Singing: an Act of Courage

I once had a client who was very enthusiastic about discovering her voice, but couldn’t help but be fidgety while she sang.  She suggested that the reason she is fidgety while singing is because it was a way of her coping with the ‘discomfort of it all’.  Walking into an audition room, walking out on stage, a voice lesson, a recording session…those are some of the instances in which singers are faced with the courageous decision to use their instrument and all in front of an audience.  The audience can be supportive, encouraging, or highly critical; a mixed bag of responses.  Singing requires us to give ourselves permission to use our voices no matter what the response will be.

Author Michael Hyatt says “courage is the willingness to act in spite of fear”.  As singers, no matter how hard it may be to share our voices with the audience, the love of our craft outweighs the fear of disapproval of others.  Singing is being ok with diving into the unknown.  Whether you are just discovering your voice for the first time, or if you are a seasoned singer, it takes tremendous courage to push forward and let your voice be heard.  Even if you are polished singer who has studied the craft for years or you have prepared a lot for this big audition.  It is understanding that no matter how much rehearsal time you have had, you simply can’t predict the outcome of your performance.  The singer must be in a state of ‘not knowing’ and that takes tremendous courage.

Courage doesn’t mean resisting fear, it’s allowing the fear (or nerves) to be there, working with the nerves and going ahead with the performance.  In addition, singing is an act of courage because it requires us to be ok with being vulnerable.  The voice is such a personal instrument to begin with.  Then add in an audience, a stage, a mic…etc.  As best selling author/researcher Brene Brown puts it, “you can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability.”

Alida Headshot 2015Alida is a singer and pianist based in Vancouver, Canada.  A graduate of UBC Music, Alida is also a certified IVA singing teacher.