For a long time, I've felt unsatisfied with the way our culture has approached singing. Let me explain how awkward we are (as U.S. people at least) when it comes to singing. I'll use basketball as an example:
Imagine you call up your friends, and you say: "Hey let's head to the court and shoot some hoops". Your friends meet you at the court, pull out a bunch of chairs, and say "okay, impress us! we want to see how talented you are!". They all look at you waiting expectantly to shoot a 3- pointer...but you just wanted to play WITH them, not for or at them.
You wanted to CONNECT WITH and HAVE FUN WITH your friends, not perform FOR them. So now you are in this situation where instead of enjoying basketball together, you are supposed to show them how great of a player you are.
Is there anything wrong with the above scenario? No, but it's frustrating when that's the PRIMARY scenario in which you can play basketball. This is what I'd like to change about singing. In my last post, I mentioned that you don't need a reason to sing. Ask toddler and a bird why they are singing, they may not have an answer for you, or they may answer back in song.
There are though, deeper needs that we do satisfy when we sing. Most cultures have had a history of singing that delved into deeper needs that perhaps we weren't aware of: We sang with friends to connect with them, we sang by ourselves to make room for and process tough emotions, we sang for joy, we sang to satisfy our need for play. I sang to create, to grow in skill and grow as a person, to connect with other people and to have the freedom to let out my true feelings when my true feelings weren't accepted by the society I was in.
So what is singing about for you?