Energy And Pyschology. A Singers Secret Weapon.
So, you have a solid technique, you have developed style to your singing. You have done everything ”vocally” to master your voice. There is however another aspect of singing that is overlooked. An aspect of singing that sets apart the amateur singer to the professional singer.
An energized body will lead to an energized voice!
Exercise: Walk into a room with your shoulders slumped, head down, yawning and feeling very lethargic. Notice your energy levels. Now sing. What do you notice? What is often lacking is certain “spark”. A singer may be technically great, but a technically great singer may sometimes appear robotic and lack intensity.
So how can we create energy?
- Light exercise before you sing
- Move while doing vocal exercises.
Motion leads to Emotion
This leads me to my next point, physiology. As a singer, your instrument is your body. By now you should realize that nearly every muscle in your body contributes to the way you sing. The way you present your instrument (body) can alter your energy levels and also the way people perceive you. Let’s take the first example again. Remember, lethargic, slumped….. Now walk into a room with energy and vitality. Chest high, head up, smiling. Now sing. Is there a difference to your voice? How differently will people perceive you? I can tell within seconds in my private coaching sessions how well a student will perform that day just by the way they walk into the room. Your physiology, the way you move, the way you hold yourself directly affects your state of mind, your Psychology.
Psychology and Singing
A singer can have the most talent in the world but unless they have the mindset to take full advantage of their talent, it will go to waste.
The mind has the ability to create or destroy.
3 examples of successful singers:
- Natural talent and positive mindset. This singer is very rare. They become the superstars we know today.
- Learned talent and positive mindset. This singer is very common in the classical world. A singer may spend 10 years studying and a couple of years trying to get a break. They never give up and eventually “make it”.
- No outstanding talent but a positive mindset. This singer probably won’t win any singing competitions yet somehow is able to make a living out of singing. I’m sure you can think of examples in today’s pop music.
3 examples of unsuccessful singers:
- Natural talent and no mindset. This singer has all the talent in the world. Unfortunately they are full of excuses as to why they haven’t “made it” as a singer. Confidence and self esteem issues are usually the problem.
- Learned talent and no mindset. This type of singer will give up easily. They often fear rejection.
- No talent and no mindset. Occasionally I come across a student who doesn’t possess any talent and who is hesitant to learn anything new. This singer is often under the illusion they are a good singer yet when they are told otherwise they become defensive and angry. I’m sure you will have seen this on a popular prime time singing competition.
Talent can only take you so far.
Technique can only take you so far
The singer’s mindset will determine how successful they will be.
Which category do you fit into?
The Learning Process
As a singing student you must realize that learning to sing is a lifetime of study. You cannot master singing in a month, a year, or even five years. Remember that your body is your instrument and it will change throughout your life. With that in mind, patience is the key. Build skills slowly and add to your technique on block at a time. The more time you spend laying the foundations, the more skills you will be able to add over time.
Don’t rush it!
Beliefs. Beliefs form a big part of the learning process. There are two types of beliefs:
- 1. Empowering Beliefs
- 2. Disempowering Beliefs
I CAN do it
I CAN’T do it
I AM a good singer
I am NOT a good singer
I LOVE singing high notes
I CAN’T sing high notes
Disempowering beliefs are dangerous when learning how to sing. If a student believes they can’t do something even before they have even attempted it, they will be in a constant battle with themselves. This will result in frustration. As a student you need to be open minded and free of any preconceived ideas and beliefs when learning how to sing.
As a society we have been conditioned to believe that mistakes are bad. In the schooling system a student is punished for making a mistake. Mistakes = Failure. It is no wonder that when a student of mine makes a mistake, their first reaction is one of anger and frustration.
Mistakes are a singer’s best friend.
Mistakes are the quickest way to learn. Mistakes do not equal failure.
Mistakes = opportunity to learn and grow.
When you hit a “wrong” note or have a moment of “cracking”, have a laugh about it and don’t take it to heart or get embarrassed. The more mistakes you make, the more you will learn.
As a student it is often hard to gauge how much you have improved. There are certain things you can do to keep track of your progress.
- Keep a journal and take it to your lessons. Write down anything you are struggling with, and any small breakthroughs you have.
- If possible arrange to have your lessons video recorded. You will be able to view your progress over weeks, months and years.
- Set yourself goals and evaluate yourself monthly. I have included a handy chart which will aid you in this area.
A well rounded Voice. Equally developed in all areas.
A Poorly Trained Voice
Strong in some areas, but weak in others.
Imagine that this is a wheel on your car. How smooth would your car feel when driving? How efficient would it be? How long would it last? Your voice will behave in the same way. Singing will seem hard, frustrating, and unpredictable. Your voice will tire easily. The truth is most singers start out like this. By evaluating what your strengths and weaknesses are you will know which areas of your voice to focus on.
Aim to be equally strong in all of the areas.
I hope this article has been useful to you.
Ian CastleShare on Facebook