Technique 101: Barbra Streisand

Pre-recorded vocals on TV have fooled audiences for decades now. It’s really too bad because developing singers have lost out on witnessing (and emulating) that edge-of-your-seat/risk-it-all energy required to deliver a stunning live vocal…like Barbra Streisand’s knockout punch with Evergreen at The 1976 Academy Awards. No pre-recorded safety vocal on display here. This was live TV, broadcast to millions of viewers worldwide. Her voice was in beautiful shape (awe-inspiring, really) and fully under her command. She may have made it look easy, but the amount of preparation and hours/weeks/months of work that probably went into delivering this one performance would make an American Idol contestant quit and go into construction. Her fundamental technique is great. Watch how she pulls the corners of her mouth, presses the jaw down and then bites to create that seamless and glorious high belt. Then, because she completely trusts her instrument, the artist takes over and this is the gift we get. A legendary artist giving a master class on art, love and communication in motion. And, moment to moment, it sweeps you away. A vocal performance that clearly stands the test of time.