Emotions… are you faking it? 6 Steps to Take Your Singing to a Deeper Level
Our days are filled with them. Some we share, some we tuck away for another time, others we ignore, dodge, mask, or feign.
Our human experience is identified, defined, and even created by our feelings.
But how truly connected are we to our emotions in our art?
Could we go deeper?
Last week, I visited the Musical Instrument Museum; home of over 10, 000 global instruments. As I took in each exhibit, a small display screen would play several excerpts of the instrument in action. I couldn’t help but notice that regardless of the culture and geography, many of the selections included the instrument being used in accordance with movement and song. The voice and body connected to the creative expression.
As a singer, these displays gave me a fresh perspective. There, alone, in the stark museum setting, wearing public foam earphones, staring into a small screen, I was transcended; connected to their story.
These musicians were able to take the intangible feeling and make it tangible; to give life and value to the story they were sharing… life to the emotion… connecting with me.
– What if we were to stay in the emotion every step of the way in our creative process?
– What if we were able to stay true to the story as we work-out the details of technique and style?
– What if the feeling of the message trumped all things?
– How would that shift our work?
How would that alleviate personal judgment… comparison… competition?
I believe it would change us and our creative process for the better.
Think of all the times music has been a part of emotional moments of your life… there is a melody for each memory…a birth, a first kiss, new car, a first dance, a road trip, wedding, a break-up or a break through, a war or a funeral.
Can’t you just hear your own personal playlist as your mind’s eye takes you from joy to pain to bliss to anger to sadness?
Music connects the memories of our life, and for those of us whose calling is to hold the silence and fill it with our song, we know all too well the vulnerability necessary to transcend the body to reach another person on a heart level.
We are the storytellers, the torchbearers that draw people out and into the beauty of wholeness… embracing shadow and light, death and life, love and hate.
Music gives us permission and space to feel the entirely of our human experience.
How I reveled playing the bitter prostitute, the adolescent pants-roll, the beaten wife, the schizophrenic, the fortune teller, the nun…
Each line, each song, each movement carried me and those who went with me to a deeper awareness of humanity… deeply connected by the shared emotion.
My question to you…
Are you playing it safe?
Are there parts of your artistry that have become disconnected?
Have you lost the soul connection as you sing the aria for the 24th time.
Or the cover you are performing, are you making it yours on a heart level?
I believe if we challenge ourselves to “go there” every time, the shifts will be seen and felt on every level of our lives… I believe this is our duty.
“Play the music not the instrument”
As the saying goes regarding our last moments of life… we won’t remember all the days we worked… but rather the relationships we had – the same is with our song…
We and those that hear it will not remember our relaxed jaw or perfect ahhhh vowel, rather the tears that ran down our face as we bared our souls, inviting those brave enough to join us into the experience.
This is the stuff our art.
1. Be Your Personal Director
From choir to musical theater to opera – analyze your music and lyrics from a personal experience perspective. I had an acting teacher who once said, “If you have killed a fly, you can do a murder scene.” Know why you are singing each word, on very deep level, and “go there”… every time.
2. Step Out of Your Ordinary
Go to places that you wouldn’t normally go, experience people and cultures that are unfamiliar to you – celebrate the differences and take note of the similarities – use this information in your work to expand and deepen your emotion and relational repertoire.
3. Be in the Feel
Stay true to the emotion of the story and live it through the song.
4. Be the Master
Master your technique to the best of your ability in the moment so you can serve the emotion to the fullest.
5. Sing Music You are Passionate About
Yes, passionate. If you have a choice… choose music that literally makes your soul sing. There have been many times the song has chosen me at the exact time that I needed to go deeper into that emotion. Listen to the tug of your heart that says, “this song.”
6. Make It Your Own
Be you. Share your experience. Don’t impersonate emotion. Even if the audience never knows the real story driving your performance, have it be your own, don’t borrow or pretend feelings about what you “think” it “should” look like. Be brave enough to be really you.
“All deep things are song. It seems somehow the very central essence of us.” ~Thomas Carlyle
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please share your feelings in the comment section below.
Share this post with a creative friend. We are a loving community, let us support each other in the mastery of our work.
Remember, always Rejoice In Your Voice™!
P.S. What some feedback on your singing?
Email me today for your free 30-minute singing lesson and voice assessment in studio or via skype – my email: email@example.com
I look forward to hearing from you!