Posted in Musings

Happy First Birthday, MuSinGer!

“Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me-eeeee,
happy birthday to me!”

On 6 December 2018 I launched this blog, The MuSinger, and while I know that I have not hit the jackpot as far as subscriber numbers go, or followed all of the rules of ‘successful blogging’, whatever that means, I have enjoyed producing articles for you over the past year!

Every time I write and publish a post, there is that little voice within me that wonders what people will think, if I will get any ‘likes’, or whether my words make a difference at all, but that is not the point.  As much as I respect the views of my readers, none of these things matter one jot.

Every blogger will tell you that they started their blog because they wanted to make some sort of difference to improve the world, to express themselves via their writing, or talk about whatever their passion is.  They wanted to do something creative, to forget their boring job, or to just be able to touch people’s lives in some meaningful way.  I was, and still am, no different in pursuing such goals, one year on.

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Posted in Musings

The Cleansing

It is spring!  My absolutely hands-down, stunningly beautiful favourite time of the year.  The tax return is done, we are coming out of hibernation, and humanity (at least in my part of the world) can begin to feel our toes again after the numbing pain of winter.  The earth begins to warm, the birds are chirping a little more loudly, and people are smiling as they walk down the street (yes, actually smiling – or at least I think I see a little twitch in their faces).  Nature has grabbed us by the hand and is saying, “Let’s go out to play!”.

Spring is synonymous with cleansing and cleaning.  We find the energy to toss out what no longer serves us, and inspired by the new growth we see in our environment, we also want to begin again.

So I was recently clearing out my desk at home, and I cannot begin to tell you how satisfying it is to… well… rip up the carp that had accumulated there.  (Note: I deliberately used ‘carp’ instead of that other word because this is a clean, safe blog, and I don’t want to swear, but I think you know what word I really mean, yes?

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Posted in Musings

Be a (Music) Rebel – A Cure for Singer’s Blah

I believe that every singer has a little rebel living inside them.  In fact, I would encourage every singer to find that little rebel as soon as they possibly can.  Why?

Well let me first explain who that little rebel is.  Rebels generally have a bad reputation – think James Dean, surly, possibly chain-smoking (please, please do not ever smoke or give up if you do – it kills!), reckless, anti-social, maverick, and unorthodox.  But the music rebel I am referring to can actually be a great asset for singers and musicians.

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Posted in Music, Singing

How to Sing When You Don’t Feel Like It (or Can’t)

All singers, whether you are a professional, hobbyist, or volunteer, will encounter times when creating music just won’t come easily for various reasons.  The most obvious reason will be because of an emotional event that has happened to us or someone we know.  This has happened a few times for me when asked to sing at funerals or weddings (yes, weddings – a happy event, but one filled with high expectations!). 

The most challenging time was when I was asked to sing at the funeral of a woman I had known at church for many years.  She was an amazing lady who struggled with health issues all of her life, but was as sharp as a tack and lived her life with wit, humour, and determination.  When her family asked that I and another person sing at her funeral, I knew that of course I had to do it, even though my guts were churning.  You see, that was the first time I had to sing at a funeral – ever

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Posted in Musings

How a TV Show Gave Me Hope

I have just emerged from watching a beautiful television series which left me beaming with peace, happiness, hope, and optimism after every episode, but still somewhat tinged with sadness.  That television can be the cause of such joy is a refreshing and rare experience in our time, as most of what we see on ‘the tube’ can leave us feeling empty, angry, depressed, fearful, and constantly questioning ourselves in a world of endless comparison.

But not this time.

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Posted in Musings

One, Five

One, five.

No, not fifteen, but one and five.

There are so many things in life that we want to get to, right?  We keep being told that we need to do X amount of exercise each day or week, eat this or that, accomplish a specific chore, check off to-do lists, and on and on and on.  We can sometimes sit back and realise that it is just all too much, so we end up doing nothing at all! 

One morning as I was going through my twenty minutes of time allocated for stretches – essential for singers and anyone wanting to stay flexible! – I thought just that: it is all too much.  Twenty minutes is nothing, but my brain was on already on fast forward leaping into the activities of the day.  I was not in the moment.  Naturally, my focus became scattered, my stretches ended up looking like some pitiful 1970’s dance, and to top it all off my stomach was grumbling for some breakfast.  Enough already!

Enough.

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Posted in Musings

Knowing Me…Watching You?…A-ha

Okay, brace yourself, here comes a bit of a revelation: 

I love ABBA

And the above title got me singing ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’.  This song is about relationships – more on that later – but it also makes me wonder… how much do we really know ourselves? 

Do we spend so much time musing about other people’s lives and activities that we lose sight of who we really are, and about relating to others, that we end up feeling more fragmented because we just do not meet other people’s ‘ideal’ standards?

I think sometimes we can spend far too much time watching what other people are up to, especially online, and then in a subconscious way we start comparing ourselves with them.  A subtle depression and inadequacy can take seed within us if we decide that we don’t measure up to what that person is doing or what this person is saying or achieving.  In the meantime, if we do not use that information to improve our own lives, our time is just ticking away and all we have ever done is stare at a screen to keep up with someone else.

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