How do we truly connect with a song?
There are lots of wonderful techniques to ‘get into character’ and perform a song. First figure out who you’re talking to, what you want from them, and what’s in the way of you getting what you want, and then decide how to try and get what you want throughout the song. It’s classic scene study stuff: objective, obstacle, tactics. It works, too! The problem is that all of that is outsideof yourself. It doesn’t take into account what you are actually feeling and thinking right now!
Here’s one of my favourite ways to integrate a song into your truthful present moment: using the prescribed notes and rhythms, sing words that talk about where you are, what you’re doing, and how you’re feeling right now. Here’s an example, using a song one of my books opens to really easily… aha, ‘Part of Your World’, from the Disney movie ‘The Little Mermaid’. I’d have a hard time singing this really truthfully at this moment if I were trying to be a young mermaid talking about all the stuff she’s collected, wishing I could walk instead of swim. So let’s see, here are the original lyrics:
Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat
Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl, the girl who has everything?
At this moment, I’m not a mermaid, and I don’t really love swimming. I’m sitting in my studio with a stuffy nose, looking forward to my lunch date, so I might sing:
Looking outside, seeing the sun
Blog’s almost finished so I’ve gotta run
Finish it quick and I’ll go, I’ll go have my lunch outside!!
See what I mean? It’s okay to take (lots of) poetic license and it certainly doesn’t have to be good or rhyme. What’s important is that I’m connected to what I’m feeling right now. Then I might switch back to the lyrics and realize how I’m more connected to them:
I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty
I’ve got whoozits and whatsits galore
You want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty!
But who cares? No big deal, I want MORE!
I could really easily connect myself to those lyrics by looking around at all the nifty stuff in my studio, and wishing I could direct a 500 person chorus in a huge Cathedral in Italy or something! I don’t have to sing ‘Part of Your World’ as a mermaid. I can sing it as myself, about what’s actually happening to me right now, and it’s just as true. The best part is that the audience doesn’t really care what I’m singing about – they just want to feel the connection!
Try it and let me know how it goes! You can comment on facebook or on Twitter @DonyaMetzger.