Frame of Mind- Singing to Achieve vs Avoid

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This topic was inspired by my observations while working with students over several years. All vocalists have a goal. That is, they want to deliver a well coordinated, sweet sound to their audience with expression, emotion, impact and magnetism; Leaving them with a lasting message: A memorable experience. 

 

 

One of the building blocks for singing is Preparation. This block comprises of several components. I'd like to focus on "Mental Preparation" and it's effects on the singers progress. Most singers have a goal in mind. Whether it is to achieve a desired sound or avoid an undesirable one. That is, Singing to achieve VS Singing to avoid. This may sound like the same thing, but it really is not!

Each of these triggers off a different chain of events in the mind of a vocalist and therefore, affects the vocal production process. Your frame of mind will cause you to deliver either an augmented sound or a diminished one. "Singing to achieve" focuses on technical application and strategy to attain a desired sound.

Conversely, the goal of "Singing to avoid" is averting failure. Fear causes a vocalist to lose focus, and engage in incorrect technique including: * unwanted muscle activation, * root tension, * incorrect placement of tones, * unbalanced tonal production, * reduced presence, flexibility, agility * and affects airflow. This results in a diminished sound which then convinces the singer,that their negative, self defeating thoughts and words have evidence to support them.

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Fear causes you to withhold your voice, therefore sharpening or flattening notes, slipping into falsetto, lacking power and presence. A negative frame of mind will also affect your stage presence. It can cause you to: * be stiff, * be unbelievable, * lack eye contact * seem distant & disconnected from your audience. In rehearsal, a negative mindset limits your potential, hinders your from applying technique and ultimately creates what is known as a "singer's block". This mindset causes a lack of confidence in the singer's ability to execute the techniques afforded to them

Your abilities become restricted, making it difficult to change pitch or manipulate resonators. You have less flexibility and agility, poor breathing and lack of focus. This kind of mind set also causes you to sing too safely, taking no vocal risk. You sing beneath your potential with no power, presence or personalization of your song. Fear is an incapacitating state of mind that can cause singers to lose sight of technical tools and focus on the thing they fear instead of the success they desire.

Singing to Achieve with a desired sound in mind, you will be focused on technical application, execution skill and coordination. All singers should be determined to sing to achieve. In order to attain that, you should always have a goal. Plan a structured, strategic practice session. Your goal for rehearsal should be to master execution and coordination of techniques. You should also spend time structuring your song to ensure an impacting performance.

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Your goal onstage should be to communicate with your audience effectively, thereby leaving them with a message and a memorable experience. You should aim to have effective, melodic, impacting communication with the audience! All Roads Lead to Your Audience! Frame of mind has control over everything! As a man thinketh, so is he. Have a serious 'songversation' with yourself. Sing to achieve, take vocal risk, focus on technique and remember, singing is a judgmental art, so adjust your mind to suit and always put the best version of YOU forward.