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.
Thank you. I needed to hear that as one who’s main vocal problem is probably not physical anymore…
I’m convinced most of our vocal problems are “above the neck” in more ways than one. Now get out there and sing!!
I’m convinced it’s why I still go to church….it’s the only place I can sing at the top of my lungs and no one (openly) laughs at me!
Reblogged this on These Little Things.
Amy Jane (Untanlging Tales) says
I miss choir so much.
But yeah, it was growing up “learning” (or “knowing”) how to sing that made it impossible to be silly with my babies. It took a couple years of my (amazingly UN-self-concious) husband making up cracked nonsense to sing to the littles before I finally dove in.
I invent with the most prolific now, and it delights me to hear my children ask, “Is that a real song or did you just make it up?”
Yes! My mother always did that with us, both to be goofy and to help us remember things (I still remember the day care address because of one of her songs). But it does get awkward when you’re trying to sing for fun when you are used to singing to be “good”.