Too often we practice self-evaluating instead of focusing on singing. We choose to listen to ourselves in order to decide whether we are good enough, and that does us no good. We get discouraged. What we must understand is that there is a time for everything. When we practice scales and excercises it’s as good a time as any to get critical, but when we get on stage (should it be at the 02 or at an open mic in our local pub), there is no time for self-deprecation. This is the moment we have all been waiting for, worked toward, and potentially been fearing: we get to share our singing with an audience!

Now this is something we all have to try to understand; we share what we feel and we share what we fear. When we perform, we must make a choice between making our audience feel joy, or watching them butt off to the bar half way through our set because we allowed ourselves to go AWOL. What I mean by this is that if we are not present – and I mean really present, feeling every second – we become invisible. If we don’t occupy our body when we perform, because we got lost somewhere in our head (and the head tends to be fearful), we are not interesting. We should not hope to magically become interesting to people, if we don’t share that opinion.

How do we become interesting to ourselves?

We stop listening to some criticizing voice in our head and watch the beauty of the moment instead. There is beauty in the very fact that we are brave enough to get up on that stage and open our mouth, regardless of our level. It’s been proven many of times, a singer who sings with soul, who touches people’s heart, goes beyond sound. How do I know this? I have taught singing technique to thousand of students, but the ones who move me are not always those who are the most skilled. They are the ones who remain present through the thick and thin of a performance, and who recognize their own magic. I believe this is what “soul” is: feeling, being, sharing.

We can’t seem to “wander off” in a middle of a song. This moment is interesting and it is everything. Make it real by recognizing how powerful it is, and I promise you, there will be others in the room wanting to be right there with you.