Almost every person who has come to me for singing lessons has started by saying that what they’d like is more confidence when they sing.
Whether they’re performing internationally or beginners who are curious how they can enjoy singing more whether in the bathroom, in a choir or a rowdy Saturday night at Karaoke. It seems to have less to do with how much they know about their voice and more to do with how they perceive themselves and measure themselves against what they perceive is “good singing”.
As an NLP Master Practitioner, I’ve spent years studying what makes us feel more confident and what prevents us feeling confident right when we need it most. (For example when we open our mouths to sing in front of people.)
What builds our confidence is a rich and complex subject, with endless research and theories about what works. There is an elegant and simple technique that I’ve developed to distill many of these strategies into a single quick process you can use anytime just before you’re going into a stressful situation, for example when you’re about to sing and you want to shine with confidence.
This technique uses 3 important areas of awareness. These are the same strategies used by Olympic athletes. By strengthening each of these strategies during our singing lessons we “wire them in” so that we can confidently rely on them when we’re nervous or about to perform. This builds our sense of trust in our voice, and ourselves and our singing confidence soars.
So let’s explore the first strategy:
Being connected and in our body, rather than being a “disembodied mind”.
Do you know the feeling where you’re singing a song and you feel as if you’re actually several kilometers away watching yourself from a disembodied state?
From this place we’re disconnected from our “musical mind” of creative, spontaneous expression and more in our “inner demons mind” of judgment, criticism and comparison. A sure fire way to let our demons rule and have a party where they’re eating away at our singing confidence one morsel at a time!
The way to beat these confidence-destroying demons is by using the breath to bring us back into our bodies – to bring us home to ourselves.
The more anxious and doubtful we are in a situation, the more shallow and chesty our breath becomes and the more anxious we feel. So firstly we need to be able to regularly use the “breath of champions”.
This is the breath taught in yoga, martial arts, singing lessons, acting, elite sports, mindfulness and meditation. It allows us to release all the tension and breath into the lower quadrants of our lungs and let the breath flow out evenly and easily. Put your hands on your bottom floating ribs and as you breathe in feel them expand and your belly to out. The ribs slowly soften as you reach the end of the phrase and belly flattens towards the spine.
Using this breathing technique helps to powerfully center ourselves. It helps us think clearly; remember all the words to the song; gives us quick reaction times to what’s around us; respond to the audience and band; and most importantly helps us manage our internal demons and the negative mind games we play with ourselves while singing.
This skill is one of the most powerful gifts we can give ourselves. It brings us back home to our true selves and it builds our Self Confidence, when we’re singing, and in all the other important parts of our lives as we go through our day.
Join me and the Sydney Singing Lessons team for our fun “Confidence Booster Master class” and come away walking taller, singing more freely with greater confidence in your own unique way of singing and expressing yourself.