6 Ways to Awaken Your Singing Voice
Do you love music but don’t know how to start making it? Do you want to sing but feel blocked or shy?
Each of us carries an innate creative impulse that seeks expression — and singing is everyone’s first instrument. Yet, so many of us feel blocked by fear, judgment, anxiety, or shame when we sing in front of others. Even singing alone can feel impossible at times!
While we’re not all going to be Beyoncé overnight (although I would LOVE to live in that world), singing is your birthright. Reconnecting to your musical voice can bring joy, play and deep connection into your life.
Here are 6 simple strategies you can implement in your daily life — starting today — which will help you find your voice.
1. Just start singing! — When I start working with a new client, I often hear that they really love music, but don’t feel confident enough to sing. The truth is that feeling confident in your voice begins with just singing more often. Singing along to your favorite songs is a great place to start, but you’ll always be mimicking someone else. So how do you practice using your own authentic voice?
Open your mouth and just let any noise out — don’t worry about the notes or whether it “sounds good.” This is a great way to warm up and connect to yourself. Give yourself permission to be silly and play!
Toning — Take a deep breath and sing one note for your whole breath. Explore different vowel sounds and your whole vocal range — try your lowest and highest notes.
Improvisation - practice making up music on the spot. This can be with or without words — there are no rules! You can use what you see around you or how you’re feeling for inspiration.
Making up new words to other songs — or make up new melodies to songs you know.
2. Pair your singing practice with something you do every day — All of us spend some time in solo rituals every day, whether it’s your commute, a walk in the woods, doing the dishes, or taking a shower. If you utilize this alone time to practice singing, you can let it become a routine. Taking advantage of the times when you can relax and experiment is key to strengthening the “confidence muscles” that will help you take risks.
3. Wait for the right time — AND commit to the practice - Let’s face it — living in today’s world, our energy is always in flux. You’re not always going to be bubbling over with creative inspiration. Listen to the cycles of your energy and follow the flow. If you’re feeling uninspired, don’t force it. However, you can’t just sit back and wait for inspiration to strike. In fact, you can use your singing and sounding practice to get in touch with your feelings as they are. Making sound creatively will move your energy, which can powerfully shift your state of being.
4. Take time to land in your body - One of the biggest mistakes beginning singers make is focusing too much attention on their throat and head, and not enough on their belly and breath. Before you start to sing, take a few moments to connect to your breath, bringing it deep into your belly. Relax the muscles of your tummy and hips, and imagine expanding like a balloon. A few centering breaths will make your singing feel —and sound — so much better.
5. Dedicate your expression to someone you love - This could be a family member, a partner, a sibling, or anyone you love. Imagine them in front of you and sing for them. This brings you out of self-judgement and into a space of giving. Even though they aren’t actually with you, the act of offering is more creatively generative than self-analysis. You can also dedicate your expression to the trees, the plants, your pets or other animals, the sun, the moon — any non-human beings that you love!
6. Practice with a buddy— Is there someone in your life who makes it feel really easy to be playful and expressive? This person makes you feel safe and at ease, and the parts of you that are afraid to be seen can peek out into the light. Arrange to spend time with this playmate and witness each other in creative vocal expression. You could sing a favorite song or chant together, do some playful vocal improv, or ask for them to listen to something you’ve been working on. The containment of being safely & lovingly witnessed can bring out your creative expression in ways you never imagined.
The process of opening up your voice takes courage and vulnerability. It can bring up a lot of discomfort, anxiety, and pain. This is totally normal -- most of us have some level of vocal trauma due to impossibly high cultural standards and lack of normalized vocalizing in our culture. If you would like support on your journey to owning your authentic voice, I offer 1-on-1 Musical Empowerment Coaching and Surrendered Singing Vocal Improvisation Workshops - Learn basic vocal improv skills through surrender and play.
I invite you to book a FREE 30 min Breakthrough Call to talk about how Musical Empowerment Coaching could support you.