A lot of people come to me and their first words are: “I can’t sing” or “I’m rubbish at singing” or just simply “I suck” with a sad face.

They are a bit down and disheartened; probably because they’ve done a bit of practicing and sung in front of a friend or family member and they’ve put them down.

It’s something that everyone can resonate with. You put your trust in someone and hope that they’ll be gentle with you, but get a bit of a bruising.

It’s totally saddening. We’ve all been there. I’ve had moments where I’ve worked really hard and thought I did a great job and someone close to me has said something and it hit a bit of a nerve.

And, you know what – it hurt. I had to take a bit of time to figure things out.

What did I do? I dusted myself off from their comment and realised that loads of other people did in fact really enjoy what I had done.

Singing Confidence Booster Rule #1:

Just because one person gave you negative feedback doesn’t mean that you were awful.

The thing about opinions is that everyone is entitled to their own and they are subjective, which basically means that they are only really geared to the perspective of the person who experienced something.

Imagine you are at the theatre with a friend.

Your friend is unfortunately sitting behind a big pillar and you have a perfect view of the show.

After the show, your friend says: “The visuals were awful for that show”.

FOR THEM, that may be perfectly true, but for you who had the clear view, they may have been spectacular! It’s all about perspective.

So there we go, just because someone talks rubbish about you or something you’ve done doesn’t mean that is what it is.

I would recommend that you seek out an expert in the field you are after when asking for an assessment on your new endeavour.

Seek out someone who has established themselves as an authority in what they do and only then will you feel that the criticism will be constructive and positive.

An example of where I needed help

I had an audition last year for a part in the West End that required me to play the Violin. I mean, I’m no stranger to the instrument having led orchestras when I was a lot younger, but that was years ago and I was rusty to say the least! Like, really rusty.

Fortunately, enough though a friend of mine is a very talented fiddle player for an up and coming Scottish Folk band. He was kind enough to take me back through my baby steps of violin again and give me feedback on what I could be doing better.

With that constructive criticism and A LOT of work, I managed to get a recall for the part I was up for.

The morale of the story is to be selective of who you listen to and don’t let negativity get you down.

Singing Confidence Booster Rule #2:

Everyone has ‘off-days’

Sometimes, you might find yourself second guessing your ability to sing – obstacles will come in all shapes and sizes:

  • Vocal fatigue may prevent you from hitting your notes
  • A restless head might make it difficult for you to stay on pitch and in the same key.
  • You might have an illness coming on from something you ate
  • Maybe you are just feeling low and can’t get your heart set on the song

Whatever it is, understand that sometimes it’s OKAY not to feel ‘quite right’ all the time because the truth is no-one does.

We all get stressed out and feel peaky. It’s human so don’t beat yourself up because you had a few off notes.

More important is that you know in yourself that you will fight on, practice every day and prepare for your next opportunity to show what you’ve got.

More practice generally results in less ‘off-days’ occurring.

I think it is important at this point to remember the days too when you are feeling perfectly on-point.

Isn’t it a great feeling?

What I’m trying to say is that if you practice even when you’re not feeling 100%, you’ll feel especially great about when the day comes around when you impress yourself. Even if it’s just a little bit.

Singing Confidence Booster Rule #3:

Your Unique Voice – Why compare with others when you have something special

This is another recurring one that really winds me up.

Our culture is so tapped into music that we can’t avoid what is popular among our social groups.

And, from this admiration we often feel the need to compare ourselves with those in the spotlight, but there is a problem with this…

To me, singing is about communicating a message to others.

It is about putting your voice out there so that it tells a story or shares a feeling or emotion.

When people try to simply mimic what they hear, are they communicating their own message or just amplifying someone else’s story.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of fun to play around sounding like other people. It can really inspire you to create your own sound.

Always remember that your voice is your own. It’s yours! You might not always appreciate it as much as it deserves, it’s unique.

No-one else has the gift that you have been given.

So please, please please enjoy it.

Hannah Howie

 

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