Daring to Sing

Imagine the last time you had a gut-wrenching cry, or a shout of excitement. What did it feel like physically to do the sounds associated with those feelings?

You may have felt like your whole body was working together to express this feeling you had, and there was no sense of “monitoring” how well you were expressing what you were feeling.

Now imagine if someone asked you to do that in front of them when you’re not feeling really strongly about anything at the moment. That might be a strange, awkward thing to just conjure up, yeah?

When we want to sing though, we might find that our voice is approaching a range or volume of sound that we only tend to use when we feel very strongly about something. Without the same energy, sounds that came through without thinking but as a result of being really, really, hysterically sad, for instance, now are being reached in a mechanical, self-aware way, to make “pretty” sounds or “big” sounds.

What do you need for these sounds when you don’t have the pent up physical/emotional energy that ordinarily goes along with them? You need guts.

It takes guts to decide to put a lot of energy into something that you’re not sure will work out, like say, sky-diving. No matter the training, no matter the safety precautions, it’s just plain scary, more so if you think you’re being judged on your performance.

The people who have the most guts, are the ones who are the most afraid. If you are afraid of heights, and you learn to sky-dive, you have some built some serious tools of bravery. This is the same for fear of expressing yourself to an audience, or fear of creating new sounds that you might not like, or fear of being too loud, too high, too manly sounding, or too girly sounding.

In my Skype lessons and Austin studio lessons, one of the most exciting things for me is seeing someone dare to express themselves by making healthy, but certainly different sounds that they wouldn’t ever consider making in an elevator, for instance. Middle schoolers to middle aged moms to singer songwriters breaking new vocal ground might have these common divides between civilized speech, uninhibited expression and singing and feeling, and when you start breaking these down you do feel scared, sure.

What’s most important though, is that you feel more free.

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