Remember when we could just open our mouths and sing?
Somewhere along the line we lose that skill. Some of us have a teacher who tells us to just mouth the words (I hate those stories). Some of us become self-conscious or just get so caught up in life that we forget to sing any more.
In a way, those of us who go to music school face bigger challenges. Sure, we sing all the time. But while we’re singing, we’re also thinking and comparing. We’re told to listen to the “great singers”, with the unspoken suggestion we should try to sound like them. Our singing is critiqued and pored over. We’re given tips on how to make our voices clearer, and stronger, and cleaner.
I don’t begrudge the people who taught me. In fact, I love them.
But half the time I’m not sure I can just open my mouth and sing. I have to warm-up first. I have to get a full night’s sleep. I have to take my reflux meds. I have to raise my soft palate and relax my tongue and open my throat and straighten my neck and lower my shoulder and place everything right in the mask.
This is the singing that gets a person hired. This is the singing that wins awards. But it’s all a loss if I lose a connection with the joy of opening my mouth and singing. It does me no good if I still feel like I’m not good enough, like my voice is not worthy of being unleashed unless every little thing is perfect.
So just open your mouth and sing. Do it for me, do it for yourself. It’s beautiful. It’s meaningful. It’s enough.