Do you ever look at another singer and feel jealous because it seems to come so easily to them? And then you think to yourself how nice it would be to sing like them because if you could do that, all your insecurity would just vanish?
Not to burst your bubble, but in my 25 years of performing and teaching, I have yet to meet a singer who does not deal with some form of insecurity. Even those singers who we perceive to be the most talented, have the best technique, who seem to be at the top of their game—they feel insecure about their voice occasionally. It’s just part of the experience of being a singer.
Most of our insecurity is tied up with our attachment to the perceptions of others. And I get it, trust me I do. It’s really hard not to be concerned about what others think of us when we’re putting a piece of ourselves and our talent out there into the world.
That’s why most of us sing best in the shower or car when nobody is listening: we can just let go and sing because we’re not seeking anyone’s approval on how we sound.
In that moment of solitude, our technique hooks in effortlessly because we’re not forcing, manipulating, or controlling it to make it “enough” for someone listening. But when other people are there, our need to impress them convinces us on a subconscious level that who we are and how we sing is inherently not enough. So we force, push, and basically abandon the good technique we otherwise know in an effort to be “enough.”
But when we’re not so busy being outwardly concerned about impressing whoever is listening, we can relax into our technique and stop pushing so hard. Then our singing sounds and feels so much better.
One of the biggest truths I’ve come to learn in my many years of singing and teaching is that vocal technique is not optimized in a vacuum.; our thinking affects our singing. With awareness of our mindset, we can stop being controlled by thinking that convinces us we need to prove our voice is enough, and instead choose to own all that our voice is in this present moment.
Today, regardless of where you are or who is there, sing like no one is listening!
Arden Kaywin is a voice teacher in Los Angeles pioneering work with singers in a four-month intensive training that uses mindfulness to eradicate tension and up-level singing technique.
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