Excuses, Excuses...

Excuses, Excuses...
Sunday musings...

are you simply excuse-ridden?

Do you always have an answer for "why not", "why you aren't" but can't really DO what you say you are now?

Excuses are a form of stress management I guess.  They also disguise fear, anxiousness, and often a reality check that you just feel you don't have the energy to see.

Many singers carry a trunk load of excess baggage called "excuses".   They lead with it,  sit on it, open it like and share it like they are war medals,  and contaminate everything and everyone around them with this trunk of excuses.

The excuses of why you can't do something;  why you are where you are; why it's everybody else's fault you are not doing what you think you should and on and on...is ridiculously revealing.

Honesty is often something many singers are fearful of.  I don't understand why.  Wouldn't you want to know how you were coming across,  what you could work on immediately and thus, be a better singer and have a stronger chance to be hired to do work you SAY you want?

If every suggestion to you is met with an excuse it is time to sit back and start evaluated WHY you want to sing.

The simple truth is this: you will NEVER realize your potential if all you do is dismiss and excuse.  You will simply create an excuse-ridden cocoon you live in thinking you are safe, as it is revealed to the rest of the world how utterly ridiculous you have become.  Harsh perhaps but true indeed.

I ask a very straightforward question when a singer enters my studio to consult with me the first time:  "Why are you here?".   Many singers aren't used to that directness.  They think the "game" of the singing world is cloaked with innuendo and mystery and competition and double meanings.

GOOD GOD GROW UP.

I am amazed and how that question is met with excuses!

Guess what - it is okay to simply answer "I really don't know why I'm here."  THAT is honest.  THAT is real.  That means, we can get to work.

You don't have to have an excuse or an answer for everything!  JUST DO THE WORK! You don't have to explain how your first teacher messed you up about breathing and so now, 10 years later you haven't figured it out.  You don't have to blame your inability to be physically aligned on the fact you that you used to sing in a lower tessitura.  You don't have to blame your inability to access a balanced resonance,  or having a wobble,  or or or on ANYTHING.  It's there, let's fix it and move on.

How refreshing that the  teacher and singer  can JUST DO THE WORK!!!

Ultimately, what is the payoff for the excuse-laden singer?  There has to be a payoff or they wouldn't do it would they?

Often, it masks a much deeper issue/issues that a voice teacher is simply not equipped nor should they be asked to deal with.

Often it masks a fear the singer simply doesn't want to accept, or a reality that has been completely obliterated by the cloak of excuses.

WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN WORK.

The teacher, the coach, the maestro,  all have a part to play in revealing,  suggesting, creating space and time for you the singer to discover,  BUT YOU NEED TO DISCOVER IT!!!

I am not suggesting you follow blindly - but I am suggesting that you pay attention and instead of dismissing out of hand, you recognize the source,  see what is being asked of you and why,  and then taking a good careful look in the mirror to find it.  It doesn't ultimately matter WHY you are doing something that is in your way, but it matters that you acknowledge it and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

The hardest thing we have to do is to see ourselves as clearly and honestly and then be honest about what we are going to do about it to make it better.

As a teacher,  I want to know how you see yourself.  It is revealing and helpful to me to find you where you are.  If you believe you are standing in my studio for  X Y Z and I see issues with A B C I am going to tell you.  I am will not dismiss your findings, but I will tell you why A B C are crucial to your X Y Z.

Are you willing to consider that? Or do you immediately dismiss it with another excuse?

Perhaps one of my favorite "excuse" lines was from a tenor who said "If I had high notes, I'd be dangerous".

I will just allow that one to sink in and absorb...it needs nothing further.

If we are truly going to sing and BE a singer and an artist we absolutely need to capacity to see clearly;  we need the capacity to doubt ourselves;  we need the capacity to question and not dismiss;  we need to SEE it - warts and all;  we also need the capacity to seek out the solution, not another excuse that prevents us from becoming what we say we WANT.

And perhaps that takes us to the crux of it all.  Is what we SAY we want, true? Or is that an excuse as well?

Be careful what you wish for...

I'll leave you with that!

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

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