Vocalists—and artists of every kind—are in a ménage à trois of sorts. There’s us, and our voices…

… and then there is that voice.

You know the one I am talking about. The critical know-it-all in our heads that is quick to criticize; the perfectionist and control freak that– in spite of its claims that it is trying to help us and our singing– more often than not screws things up.

As misguided as it so often is, the problem isn’t the voice in our heads, loud and annoying though it may be.

It is that we listen to it.

And that we believe and even prioritize what it has to say over what our instruments are trying to tell us. Our creativity and creative process don’t generally speak with language. Certainly, the vocal instrument doesn’t. They speak through intuition, physical sensation, and the silent whisper of wisdom.

And we, walking through our day-to-day lives, are so used to non-stop mental blather that we don’t always listen when they speak. Or even more, recognize their voices when they do.

Even when we do open our hearts and minds to what our voices are sharing, we don’t always trust what they have to say. We give more prioritization to our thoughts and feelings– and our feelings about our thoughts and feelings– because we equate their sense of urgency with accuracy.

Terrific singing– and creativity of every kind– demand that we toss out the interloper, the overthinking entity that stands between us and our true voices, and to recommit to this primary and private relationship between ourselves and our instruments. To honor and obey. To listen, and to trust. And to relearn and become fluent again in our shared language.

Like any relationship, when ours with our voice is rock solid, we can listen to opinions– ours and those of teachers and other people– more objectively. Some of what we hear will be useful. What isn’t, we are then able to discard with little problem.

No matter your creative passion or pursuit, learn to turn down the volume on the voice in your head, and to trust and listen to Your True Voice. Tune your ear, heart, and attention to the wisdom it whispers in every moment. All that you want– in singing and beyond– is there within what it has to say.

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