What Is “Singing”?
Singing is a physical manifestation of our increased emotional expression, state and personality, through the production of musical sounds, a larger and sustained form of speech. The act of singing consists of three components:
Body: Skilful use of the body parts in order to sing properly, also known as vocal techniques.
Mind: Consciousness, habit, concentration/focus, musical creativity and intelligence, muscle memory.
Emotions/Soul: Motivation, desire, interest, joy and passion in the act of singing, emotional release or total confidence, as well as the portrayal or delivery of a certain character’s emotional state.
All three components work together to produce a “perfect” vocal performance (“perfect” because emotions are entirely subjective).
Talent Versus Training
Everyone can be taught to sing well simply because everyone possesses vocal cords. For example, Minkyung learned how to be an above-average singer during her days as a trainee and further improved her singing on “Immortal Song 2“.
Our vocal cords all produce the musical sounds the same way. Being able to sing well means you are capable of adjusting your vocal cords at their optimal position during vocalization; or in other words, sing with power. Voice lessons can help you achieve that, so in a physiologic sense, anyone, whether they have vocal talent or not, can learn to sing well.
Singing is 98% mental, while the rest is physical and emotional. You need to apply the correct technique every time you sing, you need to make it a habit every time you vocalize, and your brain needs to remember every sensation and muscle memory that happens when you sing. This is why singing is mostly a mental/habitual process. Training the mental part of singing highly affects your vocal consistency, which is the most essential aspect for a good vocalist.
One way to determine the presence of “talent” in singing is the speed of vocal learning, as “talented” people in a field tend to learn the skill in question faster than others. However, “talent” is basically superficial because there’s no set definition as to what it is and it’s pretty much immeasurable.
That said, regardless of whether one has talent or not, it does not change the fact that everyone needs to be vocally trained in order to sing well. A raw talent NEEDS to be trained. Talented singers such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Beyoncé all had vocal training to develop their talent and become virtuoso singers.
Differences Between A Vocalist & A Singer
Vocalist: Someone who has COMPLETE control, manipulation, and authority over their voice, similar to an instrumentalist. Hence, they are judged by vocal technique and consistency.
Singer: Someone who uses their voice to deliver a message musically and convey emotions. They are partly judged by technique, but mostly subjectively judged by sense of interpretation wit, musical and vocal delivery, musicianship, and musical and vocal creativity.