Lessons From a Baby





I find that singers constantly must walk the tight rope of balancing between
technical growth and awareness, and not over thinking the process and just
being free. I personally think that, for most people, you need to gain a
technical understanding and build good technique first and then let it all
go secondly. Obviously no singer WANTS to be mentally
hounded by technique during a performance. The goal is that the diligence of
practicing technique eventually changes your habits and it becomes second
nature so you can engage emotionally to your music on stage. But lately I
have found some of my most technically proficient students really struggling
with their songs, and even their scales because they are over thinking and
second guessing their own abilities. My little 4 month old has just taught
me something about this in the last few days…




All of a sudden, my daughter’s sweet gentle coos turned into
pterodactyl-esque squeals/shrieks/squawks/screams….I mean…wow…to say
she found her voice would be the understatement of the year. It’s both
adorable and painful, haha! But what really hit me is how she experiments
fearlessly. It’s funny how obvious it is that she’s wildly entertained by
the sound of her own voice and its clear that she’s just letting loose to
see what comes out. My husband and I think it’s hilarious. I find it so neat
how babies are like blank slates that literally learn everything from
scratch. She recently discovered her own feet the other day. Can you even
imagine NOT realizing your feet were attached to your body?? Crazy right? So
when she discovered her huge voice, she began to boldly squeal out with
vehement force seeing what all she was capable of.




What if we sang like this? What if you opened your mouth with child like
faith and curiosity and just tried to see what you were capable of? Have you
ever heard the saying “The dog in a fight doesn’t know he’s got fleas”? It
means when you’re focused on your own challenge or battle or purpose, you
aren’t staring hopelessly at your flaws and so you fight with more
confidence. What if we sang completely unaware of our weaknesses and vocal
imperfections? Challenging right? See, we do spend so much time and effort
becoming excellent at our craft, and rightly so. But we have to also be able
to say (as Brett has been quoted) “Ok, thank you technique, but now I turn
my back on you and I’m just gonna sing.” We all at some point must have this
breakthrough or we will never maximize our voices. Because once you do, you
actually improve those things you hate…recklessness often corrects
technique because our over analytical selves cultivate vocal tension that’s
released when you stop thinking about it.




So…What if you weren’t aware of your limitations? Flaws? Challenge
yourself to be like my 4 month old baby and just see what you’re capable of.
I bet you’ll surprise yourself.




To book a lesson with Shelby Rollins, contact [email protected] or 615-866-1099.