We’ve all heard the proverb about a mighty ship being driven by a small rudder and how our tongues are like that.
Just like the rudder of ship controls where the ship will go, the tongue controls what we say and reveals the attitude with which we say it.
And since singing and speech are siblings and come directly from the voice patterns we learn when we are babies, both inside our mothers’ wombs and after we are born it is crucial that we understand this powerful thing inside our mouths, this singing tongue.
But few no how to tame or control it, mostly because they don’t really know how it works.
A few days ago, Jo asked me a question about what to do about nervous singing while in front of people, so I’m answering with this article about the 3 major things that can help you overcome singing fear by facing your fear in singing.
Sounds complicated and I will explain, but…
…first I have a story to tell.
Nervous singing or being anxious about singing is….OMG, so real, so painful, so….ok, now I am going to faint.
No, seriously, I’m going to tell you a true story about how I fainted the first time I sang for a college recital when I was taking voice lessons and learning how to sing.
My own Nervous Singing
I remember having HUGE anxious thoughts while I was waiting to go out on the stage.
I was petrified!
Anxious me began to sweat, hyperventilate and everything that adrenaline does to my nervous system when I’m scared.
In fact, when I finally went out onto the stage, my nervous singing was so bad that I shook a car struggling to start but never did and finally died.
Which is almost what I did.
Okay, well, I didn’t die, obviously, or you wouldn’t be reading this.
But I did faint.
I didn’t fall down, although I was sure I was going to. But I blacked out so badly that I went temporarily blind. [continue reading…]
One of my finest teachers once told me that to sing you have to be like an athlete. She was right. Here’s why:
You use your muscles to sing and the more fit your entire body is, the more fit your voice will be. Extra fat on your body makes your heart and other organs have to work harder.
Strengthening your body builds the energy it takes to sing well.
Losing fat in the belly gives you greater control over your breath and your tone quality.
For instance, when you do the dog pant exercise, if you have 10+ extra pounds of fat on your belly, getting the diaphragm and abdominal muscles to work well for you is harder than without the fat. It is simply common sense.
More belly fat = Less belly muscle control
So I came across this lose-the-fat-belly program the other day that intrigued me because of how the husband and wife team have marketed it. And I liked what they were saying so much, I decided to mention it today in the hopes that those of you who struggle with weight loss might discover a system that can help you.
I make no guarantees for this product, but if I needed to lose belly fat, simply for the sake of my voice, I would certainly try it. And if you do try it, write to me and let me know how it works for you so I can let other people know too!
Remember, your health directly affects the way you sing and extra fat on your body directly affects your health.
That just sounds like it is going to be a great year.
The best year ever, in fact, to start in on getting the best out of your voice you possibly can.
Why is it important to constantly be improving your voice?
There are three important reasons that can motivate you to get going and I am going to be brief because it is New Year’s Day and I need to get going on my voice for the new year too!
You remember what I’ve said about endorphins being released when we sing, right? Well, there is another health benefit that I do not often write about so I thought this would be a good place to briefly mention it.
When we sing and release endorphins, those feel good hormones that are usually associated with physical exercise, those endorphins give us an overall sense of well-being, which then prompts us to do more productive things that will make our lives better.
For instance, when I sing in the morning as part of my regular routine, within a few minutes of starting my vocal warmups (after the breathing warmups), my energy levels increase immediately and there is literally more of a bounce in my step. In fact, I get so high on singing from the endorphins that I start dancing. Yes, dancing. I sing and dance in the mornings. When I dance, not only are my endorphins going, my heart rate increases and that morning sluggy thing stops instantly.
What could be better than that to start your day? And better yet, singing is FREE! When I get going, I get going, and then I’m ready to take on just about anything. When I don’t start my day with singing and breathing for singing, I slug around for a much longer period of time so then I don’t move as fast or get my heart rate up as quickly. And I don’t dance. Not fun.
When you do things to make your body happy, you are better able to make the people around you happy too. And that is HUGE!
I think you can already see how #1 ties in to this one. If you are singing and dancing and your heart rate is up in a short amount of time and the endorphins are kicking in really fast, your attitude about everything improves instantly.
If you are happy with your voice, you will have more confidence when you speak to others. There is something that happens on the inside of us when we know we are working on our voices. We just feel better about ourselves. And that tends to make us feel about our circumstances, our relationships and our future.
We become better people when we have a endorphin-dosed attitude. And that makes people want to listen to us more. We now have something better to offer them with who we are than when we are not singing and that’s because we end up liking ourselves better when we make the effort to learn how to sing better.
Something in our communication skills gets better. We breath more deeply and in a more relaxing way, we articulate our words more clearly, we want to be heard, we want people to understand us and not only that, they do because we resonate more, we project more and we simply have more fun with how we communicate!
All of this and more produces a better attitude and a better attitude produces a better life.
It’s a new year. Time to make resolutions to do better at losing weight, loving the people you care about, make more money, get healthier. We all think about these things this time of year.
So how does singing relate to your dreams?
The answer is easy.
If you have more energy, if you have a better attitude, your dreams will seem more achievable because you will have more to give to them.
When you wake up in the morning, do you feel like you can take on the world? Or do you battle depression and lethargy?
If your answer is the first one, write to me and share with me what you are doing. I’d like to pass it on to my readers.
If it is the second one, then start making use of my free voice lesson to change your life in 2010.
Dream Big About Yourself and Sing! Try it now. It’s FREE!
There’s no question about it. Your mindset about your singing voice, your singing tongue or your speaking voice, for that matter, is definitely going to influence how you communicate, whether it is through singing or speaking.
There are a number of mindsets that control your voice and here is one of them:
What you were told as a child about your voice will either help or hinder you.
Learn to identify what happened during your formative years, whether it was good or bad, by answering these questions:
When you were younger, especially when you were in elementary or middle school, did a parent, family member, friend or teacher ever tell you to stop singing because you were hurting their ears, or something similar? [continue reading…]