There’s a huge difference between Just Doing something and Knowing What You’re Doing. My challenge and encouragement is for you to move items from your Just Doing list to your Knowing What You’re Doing list, and not just with your singing.
I used to have a lot of activities on my Just Doing list. At one point it would have included things like singing, working with power tools, taking pictures, writing, working out and many more. I enjoyed doing all these activities, and still do. Now, however, I actually know what I’m doing in some of them. That makes me much more valuable in those areas and a more satisfied person.
KNOWING WHAT YOU’RE DOING – Some personal examples.
Photography. I’m naturally a fairly good photographer. I have a feel and eye for what will look good, composition etc., but like many areas in my life I never really developed a discipline for it. Several years ago I joined the Brentwood Camera Group. This gathering of 400 photographers, many professional meets monthly with amazing presentations and training classes. I’m learning from those who know infinitely more than I do and are willing to share. Being in their presence and under their guidance has made me a more efficient, more effective photographer. I’m also taking a college Photoshop class that is much harder and more time-consuming than I ever imagined . . . but I’m doing it. Photoshop has gone from being an editing program I had fun with to being a power tool to enhance what I do. Inspiration, plus preparation and feedback makes me better at doing something I already love.
Writing. I love words and I love to write and teach. Communications is exciting to me. But I learned that I need editorial feedback before I publish anything, including this blog. Why? I assume a clarity in the message that may, or may not actually be there in my writing. I’m often shocked at the little, and sometimes not-so-little things my 25-year-old-copy editor catches and suggests. (To be honest, it annoys me that I don’t see these things, but I swallow my pride and welcome the neutral, outside, expert input.) There’s a parallel here for singers: Just because you know the words and essence of a song doesn’t mean that’s what you’re giving the listener. That’s why we all need neutral, outside feedback. It’s necessary. Inspiration, plus preparation and feedback makes me better at doing something already I love.
Singing. Coming from a family filled with music, including some well-known professional musicians, gave me a natural affinity and love for music. When I went to college I realized that this was the only area I was naturally good at. So, I became a music major. Since I really didn’t play any instrument well I chose voice as my major instrument . . . by default. As time went on, and I invested time and effort in voice and music theory I had an epiphany. I “got it.” I realized that being armed with knowledge and skill made all the difference. My music and singing went from being simply fun, to being a legitimate passion and, in my case, a vocation. It began to fill me with satisfaction. Inspiration, plus preparation and feedback makes me better at doing something I already love.
MY CHALLENGE TO YOU
Don’t interpret my words to mean that if you want to sing well you must quit the rest of life and run off to college with a voice major. That’s not it at all. What I am saying, however, is that if you take your passion for singing, and add some skill-training and discipline it can change things: First, singing will become more than just fun. It will be something you can do with consistent excellence. It will be satisfying not only to you, but also to the listener. Second, you will be more valuable to those you sing with and for. A skilled singer has a better range and consistency, and is able to sing more styles than an unskilled one.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO ABOUT IT
What are your areas of Inspiration that need more Preparation and Feedback? What needs to go from the Just Doing side to the Knowing What Your Doing side? As you make that list determine which items are priority and within your power to do something about. Then, get the resources you need and begin what will be a very fulfilling process. If singing is near the top of your list let me help. Our training materials are inexpensive, user-friendly and very, very proven. (If your list starts with tennis, or wanting to be a helicopter pilot . . . not so much.)
Going from Just Doing, to Knowing What You’re Doing will take an investment of time and effort. It also may require some financial investment, but this I know: If you take your Inspiration and add some carefully planned Preparation you will be more satisfied and more effective in what you do.