Singers are unique because the instrument we play cannot be separated from the human playing it.
Faced with the fear of people rejecting our voices, us, singers can go to great lengths to create protective barriers. Here are just a few I’ve employed over the years:
- Speaking of the voice in the third person.
- Creating very analytical ways to measure its progress.
- Ruthlessly picking it apart.
- Never listening to recordings.
- Listening to recordings obsessively.
- Not accepting feedback from others.
- Obsessively absorbing feedback.
- Carefully separating the instrument from my Self.
I’ve probably missed a few but you get the idea. Importantly, none of these things worked for me. Actually, I don’t think they work for anyone in the long term because the voice is personal.
My intention creates impulse in my brain that powers an electrical cascade directing breath and muscle coordination so that I can express music. It doesn’t get more personal than that. The music may be someone else’s creation but the expression of it, at that moment, is my own.
So as we put ourselves “out there” in the risky lands of other’s subjective tastes I invite you to take your voice very personally. Why do you sing? Why this music? What do you observe? And, what do you need to achieve a deeper connection with those whys? Then back it all with the who. Who is the audience for your singing? Who can give you more knowledge, space, support? Who gets your consent to have an opinion about your voice, or frankly anything else about you?
This Friday at 12:30 pm EDT, Gina will be live on FB. These will be short voice alignment sessions aimed at voice skills building. Watch it on the GROW Voice FB page. I hope to see you there.
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.