Let's call him Devin. He is a subscriber to my mailing list, who found me on YouTube a year ago, after my channel took off with the reaction video to Freddie Mercury.
Devin is an older guy who lives in California and who has made a habit of replying to my mails with stories and observations of his own.
Except for being very sweet and supportive, he simply wants to give me a piece of his mind. Devin doesn’t always agree with me, which is ok, of course. He once wrote me, in a fatherly way, that he took a bit of an issue with my language. Sometimes I use swear words... when I think they serve my story. He thought it would maybe be better to watch my mouth. I did consider for a second, and decided against it 🙂
Devin sometimes starts his replies with the apology that he is short on time and only can write a short mail - just 5 paragraphs. It’s always nice to get emails from him, even if I am busy myself and can’t read everything on the spot. His mails sometimes end with him inviting me to California to join a BBQ with his large family.
Lately something interesting happened. Devin started to react to the stories about singing I send to my followers. Mind you, he is not a singer, nor does he intend to take on singing any time soon. But he finds that a lot of the ideas, feelings and moral lessons in those singing stories are relevant to him.
It turns out singing has a lot of lessons for life.
Some examples of his replies
To a story I wrote about me getting back in a singing shape, about starting to practice again after a long break, he replied:
"One thing I try to do each day.. is to find at least an hour for myself, to get out of the house or out of my chair at work...
I sometimes go to the water and walk a bit on a trail that surrounds the San Francisco Bay.. It's good and refreshing and it revitalizes!! I also do NOT have a cell phone and... I can limit my access and turn off the computer and not be bothered with it."
That made me smile: if I can motivate people to pick themselves up, get their days going, with their voice or just in general - I am a happy person.
When I was telling how I got stuck in my head and how my hesitation moments negatively affected my voice training and my career, Devin replied:
“Sometimes when we hesitate too much with things or actions, and overthink them, we lose the moment or change the experience--sometimes for the better, but usually for the worse.
I have found as I get older, I don't want to waste too much time anymore, and sometimes go after it without too much hesitation. It's done me a lot of good. I think what you say in your email, re-enforces this a bit for me.”
Then, when I shared how a student of mine was told he is not a singer, but decided to work towards the goal of becoming one anyhow, Devin was sympathetic. He recognized this phenomenon:
“It's funny how other people around you can get you down, or give you advice that hurts, even though it's sometimes true, but many times it's completely NOT true.”
And when I shared one of my biggest traumas as a singing student, it struck a chord with him as well. I wrote about one of my teachers, who kept asking me WHY I cannot do what she asks:
'I wanted to tell her: because I'm a big liar: 'I don't want to become a singer. I'm just here to f*$k with you, it amuses me.'
I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to say something like this to so many people over the years!! And believe me, I HAVE!!! LOL!”
He continued telling about how his brother handled a situation when he was yelled at by someone in a crowded space, as if it was his fault that they can’t get out of there. My brother calmly suggested levitation...lol. Wish I had the nerves to give this kind of cynical reply with a serene expression.
“You bring out a good point about handling "What" you sometimes need to do, to make something better, and not worrying about the "Why".
A good life lesson.”
And finally, when I wrote about how carrying one thought for a long period of time can actually change your physical behavior for the better, Devin agreed:
“I couldn't agree more. Once you start having something in mind and doing it, it eventually just becomes "natural". Another great rule, not only for singing, but for many things in life.”
The life lesson from these life lessons
Devin’s wisdoms reflected back from my stories led me to think that exploring your voice has so much more to it than just that.
I think it’s because our voice so intimate and attached to our emotions, that when we learn how to sing we experience life to the full. We live through things that will teach us how to live. That’s what happened to me when I was developing my voice. I felt like I was developing my personality. I used to be pretty shy and learning how to sing really made my personality come out.
But what is the life lesson from all of these life lessons? Well, I will maintain it is: you should learn to sing! It can give you so, so much.
... and my courses