So in my last blog post, I mentioned how I was something of a Nikki Yanofsky fan – which included an embedded YouTube video of a shockingly good 12-year old Nikki Yanofsky belting out some tunes. That was kind of intended to set up this blog post, though…
At The Concert Hall : (Ep. 210) Nikki Yanofsky –
I have discovered that CTV’s online video site has a recorded concert done by Nikki Yanofsky sometime this year at the still tender age of 16 years old. I think she’s steadily improved as she’s gotten older, and she is a really good jazz vocalist right now. And perhaps just as important as her vocal skills are her stage presence and insight into the songs she is singing. That’s something that she never lacked, even when she was twelve.
Her trademark, “thank you!” (at the end of a song) always makes me smile, though, because I think she still sounds like a really young girl in her normal talking voice.
But really, why am I blogging about this? Because I love music, I love vocals, I love the skill & technique involved, and most of all I love the meaning and message that can be communicated by those very things. For example, if you’re singing a song of worship at Church and your singing technique is sloppy and undisciplined, and maybe even out of tune, what exactly are you communicating with those words that are coming out of your mouth? Maybe you’re communicating something that’s the opposite of what those words literally mean?
Bear with me for a minute. Imagine that you are singing the classic hymn, “How Great Thou Art”. I looked it up, and stanza 2 goes like this:
“When through the woods
And forest glades I wander
I hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down
From lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze;”
So, we are praising God for how he has created birds with the ability to produce a beautiful sound with their singing (as opposed to, say, the croak of a frog which doesn’t have the same quality). And this sweet singing points towards God’s artistry and awesomeness, that He would be so good as to imbue birds with such beauty that points to His beauty, and adds all the more reason to sing to Him, “how great Thou art!” Now imagine that all throughout that whole stanza, you are singing horridly, showing lack of effort and discipline to hit your notes properly or produce a quality tone with your voice. And, let’s say that you could care less about all of that, because it’s “the thought” that counts, and not your actual skill.
Well, I would submit to you that if your skill (or lack thereof) points to a lack of trying, or a failure to care about producing a song that at least makes an effort to do justice to God’s awesomeness, then your lack of skill might speak volumes about what you think about God.
Ok, that was pretty hypothetical and scathing, but that was an extreme example (and I have a tendency to rant). But I hope you get the gist of what I mean.
Now, if only I could get some professional training….