Tag: Occupations

Occupational Licensing Is a Whole Quilt of Crazy


Here’s a bit of trivia: New Hampshire’s tallest building was erected by a general contractor unlicensed by the state. Before you decide to avoid forever Manchester’s 20-story City Hall Plaza, you should know no building in the state, including every house, was built by a state-licensed general contractor — because New Hampshire doesn’t license general contractors. I’ll be focusing on New Hampshire here, but the crazy quilt of occupational licenses smothers opportunity in every state.

The state doesn’t license carpenters, auto mechanics, welders or asphalt layers either. Yet your home does not fall apart, commercial buildings don’t tumble down, roads don’t dissolve in the rain.

Yes, I’m an Opera Singer. No, Not Like Charlotte Church…


Charlotte_ChurchA recent conversation with a friend reminded me of something I dealt with frequently in my singer days. For years, after someone found out I was a classical singer, they would say excitedly, “Oh! You sing like Charlotte Church?! She has the voice of an angel.” At this point in the conversation I had three options: 1) Tackle them to the ground and slap them silly, 2) Explain in depth why Charlotte Church and Jackie Evancho are the products of amazing PR, but have been paraded and pushed beyond their vocal limits, ruining their voices in the process, or, 3) Smile and say, “Well, not really…”

I usually opted for number 3, unless I felt the person had the interest and ability to understand my exegesis on the horrors of tween “opera singers.” For the longest time, my mother would always say, “You’re just jealous that she’s so successful.” Of course, every singer wants to be successful, but not like that. So I would like to shed some light on the education and development of young singers in hopes that y’all will never buy a Charlotte Church or Jackie Evancho album every again.

I once heard a violinist say, “Similar to the dolphin, who is not a part of the family of fish, the singer is not a part of the family of musicians.” While it was meant to be a jab at singers, there is some truth to it. Singers are unique among musicians. We don’t start training rigorously at age five the way instrumentalists do. Here’s how the timeline for a singer’s career should look, though some things will vary depending on the voice type: