7 Things Sigmund Freud Can Teach Us About Singing
We recently talked about how the secret to Apple’s success can be applied to singing, and now it’s Freud’s turn. It might seem a bit of a stretch, but as singing is largely an involuntary and psychological process of balance and coordination, I reckon it’s perfectly fitting we get a psychoanalyst’s view on the subject, don’t you think?
Here’s 7 fantastic quotes from Sigmund Freud that can be applied to the process of learning how to sing and hopefully make your learning curve and ultimately the whole process itself much less painful, and of course, have a chuckle while doing so.
Anatomy is destiny
Amen, brother. It’s actually not possible to physically ‘extend’ or ‘stretch’ your voice beyond it’s currently capabilities, but it IS, however, possible to gain access to parts of your range which are currently out of reach due to lack of coordination and balance. When it comes to singing, your anatomy truly is destiny, and you can use this to your advantage as you learn to sing better by not fighting against your voice and treating it’s natural character with respect.
When I first began singing, I rallied and fought against being the natural baritone that I am, and funnily enough, I only gained access to the Tenor range when I started to approach it from the perspective of a baritone.
Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise
This applies to so many pursuits and goals in life. Can you TRULY say that you’ve invested the time and effort into your voice to expect the results you so crave? Be honest with yourself and you will be much happier with your progress and much more patient with the process of learning how to sing.
The ego is not master in its own house
To sing, you need to LET GO and be vulnerable to your own instrument and the lack of control you may have over its behavior. Ego has no place in singing, so don’t let it get in the way of your progress.
Sometimes a cigar is a cigar
I often hear from students who are struggling with a particular issue such as “I can’t sing words with a G in them!” looking for a secret answer, and the answer is, a cigar is a cigar – perhaps the way you are singing a “G” consonant is simply wrong, and there is no way to make it function properly? Sometimes, smoking a cigar isn’t appropriate for the situation and you need to reach for a gin, or the newspaper instead. Don’t fight against your voice, sometimes things don’t work for a reason.
From error to error one discovers the entire truth
Can I get a hello? The desire for perfection in singing is one of folly. To build a great singing voice, you must first follow the process of making mistakes so that you can learn where your technique needs adjustment and can be improved. If you give up the second you make an error, or you get angry or stubborn when you miss a note or flub a vowel, you will never learn the truth about your voice.
One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful
What more can I add? My own journey as a singer was fraught with frustration and vocal issues, until I discovered my true voice and realised I was taking the wrong road. I no longer look back on this time of struggle with ire, but as the beautiful moment my determination and dreams trumped my apparent lack of singing ability.
Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength
In the world of singing, this is huge. We all struggle with unique issues and have a specific vocal character that we perceive as vulnerability. Perhaps the AY vowel is a particular struggle for you, so any song that plays heavily on this vowel sound leaves you feeling out on a limb and lacking in confidence – but you can make this work for you. Once you discover the reason that you struggle with an AY vowel, this vulnerability will become your true strength and you will become a MASTER of this vowel sound, and the articulation of your remaining vowel sounds will also build and strengthen, ultimately leading vowel shaping to be your ultimate strength as a singer.
Don’t look at your vocal shortcomings as issues, think of them as opportunities yet to be discovered!
Singing is often as much a psychological game as it is a physical sport, with 2/3 of the main musculature used for singing being involuntary, it’s no wonder that your thought process and mind frame effect your singing. Keep these points in mind and imagine Freud waving a judging finger in your face the next time you get frustrated with your voice or consider giving up – remember, once up an time Freud’s books were burned in the streets!
If you’re ready to knock your voice up another notch, a great place to start is the free courses available here at BVS, and then when you want to reach the next level you can book a Skype Session and we’ll start extending your range and taking control of your voice!
If you have any questions about how Freud relates to singing, feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!