Sunday, 14 August 2016


I was reflecting on the needs of an aspirant professional singer whilst watching the Olympics. The analogy seems ridiculous but much of  the sheer slog and persistence has marked similarities with the work load of a singer. There is so much daily grind, so much physical balancing and then a great deal of luck and what happens on the day !

I see these amazing athletes, bound entirely by how their body feels and works when they are required to perform, and we singers are bound equally by the way our body and vocal equipment decides to function at the crucial moment of the 7.30pm start or the midday exam recital ! A little sniffle of cold, or a few tears make it exponentially more difficult to deliver and fulfil our potential. 

Over the years however, I have learned that the mental approach to how we feel has almost more impact upon our ability to perform. The magnificent Jess Ennis-Hill is a shining star of positivity combined with a clear self knowledge. She is so very onward looking and radiates humility and gratitude. She blames nobody for fails and is humble when her successes are stellar. Others try to blame the 'day' the weather, their age et al, and probably blame their coach in private. 

What we put in is what matters, how we know ourselves is the key, and when we work as hard and as honestly as we can there is no blame. Only a precious few stars in any 'performing' art or sport reach the top. The junction where coach/teacher and student meet should be exactly halfway on the road to success. Talent itself is almost relegated to superfluous - it is the team that matters !

Those who can't be happy in the team will find the struggle to improve impossible, and a long and bumpy road ahead of them. Fortunately my own experience over 40 happy years is largely of fantastic team players, willing and hungry for any wisdom I have had to offer, and always meeting me in the middle. In my game, the sum of these two halves meeting, adds up to much more than 100% !

Individually we are one drop. Together we are an ocean. 
(Ryunosuke Satoro)



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