|Music is for everyone!||
|Music is for everyone!||
Yes, I believe you can sing! Like every other ability that the body and mind develop - the more you use, train and support your singing muscles, the stronger they will be.
Singing abilities through the lens of children:
I invited the dad of a 4 yr. old student to sit and sing with us during circle-singing time – the child laughed at this idea, exclaiming “My dad can’t SING!” He can indeed sing, I’ve heard him carry a tune. However, this young child had begun classifying people in two groups– those who CAN, and those who CANNOT sing.
Another circumstance found me enthusiastically singing the theme song to a Disney movie, when a child tried to shut me up by saying “You’re singing off key!” She was annoyed with the song that her younger sister sang ALL THE TIME. What does that expression “off key” mean to a 9 yr, old? Where had she learned this language? Regardless, she knew the power of the insult to get the result she wanted: to make a person stop singing.
What is the desired sound?
The vast majority of the population are born with the predisposition to be musical. Singing ability is developed as muscles and ligaments are trained and coordinated to produce a sung voice vs speaking voice. Then comes the ability to produce a melody line that goes higher and/or lower. With that ability, there is the auditory ability to hear differences in pitch, and whether a melody is going higher or lower. Rhythmical awareness, discrimination, and replication. Only a small percentage of the population 2-5% do not have the brain-wiring for these vocal skills.
When singing muscles and brain pathways are underused, their abilities need warming up or training to produce the desired sound. Practice does not make perfect (what is perfect?) – but it certainly improves underused abilities. It is normal to have narrow singing abilities when voice muscles are unfamiliar with producing other sounds.
This world needs more singing!
Performance-quality singing is not the baseline expectation for sharing your voice or your song. There is no formal stage or audience when we are singing with a group of friends, at a family gathering, in a church service, with kids or remembering an old song with an elder. The more YOU get comfortable with this idea, the more you give permission to people around you to be ok with their singing voice, and the ripple effect will see more singing in the everyday lives of everyday people. Music is for everyone – all ages, all abilities.
Singing has the potential to connect us and makes us feel good! I think our communities and this world could benefit from a little more of that. Do you?
A review of what success looks like at Music Interchange in Year 1:
Kids expressing themselves musically in their home environment!
Teens feeling more confident about their abilities to create music!
Adults having fun, positive, group singing experiences and gaining confidence in their singing abilities!
And now onto year two!
Lately I have felt as though I am standing at the edge of a high diving board, about to jump. With a range of Community Music programming advertised, registrations coming in, it's GO-time! This is the work that I have been preparing for and it is exciting that the opportunity to do it is in front of me! Am I ready? Sometimes I feel that I am, and other times I feel scared. I have suited up, climbed up the ladder, walked out to the end of the board… The only thing left to do is jump. While I stand at the edge of the board looking down, I reflect on where I am and what I am about to do. If I think to much, I could psych myself out.
“Don’t think about it, just go!” - a personal motto created for myself and my cousins for swimming in Lake Superior. The water was always shockingly cold, and too much hesitation resulted in turning around before letting the water surface rise past our belly buttons. The best method? Rush into the water and dunk our heads under before our minds had the time to question what we were doing. Knees up, arms flailing, shrieking briefly before you nearly lose control and fall into the massive lake. The adrenaline rush of the cold, the quick acclimatization, that floating feeling, the fun of hanging out on the floating dock – this is what we were after, and what resulted from moving swiftly past that initial fear of the cold water shivers and numbness. If the water really was too cold – all we had to do was walk out of the water and towel off. So simple. Nothing lost.
"Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes." Elizabeth Gilbert, Creative Living Beyond Fear
I'm eagerly curious to discover the results of this big courageous leap forward.
I will not passively and timidly watch from the bleachers. My place is in the arena.