You have to be able to sing to write. However, you do not have to be able to sing like Beyonce.
Last week I produced a showcase at Ghengis Cohen for my final class in my Basic Workshop Series. My students all performed songs that they wrote before or during the class. I have now produced 12 Basics Workshops guiding my students through an 8 week process. Sitting in the audience once again watching them perform left me with a the feeling of pride at the growth they have made on this journey
Every class brings a different gem to the stage. Besides the songs, this evening brought voices.
After we were done, I had time to spare so I asked 2 guests to come up and grace us with a song.
First, Griffith Frank, a recording artist and songwriter who also is a graduate of my Basics and Intermediate Workshops got up and sang a new song he wrote with my client Jordan Higgins. He brought the house down. His voice is like butter and he does have a way with words.
Then I coaxed Kenny Hirsch, an Award winning composer, to get up and sing one of his hits. The thing about Kenny is that he is not a singer but he got up there, played the keys, and sang to his heart's content, “No One in The World,” a hit (for) performed by Anita Baker. As soon as the audience figured out what song it was, they were cheering and singing along and no one seemed to mind that his performance was not perfect. The moment, however, was perfection.
At the end of the evening, a writer came up to me and told me that he wished he had seen Kenny’s performance a long time ago. It would have saved him from missing out on the enjoyment of performing. Instead, he spent years worrying about how it looked, and thinking all this time that he had to have a good voice to write.
Sure having the voice of a superstar helps, but it is not the end all be all of a great musical career.