One complaint I have often heard from singers who begin to take voice lessons is “the teacher wants me to sing this classical stuff and I want to sing [rock/jazz/metal/pop/soul/R&B/you-name-it]”
While I can kind of understand this coming from a non-musician who loves to sing, I have found it disturbing when I hear this coming from a fellow instrumental musician – especially one who has studied classical technique on his/her own instrument!
Why is classical technique important?
Do we not all, as instrumentalists, work on our scales and exercises to improve our dexterity, facility, attack and note inflection, etc? When you get a degree in music don’t you have to study classical theory and composition? How many professional pianists got a degree in music without learning and performing several classical pieces, especially the good ol’ Bach two-part inventions?
Why would you not, then, if you want to be a better singer, study similar classical exercises for the voice? To me, classical technique is the healthiest technique. It doesn’t mean singing in full voice all the time. That would be terrible for pop music! But it does mean singing correctly and sustainably.
The goal is the same: better technique, better facility, better quality of sound and especially improved ENDURANCE.