I love singing. I’ve been singing since babyhood. How do I know this? Because my mother told me. Singing comes naturally to babies, doesn’t it? They gurgle, coo, scream, and are not afraid to make the most hilarious noises. What happens to us as we grow older? Why can’t we continue to use our voices in speech and song, even in the privacy of our own homes, to make the weirdest noises we can? This is good for the voice and for our creative exploration!
Observe how we tell little ones to be quiet, to stop being ‘silly’, and to think of what others may say. As a result, when we grow older we shut ourselves down. Singing and music become something that other more ‘talented’ or ‘professional’ people do – not us! While we absolutely need to be respectful in areas where peace and quiet are necessary, many of us become afraid to sing aloud even within the comfort of our own four walls, in the shower, or other private place. Are you one of these people? Are you afraid to let the notes flow out of you like a river because you feel that anyone caught downstream will be poisoned by your voice?
Not everyone may want to sing publicly, but with effort and practice, anyone can learn to sing for the love of it anyway! We all have a choice to connect with music in some way. Perhaps you can’t stand singing or feel that it is a waste of time. Think of what you are missing out on! Studies have proven that singing and music changes our brains, improves our quality of life, connects us to others, makes us happier, and can even keep us physically and mentally fit.
I believe that humans were created to sing. You don’t have to be an opera star, or aim for anything else other than having joy and fun. If love is your number one reason for engaging with music and song, then why not give it a try?
Singing has always been a part of my life, whether it was singing along with the radio, while doing housework, walking, getting ready for work, etc. For a long time now I have been singing publicly and voluntarily at church. In this context, my focus is to sing as a service to the Mass, to worship God, and to help others grow closer to Him. Nothing is better than using the gift of singing and music to move others in the world.
But singing is not just about following some random notes and words on a piece of paper. It is so much more than that, and most of it is intangible. Music is about understanding the beauty of dynamics, timing, mathematics, emotion, connection, community, spirit, breath, flow, eternity, life, sorrow, pain, joy, love, prayer, God, and so much more.
I am not a trained or professional musician, but I do have plenty of experience singing sacred music. I have seen the good that it can do if you have the right attitude and motivation behind it. While I believe that you do not have to be a professional musician to sing well, I do think that it is important to invest in developing even the most basic music theory and singing skills, and to learn from professional teachers in this field. Doing so will not only help you improve your skills and confidence but will ensure that you sing correctly, avoid vocal health issues, be aware of incorrect singing technique, eliminate bad habits, and ensure vocal longevity.
There are so many wonderful voice and music teachers in the world whose sole purpose is to help others tap into the beauty of their musical side. What an amazing job that would be! As singers, we can also learn from each other. To this end I have created The Music Room – a virtual place where you can go to find resources related to music and singing, and where content will be updated and refined over time. To start on the right path, you will find a list of some of my favourite online vocal coaches. These people are the real deal. They provide many amazing resources, have worked hard to offer them to people all over the world, and a lot is available for free. Their methods have been tried out by me, and I highly recommend them (and I have not been paid by anyone to say this!).
Posts and musings about my experiences with music and singing will also be published separately on this blog – just look out for the ‘Music’ or ‘Singing’ tags and Categories.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s go to The Music Room and get started!
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