It’s time to remove a few road blocks for those of you who think you can’t sing. The fact is that everyone can sing, and it can bring so much joy into your life.
You can sing
Yes, you can. Just like drawing or dancing, singing is something you can learn. I would even argue that we can all sing to start with, but then often our culture or surroundings tell us otherwise. Or we choose not to cultivate that side of ourselves. But that’s a pity, because singing can be an endless well to joy, self-growth, empowerment and transformation.
Children sing a lot and they love their voices. Growing up, some become too conscious about singing or in the very worst case someone tells them that they can’t sing. Children mirror their surroundings, so if they grow up seeing that singing is embarrasing, that’s what they’ll pick up.
Or they could start changing their voices to imitate popular singers (which often has nothing to do with actual singing anyway).
So if you have some challenges with singing, a first step for you could be to take a moment to reflect on your relationship to singing, what you or others or society have told you about your voice and move on from that.
We’re on a path to more empowerment, more joy to share with others. And that’s what singing is.
What if you’re out of tune?
From time to time, I meet people who say I love to sing, but I know I don’t sing in tune. My experience is mostly that the people who are out of tune don’t realise it! If you are a reflective person and good at listening, you are probably doing pretty well.
Maybe there are some tones that you find difficult, it could be higher notes that you don’t use so often. They can be pitch perfect if you dedicate a bit of time to train your ears and your voice response.
Exercise: Tune Your Voice
A way to start getting your voice in tune is to quietly hum a simple song. It could be a children’s song, or some other music that you are very familiar with.
Sing low (close to your speaking voice), keep your voice very light. Then hum the song again a bit higher.
Now you can play with humming the song, each time starting at different pitches, e. g. low, then high, then somewhere in between… Don’t control your voice. Even if some of the tones are missing, your vocal chords are still working. Listen to the song inside of your head and let your body do the work.
If you hear that some tones sound out of tune, dive into those pitches for a while until they are in tune with your song.
NB! Singing should always be comfortable; if it’s easy, it’s healthy.
Be more creative
Singing is so versatile, there is no limit to your development and how and where you can use your voice.
On the days that are governed by a slight restlesness, I find that singing is a great way to reconnect with my soul. Your voice is always with you. And you can sing while you do the dishes, or the classics: In the shower and the car. I used to sing in harmony with our old vacume cleaner…
If you are really looking to recharge your batteries, sing in nature. There is great healing in singing by a waterfall or the sea shore.
The most beautiful thing about my work as a singing teacher is to help people discover their natural voices. When you hear the core of a voice, it’s like listening to someone’s soul. That’s the ultimate joy.
When you sing with your natural voice, you sing like you. And your voice is there, ready to be of service.
© Nína O’Farrell 2020
Photo by Radovan Zierik
Feel free to leave questions / comments.