A Humble Work


Every person is born with vocal cords. With the exception of rare cases, everyone can use them to make sound. Even though some seem to be “born” with the gift of singing, we aren’t born with a full education of our voices and how to use them. I don’t know about you, but I was born with a brain, but had no idea how to use it to “Ace” trigonometry. Let’s just say I had to work abnormally hard…


What is interesting, though, is because we can use our voices to speak without needing to know the muscular strength and function behind it, we usually assume we know how to sing. I actually think we used to know more as children than most of us do as adults. Ever noticed that kids have an acute ability to make the loudest noises known to mankind? They are so uninhibited and physically free in their voices.


So what happens? Well, a lot of times as we go through the awesomely awkward stage of puberty, we lose a little bit of the child-like timbre of our voices. Once we reach the other side of it, we spend time trying to find the huge high notes and freedom we used to have and all of a sudden we start projecting strain on our voices. We push, pull, and manipulate to find our sound and eventually, we have finalized a tragic association: “good” tone with bad technique… and it feels like these habits are iron-clad.


Some of us get tired of the strain and ring for a voice lesson, but remember this isn’t a one and done deal. Just because you were born with a voice or a gift, doesn’t necessarily mean you know the most efficient and healthy way to use it. And now we may be working against years and years of bad habits. You could be born with a guitar on your arm but that doesn’t mean you know how to play it. On a side note, that would make for a freaky looking baby.


It may be a tired expression, but it’s true: The things you have to work hard for are the worthy things. Your voice is no different. My challenge to you is to ask yourself if you are humble enough to submit to the discipline of bettering what you already have. Even though my own voice has grown decades since working with Brett Manning, that doesn’t mean that I’m finished, even as a coach. You better believe I’m chronicling the things I need to work on and banging down Brett’s door to help me continue my education.


Do you have a music mentor? Do you work with people who are better than you? It’s such a wake up call when you do and it hurts our pride so good! Don’t stop! Be confident, never arrogant. Brett says, “When you’re tempted to show it (talent), hide it! And when you’re tempted to hide it, show it!” Let it sink in… wait for it… have you now fallen over with the revelation? Good. Now get up and get to work!

Book a lesson with Shelby Rollins today! Click here or call 615.866.1099