Rewriting Your Story

Several times in the last few weeks, I’ve had a remarkably similar conversation with new vocal students, it goes something like this: “When I was a kid, I was told I shouldn’t sing, or that I should just mouth the words in the back row. I’ve wanted to sing my whole life but was told I couldn’t so I didn’t even try.” Each and every time, I look them right in the eye and say “well, it’s just time we re-wrote that old story… isn’t it? And this time, let’s put the pen in YOUR hand, not someone else’s”. These voice students are in my studio because they want to re-write that old story and with time and commitment, I assure them that we absolutely can. Now, will they sing lead for a world-touring rock band? I wouldn’t promise that… but … will they open their mouth to sing and know that something they feel good about will emerge? You bet!

Adults have absolutely no idea the power they have to build up or to crush the budding spirits of the children around us. With a few dismissive words, we can plant seeds of self doubt and discouragement that can settle into the soil of a child’s soul and take firm roots. “I can’t sing, I’m not good at art, I stink at baseball.” This type of self-talk becomes self fulfilling prophecy. If a person genuinely believes they can’t sing, they won’t even try and that muscle will never develop and grow. How different would things have been if that same adult had said “Wow, I love your enthusiasm, that’s a powerful voice! Let’s try to do this?” That same child would have an entirely different attitude about the process and would stay open to keep on trying to explore their instrument. Unless you have a physiological problem that prevents you from singing or hearing, I know that everyone CAN sing. For some people, the tone matching is very easy and natural and for others, it requires more work but indeed, everyone is capable of doing it with enough encouragement and guidance.

What old story do you have rattling around in your attic that you'd like to rewrite? With hard work and vision, you have the power to change it.