How to break the vicious cycle of judging your voice

05 Feb

I’ve just gotten back from a really intense month of studying Fitzmaurice Voicework in Los Angeles, and I learned something about myself that I’d like to share with you!

I judge myself. I judge the sound of my voice, the intonation, the word sounds, the quality, the artistry…

The list goes on. I bet you do it too, right? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. It’s simply human.

When we’re singing, we have a choice about what we DO with the judgment. We can direct it inwards, at ourselves, or outwards into the song. If we’re not conscious, it will likely be directed inwards, which might go like this:

  • I sing, and judge it, maybe thinking, ‘I hate this’
  • I notice feeling ‘I hate this’
  • I am reluctant to express ‘I hate this’
  • I prevent ‘I hate this’ from coming out of me by (unconsciously) squeezing my throat
  • My voice is more tense than before!

The other option is to direct my judgment into the song, which might go like this:

  • I sing, and judge it, maybe thinking, ‘I hate this’
  • I notice feeling ‘I hate this’
  • I wonder about how ‘I hate this’ makes sense for the song!
  • I commit to freely and openly expressing ‘I hate this’ in the context of the song
  • ‘I hate this’ successfully passes through me and I am free to feel the next wave of emotion that comes
  • My voice stays free and open!

I invite you to try it the next time you’re singing. Even if the feeling (which could be hate, sorrow, anger, etc.) doesn’t seem to make sense in the song, perhaps the confusion or feeling of conflict about that might make sense in the song. Allowing your real feelings to percolate through your song moment-to-moment means that you don’t EVER have to fake or ‘perform’ anything, and your audience will be able to see more of your vibrant, authentic self.

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