• Michael

Everyone can sing .. is it true?

This is a tricky question. The short answer is: If you can talk, you can sing.

But that isn’t really what people mean when they ask us this question.

What they really want to ask is am I capable of creating a sound that I, and everyone else, would like to listen to?

We are inundated with cues in our daily lives that suggest what a “good singer” sounds like. Whether it is the subtle croon of Carol King, Pavoratti triggering the Richter scale, shredding vocal rock stars like “Xtina” and Celine, or the iconic icy blast that Idina Menzel brought to Wicked and Frozen — they teach us what a singer “should” sound like, for better or for worse. 

At The Music Lab, we believe that every mind is musical. Everyone who walks through the front doors has the potential to experience the enrichment that comes with playing music. Singing is no exception. 

The self-limiting mantras that I’ve heard from students or potential students through the years like: 

Oh I’m tone deaf

You don’t want me with a microphone

I only sing in the shower or when no one is listening

I’m not talented enough

...or the most heinous...

I can’t sing..

...all revolve around the popular misconception that in order to be a good singer, everyone has to enjoy listening to you. Again: am I capable of creating a sound that I, and everyone else, would like? Instead, reimagine your question: am I capable of creating music? 

Changing that question, all at once, knocks down the self-imposed pressure to sound a certain way, and opens up the door to experience music -- regardless of the sound you make. And yes, getting rid of those pressures will free you up to create a sound that you, and others, will enjoy. 

I argue that even more useful than furnishing a student to be the next rock star, voice lessons will prepare a student in areas beyond the obvious performance. 

Public speaking

Controlling breath, projecting sound, relaxing their mind, and connecting their body to their voice are all building blocks that are baked into a voice lesson. You don’t have to sing in order to employ these techniques. From small presentations to addressing large groups of people, voice lessons will, I guarantee, give a student the tools to become a more effective public speaker.

Confidence building

There was a study that uncovered the number one thing that people in the workplace would never do in front of their colleagues or classmates. Yes. Singing. For one reason or another, singing in front of your peers brings crippling paranoia and panic. When you take voice lessons and practice all the technical skills that singers use to create music, the nauseating idea of carrying a tune in public becomes no more threatening than being asked to help lift a heavy object. In the latter scenario, there is still the possibility that you’re not strong enough, but you’re more willing to try to lift a heavy box than try and sing a song in public. Voice lesson puts both of these scenarios in the same mental category. After all, the voice is just another muscle in human anatomy.

Getting the most out of your lungs

Speaking (no pun intended) of muscles and anatomy, effective singing requires effective breathing. REALLY effective breathing. Voice lessons will teach a student how to make the most of a single deep breath. Holding long notes, creating fuller sounds, projecting further sounds, higher pitches, etc. Dexterity with the diaphragm, shoulders, abdominal muscles, postures, etc are all the same bodily functions that you use to be able to participate in other enriching activities like running, hiking, swimming, etc. Especially when we live in a place like Tacoma, Lakewood, and Seattle with all the outdoor activities within reach. 

So yes, I will venture to say that everyone can sing in the same way that everyone has the ability to be creative. Not every voice you hear on the radio is a gorgeous sound to everyone. If you google “Mariah Carey Mic Feed” you get a peek behind the veil of stardom and expose the vocal fry and throat shred all too common in today’s pop music. Objectively speaking, it’s a weird noise, but we spend money on it. 

Instead of focusing on being the next opera, musical theater, pop, or jazz phenomenon, students should focus on creating a sound that they themselves think is beautiful and a sound that they can be proud of. Once we get there as a student, the audience will grow and they will start to listen — maybe even spend the same kind of money they do on that cringy youtube mic feed

When you come to accept that every mind is musical, you come to realize that everyone is capable.

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