embedded within us that we do not present our real selves in our work.

- Imposter syndrome is real.

The people you look up to in the business have experienced imposter syndrome too. 


- A performance degree does not entitle one to an active performance career.

Though it is a worthwhile degree, it only offers the baseline of what it will take to build and sustain a career in this business, on or off stage. Understand the transferable skills you’ve learned and be innovative in applying them to things you never imagined before.

- All styles of music have value. 

Many people feel shame or reservation about liking, listening to, singing, and transitioning to other styles of music that aren't classical.


- Practice is not consistent, but it builds consistency. 

Sometimes practice is an exploration of joy. Sometimes it’s, well, scales. Many people feel stuck in their practice and artistry.

- As freelancers, we put our livelihood in the hands of someone/something else

with no stability or systemic help.

- You are not alone.


Other resources:

Favorites recommended for any singer, ranging from cold prevention, to the best neck support pillows, to suggested reads.

Note there are no scores listed. We recommend supporting smaller print businesses like

What really happens when we sing?

Have you ever seen a photo of vocal folds?

Here is the 411 on phonation.

Click for a free, downloadable PDF.

Warning: includes graphic image

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