Hello Mindful Singers,
Toni and I have had a crazy spring. Death of a family member and other family business have kept us from being able to do some of the things we want to do for our community. We hope you understand.
Recently, my husband and I moved to a new home on a golf course. My two sons and my husband love golf and when everyone gets together, the men spend all of their time on the course. Which leaves me out because I don’t know how to play nor have I EVER had any desire to play.
But after a reconstructive arm surgery I wanted to add something to my fitness routine that could help with rehabilitating my injured arm, PLUS I was sick of being left at home while my family had all the fun.
So I bought one brand new club and some used clubs (just in case I hated it). Now, I am really terrible at golf. Which has made me even less motivated to learn. What a stupid game, I thought. However, my only experience has been at a place like TopGolf. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. It is insane.
Turns out normal golf is so much FUN! I will spare you the details, but after a month of playing real golf, I am turning out to be an OK golfer. Surprise!
What does this have to do with singing, you ask? Well, turns out they are very similar in the way one learns how to sing
What does this have to do with singing, you ask? Well, turns out they are very similar in the way one learns how to sing.
In order to really get consistent in hitting the ball, you have to really center yourself and shut out the distractions. That is easy to do in the middle of the country in Virginia, but when Don and my sons are watching I hear all kinds of silly voices in my head saying things like “You suck.” Or my favorite “Whatever you do, don’t miss the ball!” Which of course makes me miss the ball every time.
One of the things you have to do is pay attention to how the swing feels in your body when you get it right. Sound familiar? Now this sounds simple but you are multitasking and juggling so many things: Are my arms straight? Are my elbows tucked? Is my left hand in the correct position? Are my knees bent and my back straight? It is a lot!
Think about what we ask singers or ourselves to do. How is your posture? Are you grounded? What about your breathing? Are you squeezing, or are you maintaining appoggio? You know what I mean. It is also a lot! Whether you’re a teacher or a singer or both, I think we forget how much we ask of ourselves when we are learning a new song or a new skill. It is easy to get discouraged! I for one have a renewed appreciation for how my students must feel when they are trying to put together so many skills.
I love being in nature. Nature makes me feel more connected to the divine and to myself. This is one of the perks of golf. We may not be singing outdoors, but singing also makes me feel more connected to the divine.
Singing has a spiritual element to it in my opinion. I think it is because our voices are connected to our spirits and are intrinsically connected to who we are as a person. Just like golf, when we aren’t singing our best or we are so nervous we can’t enjoy singing we don’t feel right in our spirit. But when it is good, we get a spiritual boost like no other.
I hope you see what I am getting at here. I also hope you are reminded how difficult singing can be, and have an appreciation for the difficulty of multitasking when you are learning a new skill.
Do you have a story about learning a new skill? Let us know, we love to hear from you!
PS. Don’t let anyone tell you “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” that is one of the biggest lies ever!