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Susan Boyle - Hero

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Author: Arthur Samuel Joseph


Millions are going to You Tube and clicking on Susan Boyle from Britain's Got Talent show—five million hits and counting. Thousands of words have already been written and here are a few more but with a very different slant. Congratulations Susan!

What I want to speak about for a moment is why Susans video struck such a chord. One reason is we all identify with a hero, and most especially, with seemingly unlikely ones. Susan appeared "average." There were no celebrity trappings, no obvious heroic qualities, and then she sang, "I Dreamed a Dream," and she became a hero.

What happened?

First, I have been teaching voice virtually my whole life and one of the principles that I recognize is that "sound is expressed emotion," and that when we sustain sound, we sustain emotion. Singing also is the most effective way to access feeling that is often unattainable when merely speaking. Only poetry or prayer can get us a little closer to our true emotional core.

Second, singing is primal; it is our birthright. We are literally born singing (nursing infants often hum while nursing.) In addition, singing is not an outgrowth of our speaking voice, but rather a separate neural pathway.

We are all closet singers. Wherever I have taught anywhere in the world, when the conversation comes up, people everywhere have always said, "I wish I could sing." So Susan symbolized all those too afraid to step out and sing no matter how terrifying it might feel.

Third, Susan was compelled by her passion to sing—to risk all.The root of the word passion refers to Jesus suffering on the cross; in other words passion has pain connected to it.The root of the word courage is heart. So Susan's passion and courage, allowed us to identify with her. Again, this was the only choice she was willing to make—the choice to fulfill her dream to sing for a large public audience. Little did she know how large that audience would become.

In closing, let Susans bold choice and commitment to be herself no matter what be our choice as well. Susan's simple noble statement to be who she is—a singer should be a shining example for all of us to be who we are as well.


About the author: Arthur Samuel Joseph, M.A. is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on the human voice and its training. For over four decades, his Vocal Awareness® System for integrating the Self through vocal training has helped thousands of performers, singers, broadcast professionals, corporate leaders, politicians, students and others discover the power and magic of their natural voices.


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