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On the Art of Singing$
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Richard Miller

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195098259.001.0001

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Self-perception and Performance Reality

Self-perception and Performance Reality

30 Self-perception and Performance Reality
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains the correlation between a singer's self-perception of his/her performance and the reality of that performance. Some singers refuse to watch themselves in the mirror, saying that it distracts them. Others refuse the aid of the video camera, and cringe when seeing a playback. It is clear that the same singer will “look awful” on stage to viewers as well. The public sees not what the singer imagines he or she looks like while singing, but his or her actual appearance. The singer should know what that is. Performance experience itself will not bring about radical improvement, but will simply make more deeply ingrained those habits. Physical behavior on stage must be as controllable as vocal behavior; in fact, the two are inseparable. Just as the sounds of singing must be disciplined to produce repeatable vocalism, so must attitudes of the physical instrument. It is for this reason that every singer, professional or student, should have access to video equipment, particularly the video camera, in preparation for public performance.

Keywords:   singer, self-perception, performance, physical behavior, vocal behavior, singing, vocalism, video equipment, video camera

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