The role of imagination in learning singing

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Nurturing Soul in Adult Learning
John M. Dirkx

"There is more to transformative learning than a cognitive rational process of critical reflection. The soul of the learner must be nurtured in order to reach deeper levels of change and development."

To illustrate the importance of imagination in the process of learning singing, I would normally ask my students to do this imagination exercise: Close your eyes and visualize this scenario- You are sitting on a bench on the street and out of nowhere, a young child comes up and screams right beside your ear.

Now open your eyes. Realized that your muscles twitched when you visualize the child screaming beside your ear? But is it actually happening? Now if our muscles would react to mere imagination, what about our vocal cords? Imagination is absolutely vital when learning any skills; especially one that requires unseen muscles to work- such as the usage of the vocal cords and the diaphragm.

Therefore in all vocal training, teachers and instructors will often use imagination exercises like sing towards the next room or sing towards the back of the mouth etc. Do not neglect the role of imagination in learning singing, it will determine your rate of learning; even your success.