“I want to be a singer!”

Music is powerful. According to the article “Music and the Millennium Development Goals” by J. B. Cundy, music has positive influences on various aspects of our lives, including: 1. Human well-being 2. Economic empowerment 3. Peace 4. Human right 5. Health 6. Education 7. Sustainable development


Article Contributed by Gary To

In Hong Kong, parents, teachers or friends may not show total support if they heard these statements.

One’s interests and passions are relevant, but their talent and whether their voice are gifted are also considered. Vocal teachers sometimes may show concern for beginners when they do not have a “suitable instrument”.

This culture may prevent some people from receiving training when they believe they are not as gifted or talented as other.

Music graduates in Hong Kong undoubtedly have received good music training in various
aspects, but training in music pedagogies may be relatively insufficient due to the
curriculum. Music teachers usually start to offer music lessons after their graduation from
music degree or they have passed international music examinations on certain levels.
Vocal teachers usually adopt the ways of teaching their teachers did or just follow the
curriculum set by singing examination. Traditionally, singing is taught by words of mouth
instead of a method.

“Mental, physical, and emotional reactions are the fundamentals of this old school.”

(Brown 1931, 127)

Some vocal teachers choose to use classical method books or exercise books, but these books are not sufficient to construct a comprehensive approach to vocal technique and vocal function.

Therefore, in order to have a certain and sustainable career, a mindset to learn and rethink is necessary for our fellow professionals, and more likely leading to prosperous career prospect.

“One of the practical ways is to be sincerely want to keep up with the times and avoid the division of musical cultures into “high” and “low” – separating the classical from the popular. This will surely help to recruit new students and audience as well as leading to professional growth and development for musicians,” said Gary To, Professional Vocal Teacher/ Choral Conductor.


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