The Simple Joy of Singing
Recently I held a six week Joy of Singing Group. During the 6 weeks we unfolded many of the myths about singing and spoke about how they hold us back. You know the ones – you’ve got to sound a certain way, you have to be in tune, you have to have the approval of someone else to sing. All those and many, many more. Through these discussions and through singing, the group started to realise how much these ideals about singing were not true and were holding us back and not allowing us to sing freely, even just for fun.
The negative thought patterns that existed for everyone and the constraints in the body were most of the time overriding our natural ability to sing.
It was amazing how when talked about these myths and realised how ridiculous they are, we were able to get them out of the way and the group opened up and started expressing freely. We dispelled the myths one by one as they came up, through simple honesty and care. Gradually over the 6 weeks the barriers to singing and expressing freely in the group came tumbling down. What we realised is that all of these myths are fact-less and were all able to be dispelled, and once dispelled they dwindled completely, loosing their power.
Is it just me? Or are these myths just big bullies?
I’m not saying that a strong negative pattern will never come up again, a pattern that’s been held for a long time can have many layers. But my experience is that each time we break that pattern we heal a little more of it. I felt it may be of assistance to share some of these myths and briefly talk about them. There are too many to include in one blog, so here are the first 3 and I will offer more in future blogs.
I Can’t Sing
This is a huge one. If anyone has ever told you that you can’t sing, or ever criticised your singing, it could be still affecting you and you may be thinking that what was said is actually true. We are very sensitive and we can take these comments really personally. If someone has said this to you or even just showed their displeasure at your singing and you really wanted their approval, it’s likely to have stuck. Some loving understanding towards ourselves and the admission that we were hurt by it will go a long way. But the biggest 'Ouch' here is when we realise we were seeking recognition from someone, and when they don't give it or criticise our singing it can really hurt, but it is the seeking that hurts the most, the fact that we left ourselves and gave our power away to another. Also, if we hold the belief that we can’t sing, every time we go to sing, we are putting our body into a state of tension and defence, like an armour, ready to protect ourselves, which feels awful and then of course the body is not free to be as it would if we were relaxed. This has a direct impact on how easy or difficult we will find singing.
Other people need to like my voice
Not True – You can sing purely for yourself and if you really connect to your body and let yourself enjoy it, singing has many health benefits. We can become preoccupied by what other people think of us, wanting them to tell us we are good at what we do, or we have a nice voice etc. If we do this, things get complicated, we are singing for the approval and recognition of others rather than just for the simple joy of singing. When we sing for ourselves, it removes this pressure and we have the space to enjoy it.
It’s a waste of time and money to have singing lessons unless I plan to become a pop star
Not True – A lot of people who come to see me for singing lessons have no intention of becoming a pop star. They have one have one thing in common – they love to sing and express themselves and they want to be able to do it easily and freely. The self-development that can come from re-connecting to your body and singing can be quite profound. These lessons are a support for expressing ourselves in everyday life and also work on developing true confidence from the inside out.