Addressing the needs of the adult “non-singer” (“NS”)

Susan Knight

in The Oxford Handbook of Singing

ISBN: 9780199660773
Published online June 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191750915 | DOI:
Addressing the needs of the adult “non-singer” (“NS”)

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The adult “non-singer” (“NS”) remains a common phenomenon in Western society. Until recently, it was accepted as an innate state, reflecting the dominant “can/cannot” view of human singing capacity in Western culture. However, expanding research in singing’s developmental nature has challenged this bipolar view. Evidence establishes that humans possess a species-wide facility for singing as a learned musical behavior. “NSs” who experienced arrested development as children report successful singing recovery/discovery in adulthood. “NS” is as much a socio-cultural as a musical problem, and its socio-cultural nature is contextualized. A comprehensive discussion of “NS” follows from an experiential stance, revealing the negative implications of the fixed “NS” label. A common “NS” attributional process is described, exposing the needs arising from such a socio-cultural attribution. Enablement strategies/techniques for facilitating “NS” singing re-entry are detailed and explicated. Impediments/challenges underpinning “NS” are discussed and approaches to prevent/reverse “NS” are explored.

Keywords: adult “non-singer” (“NS”); singing recovery/discovery; enablement strategies; attributional process; socio-cultural

Article.  12965 words. 

Subjects: Applied Music

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