What powers you to get out of bed and face the day? What is it that gives your step a bounce, your lips a smile, and your outlook a lift? Of course, it could be anything. Your kids, your spouse, your friends, maybe your pet — the lake, the beach, the mountains, the fields? Matisse, da Vinci, Rembrandt, Degas, Picasso? Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Faure, Stravinsky? Baseball, football, soccer, bowling, tennis, golf? Dancing, acting, photography, painting? What gets your mojo going?
I would have a hard time getting up if it weren’t for singing, my life would be a very different one. The joy I get from singing, from listening to people sing, and from studying singing over the years, is a big part of the juice that fuels my life and who I am.
I can’t say why this should be so, but it is. It has allowed me to keep going at times when I would gladly have given up. I tried to stop singing several times in my life when it wasn’t going well. I tried to give it up but it was, truly, impossible. Now, with an injured vocal fold, I have to force myself to sing through sounds that sound awful and feel unpleasant as well, but I do it. The prospect of not singing doesn’t seem like something I could easily accept.
I wonder sometimes if other singers lose their desire to go on in life when they can no longer sing for whatever reason. Many go on after their singing careers are over to have new careers as teachers and are content with that. It’s not the same, however, to teach, even if you can sing in master classes here and there as demonstration. If you are good teacher, you shouldn’t be the star of the show in a master class. It’s the students who should shine.
If you feed the part of yourself that is your “inner singer”, or that part that knows itself as “the singer” as an identity, keeping it happy by doing whatever seems like fun, it will also keep you happy. If you don’t, the part of you that is the performer, the artist, and the authentic expression of who you are will feel neglected and the spark that lights you up will get dim.
If you love something, you want to spend time with it, in it, as much as you can. If it happens to be singing, you will find that it deserves all the attention you can give it, because that attention (as long as it is light-hearted) will keep you connected to your musical impulses, and maybe even your life’s purpose, till the end of your days. If singing fuels your mojo, get out there and sing!