Friday, October 16, 2009

"What It Takes To Become a Master [Singer]"

I was reading on Michael Hyatt's blog tonight a guest post by Mary DeMuth, entitled "What It Takes to Become a Master Writer."

I ask you read this post she has written, but read it with singing in mind (or whatever may be your pursuit). She reflects on the 10,000 hours that a craftsman needs to put in in order to hone his craft as described in Malcom Gladwell's book Outliers. Ms. DeMuth has written a checklist for writers. I thought I would transpose this checklist for singers. These checkpoints pretty much describe the way an avocational singer, singing at home in her living room, goes at her passion.

Here is the checklist re-written for singers:

1. I am willing to sing un-listened to songs.

2. I am thankful when a singer farther along the journey offers critique.

3. I understand that honing my voice is not merely a weekend exercise, but a decade-long fight.

4. I am developing thick skin with each rejection, while maintaining a tender heart. (I realize that rejection can make me bitter and entitled.)

5. I see obstacles to my singing journey as hurdles to jump over, not walls to stop me.

6. Folks who describe me use the words tenacious, dedicated, and disciplined. I am a lifelong learner of the craft.

7. I set practice goals or production goals each week. Then I meet them early no matter what.

8. In the beginning of my journey, I sing for free, understanding the importance of apprenticeship.

9. I am passionate about helping others in their singing journeys even if it means they surpass me. Because when I teach, I learn. And when others succeed, I rejoice because I’m expanding my singing ministry beyond myself.

10. I understand the beauty of God’s sovereignty in the midst of the journey. He gives and takes away. Blessed be His name, no matter what happens—gigged or not.


  1. That was beautiful. Thank you for taking these pieces of wisdom and adapting them to the realm of the singer!