When the heart sings, you cannot lie.
Pier Francesco Tosi, 1723
Libero Canto takes to heart certain fundamental principles. Some of these principles are:
- Breathing and giving voice are inborn capacities that are involuntary at the deepest level. They can be allowed and encouraged but not commanded to function.
- The organs of voice and breathing can function optimally when they are free of excess tension, effort, and manipulation.
- Skill, or technique, must be allowed to develop through making music. Musical imagination and the ability to listen deeply are essential guides in this process.
- We teach “gentle phonation”, which means that the sound begins when the vocal cords are in the open phase of their vibration; they are never brought together with force. The principle of gentle phonation is rooted in the Italian singing tradition.
- We make a distinction between “singing” and “voice”. “Singing” is an action, the expression of musical thought and feeling through the instrument of our vocal and breathing organs. “Voice” arises when we sing, but it does not exist as an entity. Like all sound, voice is vibrating air.