• Shannon L. Post

Your Problem Isn't Technical

So, one of the most pivotal days in my early career was a voice lesson I booked with THE most expensive voice teacher in New York City.⁣

At this point, I was making good money as a professional classical singer. I was singing with the New York Philharmonic and at major venues, so I was no slouch, but I was having trouble breaking through to the next level.⁣

I knew if I just practiced more, or buckled down, or knew some secret, THEN I'd get my breakthrough.⁣

So I decide to hire THE expert.⁣

I did a few scales, sang a couple of arias, and she gave the diagnosis.⁣

"Honey - that is one beautiful instrument. There's nothing wrong with your voice. Why are you here?"⁣

I told her I couldn't break into the next tier - and I knew it was a technical problem.⁣

She got so quiet that I held my breath.⁣

She stared into her lap for a long time. Then she looked me square in the eyes.⁣

"Shannon, this isn't a technical issue. The problem is you don't sound like yourself. You don't have a unique sound. And you can't make a long-lasting career in classical or any other genre trying to be someone else. You have to sing with your own voice. We have a Renee Fleming and a Cecilia Bartoli, we don't have a Shannon Post."⁣

I felt hot and light-headed and mad. This is what my regular teacher had been saying. In fact, I remember hearing it in college too.⁣

She said, "It's not a vocal problem. It's a self-development problem. You have to own who you are."⁣

She was right, I'd been taught to manipulate my voice at a very early age to sound like whatever anyone wanted. So much so that I had no idea what my real voice sounded like.⁣

You can't make a long-lasting career in classical or any other genre trying to be someone else.

"How do I do that," I asked.⁣

She didn't really have an answer. And neither did any other teacher or coach I spoke with. They could diagnose the problem, but no one knew how to solve it.⁣

And so started a long, long, long journey of figuring it out.⁣

I felt so lost back then swimming around in the muck with no real direction. It was a dark time.⁣

It's now been 20+ years of sorting through everything I can find from self-help to the artist's way, to management philosophy, to psychology, to the esoteric fringe. ⁣

And when you distill it all down, it's simple.⁣

Before you can "own your sound" you have to figure out who you are.⁣

Knowing who you are affects everything.⁣

It's the beacon in the night and a sense of home all in one. It feels like peace.⁣

If you feel lost right now, don't waste one more year like that. Figure yourself out asap.

Which is now.⁣

And you don't have to do it alone. I can help. ⁣

But whether you work with me or someone else, don't wait. 

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