I recently read a simple, yet profound statement:
“The wisdom of the wise is to give thought to their ways. They think about where they’re going. But the folly of the fools is deception. They keep lying to themselves. Wise people ask, ”Does the path I’m walking lead to a place I want to go? If I keep heading this way, will I like where I arrive?”
— The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan
That sounds very Proverbs-like, and it is. The power in asking and answering those questions can be life-changing.
Add Thought To Your Dreams
Dreaming is necessary, good and healthy, but adding thought to those dreams is even better. For instance, let’s say you are “taken on a journey to good places” when you listen to a certain artist’s songs. They transform you, give you peace and inspire you. If you are a singer, you want to have the same power in your singing. You want others to have the same response when you sing. The problem can be, when listening to recordings of your own singing, it doesn’t take you anywhere good. In fact, it may leave you feeling down and discouraged.
Asking The Big Question
Write down your dreams and thoughts about those dreams. Then ask the big question:
““If I keep heading this way, will I like where I arrive?””
For some of you the answer will be “yes”. You have an honest and realistic understanding of where you are, where you want to go, and what it will take to get there. You are working with a teacher and/or coach, know your weaknesses and are systematically conquering them.
For many of you, however, you’re not really sure what’s wrong with your singing, but you know you’re not getting any better at communicating a message. You’re frustrated and in the dark and that’s no fun.
What to Do With the Answer
First, don’t be discouraged or anxious if you’re not progressing in a healthy direction. But you should stop and come up with a plan. Singers can’t teach and coach themselves any more than an athlete or dancer can. It takes outside help of some level, and here are some options:
- If you’re not musically trained find a vocal teacher, choir or chorus directer, or other vocally trained person to evaluate you. Tell them you are looking for honest feedback about pitch accuracy and the basic sound of your voice. Then ask their opinion of how you might proceed to get better.
- If you’re a trained, or partially trained singer with good, accurate pitch and rhythm and you’re working with a teacher ask them for a fresh evaluation of where you are in relationship to where you want to be. This may push both of you to get more motivated and organized. As you systematically overcome each obstacle the rewards will be apparent and the journey exciting.
Don’t Do Nothing
One of my favorite sayings is this: Practice Makes Permanent, so whatever you’re practicing is getting more ingrained by the day. If you’re doing things the right way, great! If not, remember that the deeper the habit the more challenging it will be to overcome it later.
It’s A Process
There’s no magic trick or gimmick that will suddenly make you a great singers. It’s a process, and one that needs to be guided. So, ask the Big Question, and answer it to the best of your ability. Then do something about it!
You might start working with Vocal Coach material, or Online training. Or, find a local voice teacher or choir director who can help you practice proper technique. Once you take positive steps you will feel the frustration leave and the peace come. Give it the time it deserves, and enjoy the rewards!
Where Is Your Path Leading You?
Whether you are aiming to be a paid professional singer, or you just want to maximize the enjoyment of your hobby; Ask yourself the Big Question. If you look at where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going, and don’t like what you see make some changes! You, and those you share your life with will be glad you did.