Everyone Can Sing

This is just a note to all humans out there who think that they cannot sing.  Are you listening, humans?  You can sing.  Everyone can sing.  Maybe you do not want to sing (although my brain cannot wrap its head around that thought), or maybe you feel embarrassed about the level of quality at which your personal singing currently rests, but in case you are just scared, or shy, or nervous, or for some reason actually think that some people can sing and others can’t, let me clear this up for you.

Singing, like anything else, takes practice.  Walking took a lot of practice once too, but now you are probably quite good at it.  This is not because it is easy.  This is because you do it every day.  Now, I do not want to offend any handi-capable people out there who just physically cannot walk.  Walking is just the most common way of getting around, but if you really just cannot walk for any number of physical reasons, you probably have found another way to get from place to place.  Singing is like that too.  Just as you worked hard to build up your leg muscles and practice your balance to walk, singing takes a bit of time and effort.  And singing is really just the most common way of making music with your body, but if you physically have no throat, or smoke things that destroy your vocal folds, then you can definitely find another way to make music.  But barring any physical abnormality, you can absolutely sing.

Now, when I say that you can sing, I do not mean that you can currently sing well.  Don’t get me wrong.  If you have not sung a note since that last day of 5th grade when they forced you to sing “The Greatest Love Of All” with all of your classmates in front of the whole school and everyone’s parents, then you may be terrible at singing.  But it is not because “you can’t sing.”  It is because you don’t sing.  If you tell me that you can’t sing, and you mean it in the same way in which you might mean that you also can’t play the bassoon, because, for instance, you have never studied the bassoon, then that would be one thing.  But I often feel as though people who say “I can’t sing,” are saying it in the same way in which they might also say “I can’t fly,” or “I am 5’6″ tall.”  As if it were due to some sort of internal affliction, rather than lack of trying.

So your vocal folds are controlled with muscles.  You know, like everything else in your body that you use.  If you never use them or stretch them out, they will be weak.  This does not mean that you cannot sing.  This is a bad excuse.  Believe me.  I tried to use the same excuse when asked to do a pull-up.  “But I can’t do pull-ups!” I cried.  But apparently, with lots of effort and repetition, I can.  I can do one pull-up.  I have gotten up to three in a row, but that was decades ago.  Now I can do one again.  But it is not because “I am a person who cannot do pull-ups.”  It is because “I am a person who is lazy and hates doing pull-ups.”  Don’t tell a gym teacher you can’t do pull-ups, and don’t tell a voice teacher that you can’t sing.

You may not have the most beautiful voice in the world, but it doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to use it properly.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t increase your vocal range.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t sing beautifully.  And besides, no one has the most beautiful voice in the world, because it doesn’t exist!  Beauty is in the ear of the beholder.  Even world famous opera singers are not universally beloved.  Give me a list of people who love a particular singer, and I will give you another list of people who despise them.  No one, no matter how successful, well-trained, famous, or accomplished, is immune to people thinking they sound ugly and terrible.  People are jerks.  Forget them.  Just sing.  It will make you feel better.

Basically, what I am trying to say here is that you should sing.  Children can all sing.  They love to sing.  Then some of them forget.  Well, remember.  You sang once.  Remember?  Don’t listen to the voice inside of you that says you can’t do it.  You can!  You have the same internal throat workings as everyone else!  You are vocally powerful!  It is inside of you!  Go out and do it!  Unless you don’t want to.  But then just say that.  Don’t say, “Oh, I can’t sing!”  Everyone can sing.

Posted in Singing, Tenor Tuesday.

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