I’m a musician, and I don’t love performing. For me, performing is a term entangled with so many expectations, money, entertainment… performance is intertwined with not being ourselves, putting on an act, having the spotlight, being the star, and so much of what that represents is uncomfortable for me.
For me, voice and expression comes from within. It is who you are, and putting on a mask is not going to share that authenticity of you, with others. It’s not going to get us the love that we desperately want inside. It might get us the attention, but only when we’re performing, when we have the mask on, when we’re putting out, doing what everyone else feels is valuable, and what everyone else wants for us - of us.
I’ve been teaching voice for over a decade and seen some amazing transformations...but my work has always stayed in the container of “music lessons” and that’s not really what I do. Sure, I have two degrees specializing in vocal technique, transmission practices and pedagogy, sure I have certificates and diplomas and certifications that have helped refine my skill and teaching methods, but at the end of the day, all these tools come down to one thing: access to a personal freedom to create an expression that accurately represents who we are.
When we feel confident with who we are, when we feel like what is inside of us is truly aligned with how we sound, how we look, how we communicate, then that sense of peace starts to play out in all areas of our live. We begin to feel that sense of purpose that we’re so desperately seeking outside of ourselves. That sense of purpose that keeps us alive and engaged with life.
It’s the ultimate freedom.
Performing in our culture is associated with entertainment. Is music entertainment? Sure, it can be, but when you look at the majority of cultures outside of North America, music is a sacred practice, and a spiritual event.
Music is not here to entertain us, but to draw us into ourselves, to move us. It is a tool. To help us in our own transformation whether that’s through death, grief, loss, new life… music is there to guide us through, to enhance ceremony, to affirm, and further deepen the experience. Our experience.
So, what does “finding your voice” really mean?
Finding your voice means being yourself.
Finding your voice means being comfortable in your own skin.
Finding your voice means delivery.
….It means returning home.
….It means having a sense of purpose.
Finding your voice means freedom.
Finding your voice means being heard.
Finding your voice means being seen.
...For who you are
Finding your voice means alignment with your values.
Finding your voice does not mean you have to share it.
...or give it away.
Finding your voice does not mean you have to become a performing monkey.
Finding your voice does not mean doing something that’s not comfortable for you.
Finding your voice does not mean you have to sing in front of anyone.
Finding your voice means you accept and love yourself.
Finding your voice means you hear yourself.
You heal yourself.
Finding your voice means finding yourself.
….because it is the sonic representation of who you are.