Singing As A Spiritual Discipline

If you approach singing as a spiritual discipline, it is a lifelong challenge of the greatest depth.

Spiritual “work” asks that qualities which are universal and unchanging in human character are developed over a long period of time. Things like patience, perseverance, determination, loyalty, honesty, diligence, purposefulness, commitment, courage, humility, and resilience can only be developed over a period of months and years. To devote oneself to a “higher calling” asks that you confront yourself on a daily basis to examine your actions and hold yourself to some kind of standard that is beyond personal selfishness. In a society that loves excess, money, sex, power, and violence, that is a tall order, particularly when the path you have chosen to follow has no markers. If you join a religion, there are practices to guide you. If you adhere to a moral philosophy, ditto. If you are a singer, where do you go to ground yourself in the art from the perspective of developing your soul?

Finding a teacher who is knowledgeable about pedagogy in a wide array of eras and styles, who is capable as a singer in many kinds of music, who has dedicated him or herself to gaining both experience and knowledge of voice science and vocal health, music business parameters, and person-to-person communication based on compassion and truth might seem like an insurmountable task, but it is not. There are such teachers of singing out there, but they are not “run of the mill” and they are surely not hanging out a sign on the internet highway saying “I am better than everyone else”. If you don’t know where to look or what to look for, you will miss them.

Singing is a very challenging thing to do when you are asking yourself to take it to its fullest level. Writing for the voice is just as hard. If you sing, and it could be any style, and you do not confront who you are in the process, you are not addressing it as a spiritual discipline at all.

You cannot hide in any spiritual discipline. You cannot run away from the present moment you, good and bad, in order to be “better”. You have only this moment, this sound, this body and this awareness from which to generate the next you. If you do not stay present, you cannot create a miracle in your own life. That this is difficult almost goes without saying, but that it is NECESSARY, is also true.

Singing is a very spiritual discipline. It can allow you to touch the hem of the robe of Creation itself. It can show you humanity in all its glory as nothing else can. Your voice IS your spirit in sound in this life. Reach out to someone who can help you understand this and walk alongside you on that path. Dive deep. It’s worth the effort.

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