Be Perfect

Do not be content to merely make progress. (If one feels that he is at a

standstill, or worse, going backward, he should stop all study till he

can go forward). Merely making progress means that to reach great

result, a long time must elapse. To make a great artist requires years

of musical and intellectual training; to be able to sing as perfectly

as the body is capable of acting, requires but a few weeks, or at most,

a few months. Why will students take lessons year after year and not

sing any better than they did soon after they began? It is not necessary

if the student is willing to go rapidly. "Be ye perfect," applies to

singing as well as to anything else in life. If the injunction to be

perfect has any meaning at all, and no one has any right to doubt but

that it meant, when it was spoken, just what the words contain, that

applies very thoroughly to singing. The very essence of life itself is

more fully operative in singing than it is in anything else. If so, to

be perfect in singing is to be perfect also in the essence of life. The

injunction was not to become perfect by a long course of training. The

present tense was used and it meant just what was said. "Be ye perfect,"

now. By proper mental conception of the true principle which underlies

voice culture and by demonstration with concentrated thought, the

possibility of any individual body can be at once brought out. On this

account, the long years of wasteful practice which people use in

cultivating the voice is not only unnecessary, but foolish and wicked.