Ever since I was a little girl I can remember singing, especially in school.
One of my earliest memories was singing Somewhere over the rainbow and my Mum crying in the audience!. I also remember being in the playground on many occasions and having people stand around me whilst I belted out either that song or my then favourite, Paper Roses.
By the time I had reached senior school though this was a distant memory, there was not much in the way of a choir at the school. They were more focused on dance and drama and academics. my performing days were all but over. I still did my party pieces whenever asked and I never felt worried, nervous, self conscious or uptight. It was natural and enjoyable for me. Until, that was at the tender age of nineteen I heard a comment from one person and decided that they were completely correct, I was rubbish and no one for the next ten years could tell me any different.
I went on with my life as usual but every now and then I would be tapped on the shoulder by this urge to sing and do something about it. Whenever I did sing, (usually on my own where nobody could hear me) I felt exhilarated, alive and very free. I would be determined to do something. When I lived in London I visited a well respected voice coach who was willing to work with me and my potential. My inner voice and nagging doubts had other ideas
when I had children, I always sang to them especially in the car. It was a great way to make a trip round the M25 seem quicker. One day my then three year old daughter said “mummy when you sing you make my heart melt” I realised at that moment that she had no agenda she was telling me as it was. She wasn’t trying to make me feel good or massage my ego. It was as it was. From then on I had to start to admit to myself that maybe I could sing well. I didn’t change overnight I still had all the physical feelings of stage fright and self consciousness but little by little I did my bit.
Over the years I have met many people who have said they wish they could sing but were too scared. Lots of them have similar stories to me in that someone in their past had made a comment or they may have overheard something. Some comments may have been very innocent and not intended to have a negative effect. But I believe that when someone opens their mouths to sing they are presenting themselves to the very core of who they are. It’s an intensely personal thing to do and when you do this you are exposing yourself to be judged. In this climate today unfortunately most of the judgements we see or hear are cutting, demeaning and delivered in a manner that can only be destructive and not constructive. The pleasure of singing is becoming clouded by the belief that you have to be brilliant and the only ambition you should have is to become a superstar or an overnight success. There are many areas you can use your singing voice in and it is my goal to encourage as many people back to this very natural, pleasant and therapeutic activity.