Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Love Your Voice

When singer's are recommended to "love their voice" what does that mean exactly?  The first inclination might be to think it means to love the sound of one's voice.  But doesn't that bring to mind the mythological Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection in the water?  It seems like there must be a healthier version of loving one's voice than that.

What examples of loving something could serve as a model to love the voice?

One of the most wonderful examples of love, when it's done right, is the love of a mother for her children.  So, one way for a singer to love her voice is to love it the way a mother loves a child.

A mother feeds her child nutritious food to help keep her child's body growing and repairing itself healthy and strong.  She doesn't give her child junk to eat.

A singer can love her voice by caring about nutrition and eating in a way that helps the cells, tendons, muscles, etc... involved in singing to repair and maintain themselves healthily.

A mother observes when her child is getting tired, often evident because the child begins to behave differently, and takes that child for a "time out" so the child can become integrated and peaceful again.  She notices what situations and conditions are prerequisites for this dis-integration and plans and foresees potential problems.

A singer can do that with her voice too, paying close attention to different behaviors that signal it is time for a rest, and observing and learning what kinds of situations lead to the disintegration of the voice.

A mother ensures that her child get the needed amounts of sleep, even to the point of forcing the child to go to bed at a much earlier time than the child wants to.

A singer needs that kind of rest to function optimally, and sometimes singers, like athletes, might have to forego late night social events in order to get adequate rest for optimal functioning.

A mother researches and  finds the best schools, television programs, books she can afford in order to inform her child of the higher path of learning.  A mother sacrifices having luxury items and provides the lessons, teachers and materials she feels are better.

A singer strives to give her voice the best education possible to give her voice every advantage of learning. A singer makes financial sacrifices to in order to provide her voice with better instruction and materials.

A mother who loves her child listens to that child and tries to truly hear and understand what her child is telling her -- especially when the child is telling her, "something is wrong; I am not comfortable with this; I am being harmed by this situation" -- and believe and take the information into account when she decides things for that child.

So, also, a singer who loves her voice learns to listen to her voice when it says, "this just doesn't feel right to me."

A good mother disciplines a child.  She says "no" when it is right to do that.  She makes that child observe a schedule of some sort, and helps the child develop and practice routines and regular positive habits.  She catches little things and bad habits that could cause bigger problems later if not addressed early.

Yet a mother permits her child to make mistakes, knowing that it is okay to make mistakes and even necessary in order to learn.  She is patient with her child, knowing that perfection is too much to expect of one so young and inexperienced.  She recognizes what is "too much too soon" and celebrates the strengths her child already possesses.  She has reasonable expectations.  Yet she also recognizes potential and has vision for what the child can become.

A mother accepts her child.  She does not compare her child to others.  She would not trade her child for any other child in the world.  She does not try to mold that child into some preconceived image, but steps back and observes and discovers just who this little person is.  She tries to find out where the child's natural passions and interests lie, and then nurtures and explores that interest with the child, assisting the child in reaching his/her potential.  She lets that child be who that child was meant to be.  She allows the child to be free.

A singer accepts her voice.  She does not compare her voice to others.  She would not trade her own voice for any other voice in the world. She does not try to mold that voice into some preconceived image, but steps back and observes and discovers just what this voice she has been given is.  She tries to find out where the voice's natural passions and interests lie, and then nurtures and explores that interest with her voice, assisting the voice in reaching its potential.  She lets the voice be what the voice was meant to be.  She allows the voice to be free.

Finally, when all is said and done, a mother shares her child with the world.  As she watches her child go forth to achieve his own personal mission in the world,  she feels very proud of her child.  If she sees her child doing good out there in the world, she has the reward of seeing efforts of her love blessing not just her own child, but all who come in contact with that child.