Singing As A Spiritual Path

If you are seriously committed to being on an artistic path, if you think of yourself as an artist, if you long to create and will do so regardless of what gets in your way, you are on a spiritual path, even though it may not have a formal name. If, on the other hand, you want to sing to become famous and make a lot of money (not that being truly artistic precludes that), you might want to skip this blog.

Art may not be definable but it is recognizable. It doesn’t come cheaply to the artist to be  one.  Art comes from within the mind of the artist and it takes a lot of self-exploration, self-examination and self-honesty to tackle being deliberately creative for its own sake. As you express what you have in your heart and mind, you will inevitably have to face your own limitations: physical development (skills), emotional obstacles (courage and commitment), mental blocks (evaluation of your own work and criticism of it by others), and psychological problems (what is the value of my work in my own life?)

If you do not dig into yourself with “why” questions you will have no clue as to the “what” or the “where”. If you do not see what you want to express as being sourced from your vision of life, your art will be pretty dull. Genius is only possible if what you create comes from you and only you and is unique, compelling, special, different, new, fresh, and/or unusual. If you are a really good carbon copy of someone else, you might be able to make money, but no one will remember you. (How many Elvises are there in Las Vegas?)

The advantage a vocalist has that others do not have is that the voice is by definition, unique. (see previous posts). You start out by being recognizably YOU. If you train your voice until it is unrecognizable, you lose something really valuable, so be sure you don’t get caught in training for training’s sake. The point of training is to enhance and support your special sound, not to cover it up.

If your singing teacher does not guide you to a part of yourself you have never met before (again, in your body, in your mind, in how you react emotionally, or in your philosophy about your art), you aren’t really learning anything valuable. A master teacher makes the process more profound for the student, not more obscure. The challenges have to be met, but they do not have to be met without some sense of what they will give you when you meet them head-on.

If you do not have someone to support you in studying singing as if it were part of your own spiritual journey on this planet, you need to look for a new teacher. The gift is in the revelation of what is around the next corner, and that is always an unknown.

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