WHY YOUR COMPETITIVE MINDSET IS KEEPING YOU SMALL.
Do you know this kinda feeling?
Easily singing the high notes in the shower, but going into a “freeze” reaction when you need to do it for an audience.
The performance phenomenon that every singer is familiar with. But the opposite is true: the less hard we try to sing beautifully, the better it gets!
Our competitive mind keeps us small.
How exactly does this work?
As I mentioned in my first book, singing is like the laws of life. Do you know the feeling that when you are looking for a lover, you don’t find one and when you stop looking, everything suddenly falls together like a puzzle? The rule also applies that if you hold on too hard to be able to sing a certain note, there will be too much tension around your throat and your stomach will no longer move flexibly. This makes your voice sound pinched and you’ll sing flat, without any feeling. Because, the more effort you put in, the more you increase the idea of “effort”. More effort gives more tension and more tension is of course not conducive to the muscle tension around your throat! Learning to let go while singing is the message!
How can I combine singing technique and singing with emotion and flow?
Singing technique and singing with emotion are in fact two things.
You train singing technique to train your muscle memory. When the muscle memory is trained, you can go back to singing with emotion, and it will be easier to find your flow.
However, in singing lessons it is not always easy to keep those two things apart. After all, you are following a “course”, so your intellectual mind is coming up.
But on the other hand you are actually learning something physical. Because singing is mostly motor memory. And this should become automatically.
Your mind slows down the process. As soon as you want to integrate your mind into this physical, emotional, musical and motor process, a blockage arises between mind, body & voice.
The trick to learning to sing better is to not try to “understand” it with your intellectual mind. You need to become aware of what you feel in your body. Because your voice is the result of the physical actions in your body.
It’s all about getting closer to your body. A better connection with your body will ensure better control of your voice.
>>> So the rule applies here during your singing lesson:
- Be aware of the feeling in your body while singing.
- Combine singing with movements. (cfr the Mind The Voice method) After all, exercise ensures that you put your competitive mind out of the game.
- After singing a sentence you can try to understand intellectually what has happened and what you have felt in your body.
- So the order is not: mind > body => voice, but voice & body together, and after that try to understand it intellectually (mind).
Getting more in touch with your body is essential to learn to sing better.
In concrete terms, this means that vocal training cannot be separated from becoming aware of your body. That is why it is always best to start singing exercises or phrases “slowly” and “consciously” and not continuing a karaoke version on YouTube. I know, that seems slow and less fun. But if you want to have results fast, you will have to practice SLOWLY and CONSCIOUSLY.
Fortunately, you will notice and hear results very quickly if you do it right. Then you will feel awareness in your throat, but also in your chest, your stomach, your neck, your shoulders, your legs, your skull,… It’s the whole body that “sings”. Not just your two vocal cords. After all, to get your two vocal cords to vibrate healthy, a lot of muscles have to work together synchronously!
So you don’t just sing with your vocal cords, but with your whole body!
You can compare it with a guitar: you need the whole sound box to produce a beautiful sound, not just the strings.
Law of attraction
“He who seeks, finds.” is not always true in my opinion. Because “searching” also means that the thing you’re looking for “is not there yet”. It triggers a competitive mindset. And we all know that being too competitive is the enemy of finding your flow and creativity.
- “How do I sing better?”
- “How do I sing that high note?”
- “How do I get more likes on my instagram page?”
- “How do I get more recognition”.
All these ways of thinking create dissatisfaction in yourself and therefore more tension. You want to sound SO good, so you try SO hard and as a result you get an even MORE TENSE sound, which makes you sound LESS good. The opposite of a what you need to get a relaxed voice.
So don’t focus on the blockages, don’t think about the difficult notes, but focus on the entire structure of the song. Feel the emotion and let your sound flow through. After all, what the general public understands by a beautiful voice is ALWAYS a “relaxed”, not gritty, unconfident voice. And yes, even the most difficult, highest notes, are always sung from a certain flow in your mindset.
FLOW is key.
Do you know the LAW OF ATTRACTION? Tune in to what you DO want. Then another world opens up, a space, the flow, the “zone”. A mindset of “knowing”.
Know you can do it. Sing because it makes you happy. Sing because you oh-so-love it. Just like when you sing in the bathroom or when no one hears you.
FIND that flow and the magic will happen!
Is it still difficult to understand? Then do the following visualization exercise:
Go back to your very first musical experiences. To the moments where you sang just because you “loved” it. Without competition or stress.How did it feel to be so completely “into” your music? Blissful, isn’t it? Can you imagine how easy singing is when you just have fun and don’t THINK about it? Yep! That’s what I mean! Thinking is the opposite of feeling with your body, so when you don’t think, when you drop your performance drive, you will sing with FLOW and there will be no throat tension anymore. 🙂
Do the test and you will hear and feel what I mean!
Let go of wanting to sing beautifully … and you’ll sing beautifully!
I would like to finish with a “mind-body-voice exercise”!
Here are some great tips and tricks to use while singing.
- Button 1 (stability): Feel your stability: feel your feet on the ground, feel grounded, feel that when your knees are loose, your pelvis is also more relaxed. Sligthly tighten your pelvic floor muscles and feel how you are more centered in your abdominal region. (Your pelvic floor muscles are connected with your diaphragm, but also with your hyoid bone (one of the three cartilages in your larynx).
• Button 2 (breath support): Feel your belly moving in and your flanks and lower back tighten as you sing.
• Button 3 (space): Straighten your spine from your flanks and lower back. Activate the muscles in your upper back and your neck muscles. By activating it, there will be no throat tension, but “space” in your throat to resonate more.
• Button 4 (sound projection): Send the sound towards the shout zone (backwards, if you feel throat tension), so that you get a feeling of a free and open sound. Like singing to an audience that is behind you instead of to the front!
Good luck finding your flow!
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