I’ll never forget the embarrassment I felt when I sang a solo for a Church Christmas program in Santa Barbara, California, while serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Here’s some of my journey from suffering singer to confident performer. Maybe you can relate.
Just a few years before I had lead singing roles in high school musicals and I toured Europe with my high school madrigals the summer after graduation. I had studied voice for several years with a well known teacher in my hometown.
But in college, I was unable to compete with the good singers. They could sing high notes easily it seemed. I couldn’t sing beyond the E above middle C. And I wasn’t born with vibrato. My confidence in my solo voice plummeted. I left college to serve as a missionary in California and at Christmas time I was asked to sing.
My pitch was flat, my voice was shaking and my tone was poor. As I sang, I felt like I could hear the congregation’s collective toes curling in their shoes, as they squirmed uncomfortably in their seats…unable to leave without appearing rude, but wishing they were anywhere else but listening to me struggle through the song.
When I finished, I felt the congregation all looking straight ahead…relieved from a torturous few minutes.
I resolved I would never sing a solo again. And I decided I was a choir singer, not a soloist. I definitely was a suffering singer.
My first love was singing and performing. It’s literally all I did the last two years of my high school and I lived to sing and perform.
After my service in California was completed I returned to college and changed my major from music to business to public relations to social psychology to communications. My life was so filled with singing and performing, I never found a course of study that I was passionate about.
I went to work for a bank and three years later I went into a sales career for the next 28 years.
I had loved musical theater in high school and in college I performed in the chorus of the opera, Boris Godunov, and loved it.
Although I continued to sing in church choir, I never sang solos. Worse, my heart literally ached when I went to see my sister-in-law perform in community musicals. Instead of enjoying it, I left depressed that I wasn’t on stage anymore.
I tried out for Camelot at one of the local theaters, but didn’t get a call back. So I was a suffering singer.
My idea of singing
I had given up on the idea of ever singing solos or being on stage again. I couldn’t sing high notes, I didn’t have vibrato, and I had zero confidence in my voice.
My wife and I had 8 children and so my time was swallowed up in supporting our family. I literally gave up on singing and getting back into musical theater.
I believed I wasn’t born with the voice that could sing high notes or have vibrato. My confidence in my solo voice was shot, and my life was filled up with important responsibilities. But beneath all this there was an unfulfilled longing inside I thought was impossible and out of reach.
As a suffering singer
- Couldn’t win auditions, or hope to get leading roles
- Had no vibrato
- Had to strain for high notes
- Was embarrassed by voice cracks and breaks in my voice
- Lacked confidence
- Compared my voice to everyone and fell short
- Had a voice getting worse not better
- Experienced singing fails
- Felt the pain of not attaining singing dreams and goals
- Deep down, sensed I could sing, if I had the right training, but gave up hoping
- Suffered from a deep sense that I was not fulfilled in my work, that something is missing in my life.
- Suffered from repeated tries with various teachers and methods without any change
Can you relate?
If you can relate to any of this, or if you’ve experienced this or other things I didn’t mention, you are where I was for 24 years.
You’re not going to like what I’m going to say to you, but you are a suffering singer too.
So how did I go from a suffering singer to a confident performer, where singing is second nature?
I’ll mention one of the things that’s found in Pillar #1 of the Second Nature Singing System. This one thing, completely changed my voice and infused me not only with hope, but with the joy of singing and performing again.
What’s that one thing from Pillar #1 in the Second Nature Singing System?
It was learning designer exercises, tailored specifically for my vocal type. Why did this have such an impact on my voice?
It’s because, after years of vocal exercises and trying different teachers and methods, I found exercises that were made for my specific needs as a singer.
One example is I tended to strain on the high notes. [Demo] These exercises taught me how to sing high notes without ANY straining. [Demo bubble lips on 1 ½ scale] And now I can do this. [demo ah on same] This immediately enabled me to sing notes I thought genetically I could never do.
Immediately the suffering turned to hope and eventually to performing in over 40 musicals with many lead singing roles.
Your first step?
Your first step to getting Designer Exercises for your voice is to discover your vocal type. I’ll put the link to a simple vocal type test. Click here, or click the link in the description below the video.
I need to warn you, you may never be the same again, when you start doing Designer Exercises for your vocal type.
I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. For you, singing can become second nature.