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What is a Real Singer? Print E-mail


Part 1

Do you remember when you were little and you looked up to an adult or older person, and thought, “I want to be like that!” Then you imagined what it would be like to be that person. You may have even acted it out with your friends or by yourself in front of the mirror!  Didn’t we all play “doctor & nurse” when we were little, or other games where we became our favorite roles of interest?  When we were children, did we say, “I am not a doctor, and I do not have a degree, so I must pretend” or “I am too little and I will fail!” No! We just became a doctor and embodied the idea of one as best as we could comprehend in that moment. We were little and we knew we’d get bigger some day. We imagined what we wanted to become, and were completely present as we committed to our own magical world. We were exploring, creating, manifesting and becoming! This is how we learn. What makes us think we shouldn’t do this in more empowering ways as adults?

How did we lose this ability to just completely surrender, and fearlessly “become” whatever we wanted at any given moment?  Somehow, over time, with school and grades and competition, we learned that there are levels, and some are “better” than others.  We learned to judge others and ourselves, and our value, oftentimes was based on a letter in the alphabet.  Eventually, most of us stopped playing those games we played as a kid, and learned to “get in the real world” and prove ourselves. Soon the world became a much more serious place and there were expectations and more important roles placed on us.  We learned over time, to put more pressure on ourselves.... I think you see where I’m going with this.

SINGER OR NOT A SINGER?


I get calls all of time from people who initially tell me, “I’m not a singer” or “I am a Singer,” and once they believe they’ve finally earned that yearned for title, they continue the same disempowering behavior by creating endless levels for themselves within the realm of “singer.” It never ceases to amaze me how we continue the same patterns of always trying to be somewhere, instead of enjoying where we are, now. 

A student who recently told me he does not yet feel comfortable with the title of “singer,” had a very logical definition of what a singer is when I asked him.  He said: “Someone who is admired, has a magnetic personally, is able to express their emotions musically with feeling, someone who is a story teller, someone who is skillful with words, someone who can make music with their voice... I’m not there yet, because my voice is not exactly the way I want it to be... to the level that I would like to be...I’m still getting comfortable with the growth and learning process.”

Well, that’s pretty fair, isn’t it?  Let’s take a logical look at what we want to be, and then we can’t necessarily lie to ourselves and tell ourselves we are better than what we are. We have to be honest and know that we’re not there yet.  So we can’t have that title because we don’t deserve it yet.  Do we?

What if... the belief in the gap itself, created the gap?


MIND... SOUL... VOICE!

I’m always talking about how things are created mentally first.  I think it’s pretty much a universal law, but it seems to become even more obvious when we open our mouths to sing – particularly if we’re around other people.  Many of us suddenly become our own worst enemy and think we’re going to mess up.  Our body usually responds to the feeling of fear, by clenching up and becoming tense, even sweating. Our stomachs are known to get “butterflies” and frogs jump into our throats! We can even change our blood pressure, heart rate, and brain neuro-pathways from the idea of failure.  It’s actually amazing when you think about it.  I’ve been there before. I remember at age six, being so afraid to mess up the solo “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” in front of the entire class. I opened my mouth to sing the words I knew so well, and nothing came out. The teacher thought I was faking it (because I’m sure there were other times she heard my loud mouth when I thought no one was listening). She yelled at me for being silly and some of the kids giggled. In some strange way, maybe it did help my sensitive mind, because at a young age, I began to think that it was “silly” to be afraid, and that I was “funny.”  By the time I was sixteen, I was getting paid to sing at local fairs.  So I went from wanting to be a “Singer” at age six, to becoming a “Professional Singer” at age sixteen.  It happened so organically and there are a bunch of events and painful lessons I’m leaving out for the sake of not writing a novel (yet).  But honestly, I don’t even remember a day when I suddenly claimed the title, “singer.” It just happened - when I allowed my mind and heart to feel safe enough to just express who I was. The more often I did it, it became less and less scary.

“REAL SINGERS” HAVE MORE FUN!

If we must slap a label on something I believe is in everyone, I believe a “real singer” is someone, who in that moment, chooses to use the energy of their soul in the musical expression of their voice. It is a state of being that any individual can become in any moment.  It is natural, normal and FUN! We have the most fun when we are most free, and we are most free when we become as a child again, and just commit singing in the present moment. A person who says, “I’m not a singer” is really saying, “I don’t give myself permission to make my natural sounds, because I’m afraid I won’t measure up to your or my expectations.”  How empowering is that?  Ick! How about claiming the title “real singer” and imagining what it would be like to embody that? Having fun yet? It is from this loving space that you can create the voice you want.


Part 2

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Award winning Singer/Songwriter Empowerment Coach Dot Todman appeared as a Celebrity guest on TV Guide’s Idol Chat and gave advice for American Idol (www.americanidol.com) contestants.

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