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  • ‘Higher, Faster, Stronger’ marks the pinnacle of glorious human physical achievement in the Olympics. ‘Slower, Lower, Weaker’ marks the way up.

    When we go slower, we become mindful of what we are doing. We become fastidious in our demand for excellence. We become detail oriented. If precision is the goal, slowness is the how we get there. In Singing training, rather than sing a five-note scale and get 2 of these wrong, we sing a simpler exercise and get all of the notes correct. This not only boosts self-esteem, leading to a virtuous cycle of more correct notes, it gives us precision control. What are singing exercises if not to condition control to the extent that the buffets of strong emotion do not upturn the ship?

    When we sing lower, we consolidate our gains. We guard those precious notes that we have spent hours perfecting and lock them up well. When we sing lower in our range, we stabilise the top notes by ensuring that the thyroarytenoid muscle that holds them up is strong and trustworthy.

    When we sing weaker, we extend our range by allowing the vocal folds to thin and stretch. When we adopt an attitude of weakness, we are humble. We accept criticism readily and make the necessary changes.

    Weakness does not imply a lack of strength.

    Weakness is born of strength.