Singing & Performance: “I used to sing, but…”

 

November 7, 2014
 

Since 2011 (or when I started keeping track), I’ve met individually with more than 1400 singers.  Crazy, right?  When I look back at the list of all those people, I’m struck by a) how many specifics I can remember b) how cool the experience is of getting to know each in this unique way and c) what themes tend to arise.

I was recalling this with a client last week as we had a conversation about the role singing played in his life and how similar it was to someone I had been working with earlier in the day. In that moment, I spouted some categories I’ve noticed with regards to how people who sing identify themselves and I thought I’d share one of those today to see if the story resonates with you.

I call this group of singers the “I used to sing, but…”’s

This is one of the most common categories of client who comes through our door and their stories have a wide range, but one common theme. Here are some examples based on true stories I have heard.

“I had a band in college and in my early 20’s with whom I toured. But, after we broke up I went into a 9 – 5 job and just sorta stopped singing.”

“I grew up singing at church and leading others in worship. As an adult, I came out of the closet and left the church. Simultaneously I stopped singing.”

“As a kid, I performed in a national children’s choir and traveled the world. When I became a teen and my voice matured, I became very scared to sing and haven’t sung since.”

“I went to college for musical theatre and after, moved to New York to give it a go. It didn’t exactly work, so I came back to Chicago to find something more stable. I haven’t done any performing or singing.”

“I was in choir as a kid, and in my high school’s musicals. I tried out for a few things in college but didn’t get accepted and never pursued it any further.

The next sentence in most of these reads like “I feel like a part of me is missing.” or “I feel like my creative self is gone.”

I always admire the courage of those who have stories like this and put forth the effort to come back to singing lessons as a means of rediscovering their voice. Sometimes it can be scarier to revisit something you left than to tackle something completely new. What will this unearth? What does it mean for who I am now? Some, who do, last and find ways to reintroduce singing regularly into their lives while others have difficult time creating that regular space for it.

As with any creative endeavor, if you once made something… a painting, a dance, a song… it was a part of how you told your story. Part of how you contributed to the world. Part of how you found fulfillment. If you cease to create, it is often the case that a part of you will seem to missing, absent or unfulfilled.

But, such is life, right? We have obligations – jobs, families etc. We have struggles! Financial, emotional, physical, personal… There is so much to get in the way creating and all of these excuses can be legitimate. But regardless of legitimacy in the struggle, if you used to create, you’re bound to feel a tug to continue to do so.

It is my personal belief that there is no more unique and personal way of creating than with your voice. The vibrations you make can permanently alter your emotional and physical landscape. Further, they can change the space that surrounds you. It’s an epic endeavor and it matters. Your voice matters.

Are you use a “I used to sing but…”? Does it feel a little bit like something is missing? If so, that feeling isn’t going to go away, as the stories above can attest to. Your voice isn’t gone, you’ve just been ignoring it. Find a place for rediscovery! This could be in the quiet of your own home, or in your church choir. Maybe you need to get out there and try to put a new band together or maybe it’s time for another audition? Voice lessons can be a safe space for rediscovery and experimentation. Regardless, of where, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone and there are others who each and every day are taking the bold step of uniquely uncovering their voice. Not more “but…”

comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS

Resources and Friends


Technique & Pedagogy
Somatic Voicework
Richard Miller 
William Vennard
Cornelius Reid

Chicago Laryngologists
Dr. H. Steve Simms
Dr. Aaron Friedman

Speech Pathologists
Kate Devore
Jan Potter Reed

Alexander Technique
John Henes

Massage
Four Hands Massage

Headshots
Ann Latinovich

Chicago Auditions
League of Chicago Theatres
Theatre in Chicago
Backstage
Chicago Artists Resource

Chicago Acting and Improv Classes
Act One
Acting Studio Chicago
Actor's Talent Group
The Artistic Home
Black Box
Green Shirt Studio
The Green Room
Improv Olympics
Second City

Chicago Choral Groups
CSO Chorus
Grant Park Chorus
Music of the Baroque
William Ferris Chorale
Bella Voce
Apollo Chorus
Lakeside Singers
Schola Antiqua
Chicago Choral Artists

Sheet Music
Sheet Music Plus
Music Notes
Hal Lenoard
Music Minus One
Download Music Minus One

