He asked whether I would be the only one singing, and I told him “yes”. Fr. Irinaeus then said that he was just as glad that I had come, because he couldn’t sing as loud as I could. I asked him whether he had ever received lessons in voice when he received his diaconal training, and he said that while there was a teacher with an operatic voice who taught him and others how to chant, he had received no vocal training. I said that that was a pity, particularly since I could teach him all that he needed to know about vocal technique in five minutes. He said, I’d like to see you try. So, I said, all of good singing can be summed up in the following words: balanced, suspended, crucified, open, incense, humming, and shifting.
This is just the advice one needs if, like me, you spent a semester in voice class in college with an increasing frustrated teacher telling you that if you would just relax everything would come so much easier.