Yeah, ok, welcome to the blog, and all that la di dah. 🙂
Here, in Blog world, I hope to chat about the things that come up in Singing Lessons that I feel are topics that I touch on with more than one student, and therefore, they might be valuable to you.
Each of us has their own personal stuff we deal with, when it comes to seeking the tone we want, finding the tools we need to have a happy, healthy voice, and generally ducking the bombshells our brains throw at us while we partake on this journey. And yeah, I’m gonna get all Byron-Hippie on it and call it a journey, because it is – you have to start somewhere, you have to travel along and explore, sometimes it’s good to have a map, and usually google can help you in some way…. ah, my metaphors will never cease. 🙂
The most delicious and scary of all topics to sink your teeth into, is that of exactly these bombshells in your brain.
The critic that lives in your soul. The little voice, of that little bitch sitting on your shoulder, who whispers to you that she thinks you suck, and that maybe you should perhaps try another joy.
It’s scary because only you know what “It” is saying to you. I’m the first to admit, that 1 day out of, say, 20, I wonder “what’s the point?”, “Who cares?”, and other pretty darn mean things. To be honest, I have to say, I think it’s healthy, and strangely balancing to my own personal journey. So long as I can get up, get out of my house and walk around, breathing- something usually clears my head. I don’t try to shut it up, I usually have a bit of a cry about it, like a big ninny, then I get back on the horse and I keep going. Cause I do know why I do it. I love singing. It’s fun. That’s my reason.
I can give you a handful of self-help remedies for your own critic… really, I could make up a valuable exercises for you every day, but, for me, it comes back to realising the joy. Why do you do it? Does it bring you joy?
The same applies for if your demons are the voices of other people. If someone in your world has said words that have cut you down- this includes people who intentionally told you your voice sucks; people who didn’t realise their words hurt you- they said something they thought was helpful, but really it just broke your soul. It also completely includes Singing Teachers, who feel it’s their job, and God given right, to put you in your place; it includes people from the past: that mean old teacher you had in Year 3, who told you to stand at the back of choir and just mime…
Their voices and their words still haunt your very being. Destroying you whenever you try. So my words to you, are – come back to YOUR joy.
You might feel the need to wind through some kind of forgiving process, like write them a letter and then burn it, dancing around in a loin cloth. Or, imagine that you said those words to someone else, and then say what you should have said, with more tact, humanity and manners. It’s not doing you any good to carry it around on your shoulders, in your heart, or tightening your lungs.
In the words of my wisest and dearest friend, “Let it go”.
Start seeking out your joy in what you’re living, not their bad juju.
Write yourself a note, tell yourself what you love about singing, listen to your favourite songs, walk up to an instrument and make up your own song- without any rules guiding you – make something that feels right to you. If you’re fighting with it – make it simpler. Simple songs are best – they come from the heart and tell a thousand words.
Let go of the bad vibes.
And hold on to your hat – it’s gonna be a hell of a ride.