I know from my experience as a singer that it takes a particular willingness and spirit to sing as a soloist. As a soloist, my intention has to be grounded in me. What do I hope to accomplish in my singing? I know that, for me, a major intention is to share my love of music and melody and words with my audience. For that reason, it has always been important for me to understand what the words I’m singing mean to me so that I can bring my personal response to how I sing a song. And so, it has always been easier for me to bring that intention forward once I know the words and can sing ‘off book’ so to speak.
I have a very well honed inner critic which can and does readily examine each word and tone and phrase looking for that which has not been ‘perfect’ [this when I keep reminding myself that perfection does not exist!]. And I know that when I sing for any audience, I am open to their response and reaction not only to what I sing but how I sing it. I know that there is a vulnerability which exists for me when I perform and that it is increased when I am the instrument and that there is nothing between me and the audience except space.
Until a few days ago, I had never thought much about singing and choice. It’s important to remember that the vocal folds from which we form sound are located at the point of the fifth chakra – at the point where we speak our presence to our world and at the point where we choose not only if we will speak [or sing] but what and how we will speak [or sing]. And it’s also important to note that the fuel which gives impetus to our voice comes from the fourth chakra – the location of air and of knowing why we do what we do and the place where the beliefs, values and attitudes which we hold are located in our bodies. It’s important to remember, too, that our bodies are quantum biological processors which take in massive amounts of information each second and which store that information in tissue.
So, singing is a choice point activity. It truly is me voicing the measure of my discovery of myself.
And the question has been, lately, why am I choosing to sing? Is it for an exam? Am I singing in a competition? Am I singing as part of a concert? For me, if there is no joy in being the instrument and expressing what I am feeling and how I am moved by what I sing, then it becomes an obligation – a commitment I’ve made by virtue of saying that I’d be there, hire an accompanist, rent a space, publicize the concert, pay a fee for an exam, pay for lessons. As I consider this, it seems, lately, that singing has been about money! There has been something missing for me – no magic, no soaring of my spirit as I let myself move into the song and how it moves in me.
Singing is truly a choice point activity. And so, I’m choosing to find my joy in singing again. I’ve missed its presence in my life!