Barbara Cook – Be Authentic

Those who know me well are likely aware that I like to sing. While I’ve got a good ear for relative pitch and I can sort of carry a bearable tune, I’m no singer. So I try to keep my singing to a minimum, even when among friends. And though singing is just another one of the interests that I dabble in, it is a talent that I deeply admire in others. Like many of you I watched and laughed at many American Idol auditions and I could tell which singers really had great talent and which did not. Interestingly though, there always seemed to be a number of singers who clearly sounded good but lacked…something, but I could never put my finger on why.

Well, in January 2008 I came across a video that opened my eyes and reinforced my admiration for great singers. In A Master Class with Barbara Cook a number of aspiring young singers undergo a remarkable transformation under Barbara’s tutelage in front of a live audience. The transformation she achieves with a few of them will blow your mind and the central lesson she shares is be authentic.

The main thing to learn is that what the world wants is you. You are enough. You are always enough.

– Barbara Cook

Cabaret queen’s lessons for life)

That’s a great lesson for singers and I think it’s also a great lesson for all of us.