I’m just that little teapot in the ancient nursery rhyme
I’ve got a cute little handle, an arrogant spout
‘n I tip over all the time…
– Teapot song
I used to believe there was a ‘high’ and ‘low’ to singing. This caused me much grief. Buying into this grand illusion kept me straining for high pitches, reaching to ‘hit’ them. Sometimes I’d just give up and fake notes with a fuzzy, unfocused voice. Either way, my head voice was a mess.
The bottom of my voice, however, was awesome sauce. I had rich warm tones I was proud to own. As long as I kept in my happy territory all was well, but my singing was limited, and the limitations were annoying.
Oh Happy Day
But then one day, someone pointed out to me that a person doesn’t lift a piano in order to play high pitches. So why did I need to go up at all with my voice? I was asked to define high and low in terms of singing and I was stumped!
Well, that ended all the mental fuzzies. It was a light bulb moment. From then on, I could approach singing a completely different way.
As I changed my perceptions and stopped buying into the notion that singing was about traveling to anywhere, my voice became fluid – it was suddenly easy to sing throughout my expanded range without any strain or stress. Hallelluyah – praise great singing teachers!
I fondly remember a girl I coached named Danielle (the sweet pea above in the sweatshirt with the big logo.) Dani also had a rich deep voice and was still struggling with her illusions. One day, she just caught on to what I was saying to her and, voile’. No high/low. Much easier!
She rebeled. “Wait a minute! This is too easy! There’s no challenge anymore!” Tough audience. But, in the end, my songbird really did appreciate not having to work so hard.
Tweaking One’s Head
I share my story here in case you also have a bottom-heavy voice. You may need change how you perceive things, surrender assumptions that haven’t been working for you. If the traditional approach to singing resonates, hold on to it and appreciate it. If it doesn’t, maybe tweak the images in your head. Play around with wording and your imagination until it works for you in a good way.
…And never assume…
All of this improving my confused thinking left me musing about life. After all, how much do we assume in our lives? Oh, my.
And here’s more. Are we willing to change our point of view and adjust our radar when needed? And what happens when we do change our point of view? How does a giant peak in perception alter the way we view ourselves in the world?
Big topic, right?
I’ve been thinking that maybe ‘tipping over’, once in a while, even awkwardly, might be okay. Maybe we need to leave room inside our heads for fresh thinking. Maybe, since up and down singing is not a given, a lot of life’s truth is illusive like that too. Maybe much of what we assume, we shouldn’t assume at all. Getting my drift? I’m really just suggesting we be a little more curious, a little less sure of ourselves.
I know it’s tricky, but I’m willing to try if you are. Just putting it out there… 🙂