Sometimes I’m reminded what a big deal it is for some people to open their mouths and sing!
I forget because I’ve been singing for most of my life, and because I learnt to sing as a child, my ‘nerves’ or fears were trained into usable performance technique. Nerves are good because we can use the adrenaline created in our body to perform well and focus. That ‘fight or flight’ feeling we experience when we are feeling vulnerable can enrich us as individuals and help us grow if we stay and perform, or simply sing in front of someone else rather than bottle it – and decide not to.
I realised this week though that some established singers who may have gone through a difficult emotional time for a myriad of reasons in their lives may find it hard to sing again. Let alone brand new singers.
I have 2 clients at the moment who have just experienced their ‘breakthroughs’ and started to sing again (with a lot of coaxing and a lot of fear) following a transitional period in their emotional lives. Both of these amazing people knew that if they started singing again they would start to heal…..and that can be scary if you’ve been used to a set of feelings for a long time.
Usually, these breakthroughs come with tears and some kind of shift in mindset or appreciation of circumstance or self and they can be very intense, personal moments for people whose identity has a connection with ‘being a singer’.
One of my chapters in the book will be about identity and how we relate both our speaking and singing voice to that…..incidentally our identities can be linked to anything we resonate with, but for the purpose of this project, “it’s all about the voice”. (see what I did there!)
When I was 20 I lost my voice for nearly a year – I literally had to learn to speak again with speech therapy. This gave me the foundation for my knowledge (and passion) for vocal health as I learnt first-hand just how amazing the larynx is and how our bodies can repair themselves. I also learnt fairly quickly and harshly how much of my identity was wrapped up in my voice. ‘Being a singer’, ‘Andrea the singer’, ‘the girl who can sing’ and suddenly I couldn’t fulfill that competency! It was a very confusing and somewhat grounding time for me, even at that young age, to have to realise who I was without addressing myself as a singer first and foremost.
I regained my voice and my confidence later that year, and the insight it gave me helps me somewhat to have empathy for those who are fearful of using/finding/expressing their voices for emotional reasons.
I’m really grateful for that experience and to be able to serve others with it, however painful it was at the time.
Identifying ourselves as singers is really interesting as I usually find that in coaching its important to get to the root of who we ARE as human BEings not what we DO as human DOings. (a cliché I know but so common!) Sometimes, people can’t distinguish if who they are is a singer (as a calling and talent) or what they do is sing.
What I say is it’s the finding of your voice regardless of whether you’re singing or speaking that matters. The vibrational energy of creating sound is incredible in our welfare, our healing and our ability to express ourselves.
so with that…..I’m looking forward to hearing your stories of how you found your voice…whether you lost it, then found it again or found it for the 1st time, please get in touch.
until then……keep a song in your heart, and remember sometimes we just need to keep calm and sing! 🙂