The Secret Ingredient to Awesome Singing

Singing, is without a doubt one of the most joyful activities we can engage in. It opens us up and allows us to connect to ourselves and to each other through the joy of making sound. Most people are aware of this, however, ask them if they would like to sing out loud in public, and you may watch their face change, from relaxed to something ranging from discomfort to terror. So, what gets in the way of us just singing just for the joy of it? Just like any 3 or 4 year old naturally does on a daily basis? Not for any accolades, recognition or approval. But just for pure joy?

In my job as a singing teacher, and as a singer myself, I’m aware that when most of us go to sing, there is a something that gets in the way. Unfortunately for most people, it is not just as simple as – I feel like singing out loud so I open my mouth and out it comes. There is something sneaky getting in that stands in the way of us enjoying our singing.

There is a picture we hold as to how we want to sound and how we want to be received by others.

This picture comes in from outside us and is a collection of ideas about what we think ‘good singing’ is, or how we want to sound. We collect these ideas from all around us, from reality TV singing competitions, music videos, the radio, our favourite artists, who’s popular, what our friends think, from anywhere and everywhere in our lives.

We create our picture from what we see/hear around us and then we hold it up like a pin up poster and put pressure on ourselves to measure up to it.

Anything that doesn’t fit our picture is deemed not good enough. But here’s the thing, our picture isn’t real. It has no basis of truth in it, because another persons expression is their own and if we take it on we are simply faking it. It’s a trick, to distract us from valuing and appreciating what we already have; a beautiful and unique voice, just waiting there to be expressed.

Everyone’s voice is unique to them and has many beautiful qualities that no-one else can express quite the way they can, and it’s letting go of our pictures that allows us to connect to ourselves, and to accept and appreciate it’s natural beauty. Our true voice is not something we need to go and search for. It doesn’t take years of tiresome practice to find it – it is right there, underneath all the pictures we have piled on top of it, and can easily be expressed when we let go and allow the grace for it to come through.

The beauty that comes from just being natural selves and not trying to sing or impress anyone, shines brighter than any picture we can ever manifest.

Last night in her singing lesson, one of my students was appreciating how wonderful she felt, expanded in her body, open and connected, present and just absolutely loving the experience of singing without fear or self-judgment. She was literally beaming right in front of my very eyes. She was, in that moment, able to let go of the pictures and be herself, and she felt true freedom in that. So, could it be that the secret ingredient to awesome singing is not in learning any scale or technique, in any music video or in a singer on the radio, but in every one of us, and stripping away the pictures that we let stand in our way?









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© 2017 by Rachael Kane

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