Rehearsal  and Karaoke Tracks
Practice Tracks 
Pianos Tracks for Musicals
Audition Trax
MP3 Accompanist
Your Accompanist
Opera Karaoke
Sunfly Karaoke

 


Recent Entries

Announcement: VOXUS, A Team Building Experience
Listen: Davin sings Make You Feel My Love
Listen: Missy Wise sings Moments in the Woods
Announcement: Chicago Circle Singing at Davin Youngs Voice
Announcement: Meet our new studio assistant, Taylor Snooks
Practicing Singing: Trusting the process and the art of sticking to it
Announcement: Intro to singing through improvisation with Alison Wedding
Announcement: Musical Theatre Audition Workshop with Missy Wise
Announcement: Meet our new voice associate, Alison Wedding
Announcement: Open MIC | House - June 22, 5:30 - 8:30pm
Announcement: Open Mind / Open Body: connecting the voice community through Science + Sound
NEWS: one-year DYV-iversary! - Missy Wise
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 22
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 21
NEWS: 2014 A Year in Review
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 20
How to successfully give and get online voice lessons
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 19
Acting & Performance: The gift of curiosity - Kathryn Bartholomew
Singing & Performance: Growth & Authenticity - Missy Wise
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 18
Announcement: December Sessions Posted
Journal: Leave your baggage at the door. - Jeanne Nemcek
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 17
Singing & Performance: “I used to sing, but…”
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 16
Announcement: Creating a Character an Acting Workshop with Kathryn Batholomew
Singing & Performance: We’re all in this together! - Missy Wise
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 15
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 14
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 13
Announcement: “So, you like to #SING?” Voice Technique Workshop
Practicing Singing: Three things we need to do more of
Practicing Singing: Am I getting any better?
Announcement: Singer / Songwriter Workshop
News: Back to WGN with Patti Vasquez
News: Davin Youngs Voice on WGN Radio with Pete McMurray
Performance: Davin sings It’s Hard To Speak My Heart from Parade
Announcement: “I can #SING that! (Where song and technique meet.) Workshop
Journal: Somatic Voicework™, The LoVetri Method & My Voice Story
Singing & Performance: The Power of Stillness - Missy Wise
Journal: Davin + Missy @ NATS 2014 National Conference in Boston
Announcement: And the WINNER is…
Announcement: Kathryn Bartholomew, Acting Associate at Davin Youngs Voice
News: Davin Youngs Voice on Monocle Radio’s “The Entrepreneurs”
Announcement: Singing Technique Workshop, July 20, 3-5pm
Announcement: Win a 3-day pass to the Pitchfork Music Festival
Announcement: Meet our SINGtern - Linling Navarro
Technique & Singing: What You Should Expect of your Voice Teacher
News: Davin Youngs Voice on WCIU You & Me This Morning
Announcement: Meet our SINGtern - Jeanne Nemcek
Singing & Performance: What if singing were easy? - Missy Wise
DYV on the Town: A safe space to share your voice
Announcement: Monologue Workshop, May 31st, 11am -1pm
Announcement: We’re heading back to Davenport’s!
Fear & Singing: Why it can be so right to be wrong
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 12
Announcement: We’re Hiring (again!)
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 11
Announcement: Davin Youngs Voice Intern
Performance: Missy Wise sing Maybe This Time from Cabaret
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 10
APRIL FOOLS: Student Spotlight Interview No. 10
DYV On the town: Davin Youngs Voice invades Davenport’s Piano Bar
Announcement: #SING it’s #SPRING
News: Davin Youngs Voice - Hidden Yelp! Reviews
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 9
Performance: Missy sings Brave by Sara Bareilles
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 8
Journal: Confessions of a Voice Teacher and/or Finding our Authentic Voice
Performance: Davin & Missy sing Say Something
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 7
Practing Singing: Stuck inside? Why not #SING?
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 6
Announcement: Someone to introduce you to!
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 5
New Years Resolutions: #SING
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 4
Announcement: Fine Arts Building, Open Studios - December 13
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 3
Fear and Singing: Yes, you look silly.
Announcement: We’re Hiring!
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 2
Fear and Singing: What are we all afraid of?
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 1
Singing & Performance: You were born to sing.