Paul E. Kwak, MD, laryngologist and laryngeal surgeon at the NYU Voice Center, has written a fascinating view of current vocal myths for the excellent Schmopera site.
We who care for singers are certainly not unused to the chatter, the gossip, the verbal bile that can flow so freely and unbidden in these circles. But at a moment of a singer’s self-professed greatest vulnerability, this kind of backlash is insulting and disgraceful, and blemishes the stone-throwers far more tellingly than it tarnishes Adele’s contributions. This kind of commentary seeks to divide rather than unite those who should work collaboratively to care for and support singers. I constantly reiterate in seminars and conversations with young singers-in- training the importance of multidisciplinary care – as I like to say, the importance of having a voice “squad.” I respect the wisdom of so many voice teachers and coaches, who have built methodologies based on years of experience and training. One of the forefathers of academic laryngology, Manuel Garcia, was himself first a great singing teacher, and indeed, also a forefather of vocal pedagogy. It is right that medical and artistic practitioners should be partners in the education and cultivation of a singing voice. However, what I am addressing here is rather the danger of opinion offered without knowledge of the specific case, or indeed in the absence and disregard of vocal science. This amounts to an insidious vocal fear-mongering that seems to arise out of antiquated anecdotalism, centering on the following myths…
Read on here.