What does learning how to sing have to do with relieving pelvic pain, creating radiant health, or creating anything else you want to create in your life?
I’ve wanted to learn how to sing since I was 12. My piano teacher was an opera singer and I asked her if I could take lessons with her. She said no. She didn’t think I’d take it seriously. I was crushed.
Well, this weekend I decided to take a voice workshop because it sounded fun. It was the first time I’ve had any kind of instruction on how to sing.
I learned that good singing, just like any good creating, has nothing to do with taking it seriously.
5 minutes into the workshop I knew it was going to be great when our teacher, Frankie Armstrong, gave us these ground rules.
Rule #1: Don’t use the words – right/wrong, correct/incorrect, nice/nasty, good/bad,.
Instead say….”hmmm. fascinating”, and “oh, isn’t that interesting” when referring to the sounds coming out of your mouth.
Frankie explained that when we learn how to talk, we make a lot of mistakes, but we’re appreciated and encouraged to keep experimenting. We lavishly praise babies for making any sounds at all. But, when children learn how to sing they are often judged. They are told that they’re doing it wrong, or don’t have a good voice and they accept that label. They stop trying. They don’t sing. They cut off all possibility for learning how to use their voices, and the joy that comes with it.
Rule #2: Be curious and PLAY.
This pretty much happens naturally as a result of #1. When we allow ourselves to play and experiment we give ourselves a chance to learn – and we have fun doing it. And really, if it’s not fun, why bother?
Rule #3: Allow the sound to come out. Don’t force it out.
We learned that to create beautiful sound you first focus on building the resonance within yourself. You literally build the vibration by going down and expanding it into your ribcage first. Then you allow your throat and mouth to open so that the sound floats out. It is such a perfect metaphor for how to of anything, whether it’s learning mind body tools to relieve pain, or re-creating your life!
If you push or strain your voice the sound is terrible. It is. Try it. But, if you start with a hum and allow it to vibrate in your mouth, up into your head, down into your throat and expand it into your chest and ribs, and then just open your mouth and throat the sound that floats out not only sounds beautiful, it FEELS AMAZING! I love the image of the sound floating out without touching the sides – rather than being pushed and squeezed out.
When I coach women I teach them that the single most important thing in creating what they want in their lives is that they learn how to create the feeling of what they want in themselves first. You must FIRST build the resonance inside yourself, and then ALLOW it to flow out, into your life. Instead, what most of us try to do is struggle and work hard to get what we want. Rather than allowing the joy to flow, we try to make it happen and it doesn’t work.
The next time you are working hard to learn mind body tools, find a way to relieve pelvic pain, or create anything, and you feel yourself pushing or struggling, see if you can let go for a moment and FEEL into the vibration you want to have, for example radiant health and vibrant energy. Build the resonance within yourself. Once you’re connected to the feeling, see if you can go back to taking action with an attitude of play and fun. If you can’t, go do something else. My hunch is that the quality of work you produce and the quality of the life you live when you are playful, allowing, and connected to joy are vastly different than when you feel rushed and tired and you’re pushing yourself to do more.
Tell me where I’m wrong?
When you feel stuck or overwhelmed or something isn’t turning out the way you want it to, instead of beating yourself up or giving up, what if you thought “Hmm interesting” Or “Oh, fascinating”!
What if you were curious about yourself and what is showing up in your life? How might that feel different than being critical? Do you think you would get different results?
Approach your own beautiful attempts at learning mind body tools, relieving pelvic pain, and creating your life in the way you approach a child learning how to walk or talk or read – with encouragement and appreciation.
Remember, creating your life is NOT serious business. Be curious, play, and allow who you are to flow. You will be amazed at the beautiful sounds that will come out, all on their own.
This is beautiful. I love the idea of just letting the sound come out. As someone who has never been praised for her singing (but I sing loudly and often nonetheless), it’s great to think of the whole process as just one of allowing.
Thank you Coach Lorraine!
Hi Daphne. You go goddess! Keep on singing loudly and often!
Great blog Lorraine…I want to get a copy of your first singing recording. 🙂
Hi Maria! LOL. I’m not planning on recording – yet 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement.
Your voice coach sounds awesome! What a great attitude. Sing on!
Thanks Sonya! She was amazing. Not sure if she has a site but I highly recommend her. She just co-authored a book called acting and singing with archetypes that you might like. Thanks for the comment!
Love and juice, Lorraine
Every time I think of somebody saying they have a bad singing voice I think of a little band called the Rolling Stones and especially Aerosmith. I’m wonder how many people told these guys they can’t sing (because they really *can’t* in the traditional sense) and then went on to become super famous not in spite but BECAUSE of their voices. Singing, like living is simply expression of ourselves, how can it ever be right or wrong? I also wonder how many people told Jack Kerouac he couldn’t write. Seems like anything you do with gusto is successful because of the life in-spired into the creation. Awesome post, keep singing (and keep writing) and allowing.
Agreed Caroline! It’s all about expressing who we are….and having fun while we do it. Thanks for your comment!
I love this post! Today I shall use the “singing” metaphor throughout my day and express the energy of me by allowing the energy to flow freely and playfully 🙂
Thanks for the reminder 🙂
Love it. Your welcome! xoxo
Oh, perfect!! Great post 🙂
I used to haul myself along to my vocal coach and spend the whole trip DREADING it LOL!!! She was famous and scary and although I think she did her best to be kind, it was a “there, dear, you’re doing your best….. although you’re complete rubbish” sort of kindness. Blergh!!!!
I gave up after about four sessions and although I have to say she worked wonders with my range in a very short time, I was glad to stop going.
I LOVE the idea of a voice coach who makes it fun and embraces the totality of your voice. And the metaphor of my old vocal coach is not lost on me. I’ve learned to relax about a whole lot of things, singing included, since those old days. Yay me!
Yay you! Thank you for sharing your experience.