Thriving Singer

Badass Divamom Peptalks

I teach singing.  It’s what I do and I’m really very good at it.  I teach technique.  I teach interpretation. I make sure people are singing the right notes and are aware of the traditional styles in what they’re singing.  All this is true.  But the phenomenon that keeps repeating itself is perhaps even more interesting than the actual work itself.  Singing and a singer’s relationship to what they do, ends up being a metaphor for life.  The problems we face with our singing point to deeper issues in our psyches.  It’s uncanny the way self-doubt, perfectionism and work ethics play into lessons.  Sometimes it feels as much like therapy as a voice lesson.  I’m always really clear that I’m not a licensed therapist but it just comes up.  I don’t mind.  I am here to share any experience that will help a singer achieve their goals.  If they need to work out some feelings in the context of a lesson, it doesn’t seem inappropriate to me.  Maybe because I’ve been there.  

When you allow yourself to be passionate about something, there is a vulnerability that is necessarily attached.  Passion is deep.  Sometimes, we access our deepest fears by accessing our passions.  Because of our commitment to that passion, we have a terror of failing.  Ironically, the love of what we do causes a kind of paralysis that prevents us from mastery.  Then we begin to lose the love of that thing.  It’s not a question of really falling out of love with the passion.  It’s more an aversion to the negative feelings that are aroused by being in touch with that passion. The stakes become impossibly high. Insurmountable, in fact.  And the sad truth is that once we are afraid to fail, mastery becomes impossible.  We have, in effect, erected a wall that impedes all progress in the direction we desire most.  So, sometimes, this is where I have to start with a student.  It’s a maddening paradox that often the most talented people with the most drive are the ones who are shutting themselves down.  The only way to make progress again is to feel safe to fail.  We must let go of the need to be perfect.  Indeed we must let go of the need to even be good…for a while.  Only when we are free to just stink out loud, to fail epically can we begin to get on the right track. We have to let go a little to rediscover the joy of our passions.  It’s a real balancing act to successfully do what you love.


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