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The Ear

With regard to vocal technique, It is interesting to note that many singers are concerned only with the voice. However, it is the ear, that is the real star, as the voice can produce only what the ear hears inwardly.


To use the voice properly, without straining, the flow of the breath must equal the intensity of listening. What does intensity of listening mean? 


It means that a singer must not be distracted by an internal dialogue (usually the left ear) which interferes with the dominant ear (the right ear).  Concentration must be absolute when the vowels and pitches are sounding, which means the right ear 'pre-hears' all the time. I have often taught pupils who might be singing something, and they are either constantly questioning whether they have produced the sound correctly, or are constantly judging themselves, while others are thinking what they are going to cook for dinner! That is a left ear activity. It means that the right ear is not engaged.

Some of the most interesting and valuable work done on the ear has been the work of Dr Alfred Tomatis, a French ENT physician, psychologist and educator and son of an opera singer during the time of Caruso, who developed The Tomatis Method. He discovered that the right ear should be dominant, due to the proximity of the auditory cortex of the brain, located just above the right ear. The right ear gives an immediate communication and attention, whereas there is a delay if the left ear is dominant. This is vital information for anyone in the fields of music, television, film, theatre, indeed all communication, but especially for a professional singer.

The intensity of listening, must be accompanied by a complete and unhindered flow of breath.  It is the breath which brings to the physical plane, the sound that is heard inwardly in the ear.

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