A Good Voice

Apr 21, 2015

As somebody who’s been singing for more than sixteen years, for me, it’s always been about the voice.

My attention has been devoted to making my voice sound better and having a vocal identity to be proud of. Over the last decade, the little voice inside my head has asked many disconcerting questions; ‘Is my voice powerful enough?’ Is my range big enough? Is my diaphragm supporting me sufficiently? Is my tone controlled?’ It’s always been about how my voice sounds, and ultimately, whether it’s good enough. Good enough? Who and what defined good enough? 

I’ve always been a talker; I’m the sort of person who turns to conversation in uncomfortable situations, someone who talks to her cat about what brand of cat food they’re going to be given for dinner (I’m not the only one who does this, right?) and if I’m reading a book, I’ll probably be reading it aloud. I use my voice constantly, as do we all.

Two years ago, I was backstage at one of the biggest gigs of my entire life. I was twenty minutes from going onstage and the nerves were almost unbearable. The little voice in my head (speedily turning into a humungous one) was disconcerting again. I couldn’t sit down for more than ten seconds, so pacing was the only way forward at this point. My mum was with me, keeping a level head (I’ve since found out that she was as nervous as me!) She assured me that it was pivotal that I enjoy the experience, sing my heart out and embrace the audience’s shared passion in this wonderful thing we call ‘music’. She reminded me of how I love to sing and how it wasn’t about the sound I made, but how I felt singing on that stageNow that’s a good voice, and I’m not just talking musically. She chose to use her voice in a way that made me feel like I was able to achieve, reminded me that I was doing OK and was capable of succeeding. Better yet, I’d call that agreat voice. During my pacing phase I had two options; I could either continue to dwell on the negativities, which would result in me wishing the experience away, or I could let her positive affirmations work their magic and allow myself to seize the moment! And that’s what I did. I went on stage feeling empowered and gave the gig my best shot, enjoying every second of it!

There were many other artists and groups performing at the festival that day. I heard adlibs, harmonies, solos and throw-a-ways from singers who had performing for many years and more, but the best voice I heard all day was my mums.

And that’s when it hit me; a good voice isn’t always defined by how high you can hit the notes or how well you can hold a tune. Sometimes, you find the best voices in the most ordinary of conversations. Ultimately, receiving the smallest affirmation of positivity from a friend, family member or passer-by on your journey to work, can have the biggest impact on the way you feel about yourself. This leaves me to conclude that we all have good voices, so let’s use them! Tell yourself that you’re going to be the best person you can be today, tell somebody else that they are valued and appreciated; make yourself feel amazing! Sing while you’re making breakfast, talk to your neighbours and tell your best friend how wonderful they are! I promise you, if there’s one thing for certain, you voice will never have sounded better!

Written by chloe cooke, Choir Motivator @ Sing & Inspire part of the inspireMe Group. 

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