Put your hand up if as a child you were encouraged to stop all of your musical and creative efforts at some point and ‘focus on school’ so you could get good grades and a good job too?
I mean, it doesn’t make sense to take your eye off the prize, does it? Aren’t hobbies and other leisure activities a distraction from your end-goal? Time wasted from the real things you are trying to achieve?
As a vocal coach for over the past 12 years, I beg to differ. I have trained an increasing number of adults who want to use singing as an opportunity for personal growth and confidence in both their home and work lives and the results speak for themselves.
Learning to sing doesn’t mean you want to make a career out of it. It doesn’t even have to mean that you are any good. What it should mean is that you are that one person who is willing to do what it takes to find your ‘happy’, regardless of what you have been told and what your family or friends might think.
Ever heard the saying ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result’? There are so many reasons why that applies to our everyday lives more than we realise.
If you have been working hard to stay focused and keep your ‘head in the game’ like most 30, 40 or even 50 somethings, you are probable having just about the same results as the rest of the people around you. Which I bet are not quite the results you’d hoped for at this point in your life?
Many singers come to us [Voicehouse] because they are not where they want to be in life and something inside of them has just ‘clicked’. If playing by the rules isn’t working, then it’s time to colour outside the lines. That’s where the magic begins.
Most of them [the singers] start out singing just for fun, but it often turns into so much more than that. Singing is not only therapeutic but it’s great for self-confidence and learning to refine your skills.
A large percentage of our singers don’t even tell a soul that they are taking lessons when they sign up… many of their family and friends have no idea until they surprise them with a live performance out of the blue.
But what kind of benefits are people experiencing exactly? Good question.
NUMBER #1 – RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Firstly, when you work hard – you need some kind of a reward. Although Friday night drinks might be fun for some, in the long term it’s a very poor return on your investment of time and money… meaning that the benefits might feel immediate but are inevitably, short lived.
Working on a new, tangible skill is most likely to give you long-term satisfaction because once you develop it, it’s yours to keep. Even if you only ever whip it out in the shower, at home or at a random night of karaoke, you will feel amazing knowing that you can do it again and again.
NUMBER #2 – PUSHING BOUNDARIES
Secondly, it gives you an opportunity to push your boundaries and have someone support you in refining a skill to the point where you get really good at it!
I have always been a fairly confident person and many people ask me why I’m not afraid to get up on stage in front of thousands or walk into a room of people I don’t know and speak freely. I’ve put it down to the fact that because I’ve trained my voice from a young age, I’ve gotten used to failing and trying again. You can never have too much practice and there is always a next level of perfection. So, no matter who’s in the audience it’s never really an ‘end goal’, but rather one chapter in the overall story.
NUMBER #3 – UP-SKILL
In a world where everything is so fast and everyone wants the latest and newest technique, singing brings it back to basics – the philosophy of refinement. You will feel confident in your voice when you know exactly what will come out, each time you open your mouth. This kind of confidence only comes when you take a skill past a certain level, which takes time and repetition.
So how does all of this help your career? Well, in my experience once a person has learnt how to cultivate one skill – such as singing – they bring those philosophies forward into everything else that they do. It’s basically the science of getting good at something!
And for some… like some of our past and current coaches at Voicehouse, it might just give you the confidence to start a completely new career.
Start somewhere and be open to wherever life takes you.