“Can anybody sing”? is a question I’ve been asked many times. I now know there’s always a question behind that question and it can have any number of meanings. So far I’ve figured out a four of them. Here’s the first.
Can-Anybody-Sing Question #1:
When “can anybody sing” really means “could I (or my loved one) sing better than I (they) currently do”?
Singing may seem like a single action, but really there’s a lot going on when you sing. Your brain is perceiving, decoding, and reproducing beats and rhythms, pitch and volume, sound quality and shape. Your body is responding in intricate and specific ways to stimulus from your brain. Accurate singing is no small feat.
There’s also the fact that singing is a learned behavior. Some studies show that children who are raised in homes in which they aren’t exposed to music suffer a permanent deficit; they can never learn to discern and reproduce pitch as well as a kid who’s parent’s exposed them to music. Doesn’t mean they can’t learn to enjoy music or sing for enjoyment. It just means you probably won’t see them stunning audiences at Lollapalooza.
I truly believe that we humans are not inclined to pursue activities in which we have no talent. I, for one, have never once in my life thought I’d like to be a trapeze artist or a chemist. I’m pretty confident that I’d suck at those things. But there are activities and skills I would like to explore. I’m sure that if I chose an activity I was interested in, and actually worked on it for a while, I could improve upon my current ability. So could you.
What do you want to do with your singing? Join a choir? Audition for a show? Join a band? Record the songs you’ve been writing? Be honest about what you want. Know that it’s all good. There’s a heck-of-a-lot of room between the shower and The Voice. You’ll definitely improve your singing if you give yourself something to shoot for and work towards it.