Singing & Performance: Growth & Authenticity - Missy Wise


November 20, 2014


When you make the decision to share your abilities, there is often a temptation that seems rooted in a deep fear.  It’s this thing that I notice a lot in my students’ journeys and most definitely in my own…and that thing is trying to be something that we’re not.  To be somebody else.  To sound like some other voice.  To look like some other person. To want someone else’s results. At our core we are scared that we are not good enough, or even worse that we may be embarrassed if we expose our true selves (or true sounds) and are found wanting.

There was a theme in this week’s lessons and that theme was authenticity.  When the voice is at it’s healthiest, I hear my students say things like “Uh, wow, singing has never felt that good before”, “It felt like my whole body was an instrument”, “It was..comfortable”.  I am starting to believe that often times the tension so many of us add to our instruments can take root in our internal concept of what beautiful singing “should” sound like. The truth is (and other voice teachers can attest to this), your most beautiful sound is when your body is relaxed, tension-free, and flexible.  That’s when we get to hear who YOU are, what YOUR voice sounds like.  When you’re trying so hard to fit in the mold of your favorite genre or mimicking your singing idol, you run the risk of limitation.  You’re not taking chances on what your body can do in a more dree state.  You’re not trusting the goods that you personally possess.  You’re not opening yourself up to the possibility of growth.

This resonates not only in my personal practice time in the vocal “woodshed”, but  in my personal life as well.  If I’m being perfectly honest, I spend a lot of my time wanting to be something I’m not. Wanting to look different, to sound different, to have a different place in life.  That want may not last very long, but I definitely waste energy on it.  When I really take time to study the artists that I admire, I notice that they are all extremely genuine people.  They broke the mold. They stayed true to themselves. They are students of the world who are constantly bettering themselves. They are grounded. They know who they are, what their strengths are, & they are confident about what they can bring to the table.

I encourage you to join me in changing the way you think of yourself.  I want my singing (and everything else in my life) to be honest.  I want to be 100% myself, including all of my flaws, at all times. It’s only in the exposing of our flaws that we are aware of what needs to change.  I want to be getting better all the time…but not to be a better anyone else. To be the absolute best ME.  

Here’s to authenticity & growth. 

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