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Looking at the science behind singing

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Albany/HV: Looking at the science behind singing
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People have always been fascinated with the art of singing, and idolized those who can do it well. But what actually makes a good singer? YNN's Barry Wygel embarked on a journey to find out.

POTSDAM, N.Y. -- Is it something you are born with? Or something you can be taught? The answer: a little bit of both.

"There are some things you are born with that make you a great singer. Then there are some things that anyone can learn how to be a better singer," said Deborah Massell, associate professor of voice at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music.

Anatomy plays into the development of a singer, but personality traits are just as important.

"A certain extrovert nature that makes you have charisma on stage, and also an introvert nature," said Massell.

If you have dreams of your child becoming a world-renowned singer, there are some very important things you can do to start their development early.

"Small children are going to begin with different kinds of voices, things that let them have an incredible amount of fun," said Massell.

But even if you are a little older and haven't given up on those dreams, there's hope for everyone.

"Anyone at any stage can get better than where they are in the moment," said Massell.

Even the most dreadful singers can see improvement. You may not be releasing any chart-topping hits anytime soon, but you shouldn't be afraid to try.

"What you need to have is a sense of humility, because you are going to get critiqued, you're going to be changed if you are looking to be changed," said Massell.

Passion and drive can set any singer apart, even when you've had no formal training.

So if you work hard and believe in yourself, you may just have a Susan Boyle moment yourself.

Featured in this story was two SUNY Potsdam students. Helena Waterous, a freshman and William Zino, a junior. Both take voice classes at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music

For more from our interview with Professor Massell watch the video below.

Albany/HV: Looking at the science behind singing
Play now

Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.

  To view our videos, you need to
enable JavaScript. Learn how.
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.

Then come back here and refresh the page.

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