Learn to Sing at Any Age
The joy of singing is not just for the young!
“I’m too old to learn that now!” Does that sound familiar?
Perhaps it’s because many people feel that learning a new skill will lead to a specific outcome or a means to an end that you may not feel aligned to when you are older. Other people just feel that they are too old to learn something new because it usually takes longer than when you were young.
But if you forgot about how long something takes to learn and you weren’t worried about arriving at a particular performance goal, perhaps the idea of learning to sing would actually be quite freeing and healing.
The main thing is to not listen to the nay-sayers. We live in a world full of expectations and opinions.
You’re too old to try, learn, say, wear, do that, etc, etc.
But if we listened to those regurgitated messages would we accomplish anything? And more importantly, would we allow ourselves to feel joyful?
It could be said that the only point of getting married is to have kids! But we know that’s not true. Relationships are a way of connecting deeply with another; they help us to evolve, love, and to feel joy. Learning to sing is no different and is probably much closer to a loving relationship with yourself than you have ever experienced before.
So yes, you can definitely learn to sing at any age. The purpose of learning to sing is not just to become a famous pop star, it’s a therapeutic, joyful, and healthy activity and a great way to release tension and anxiety. Singing also gives you confidence and vitality and helps you to connect with people.
In this blog we will look at:
Expectations of the learning process
Discovering your ‘why’
The healing power of singing and why it’s great for older people to learn
how to approach singing in your later years,
The holistic approach and exercises that give confidence
Ditch the expectations and comparisons!
“I just don’t learn things as quickly as I used to”
The problem we can often have when it comes to learning any new skill is that we want to learn it quickly. We want results that confirm our efforts - otherwise, it feels like we aren’t getting anywhere. This is something that can affect the mature student who may feel they don’t have as much time to become as good as they would like to. There are always other priorities in life to attend to.
But could this be a bit of a mind trick?
When I was in my early thirties I remember thinking that it was a bit late to go further with the piano after doing my classical examinations as a child and playing in bands up till then. It was when I met an amazing jazz pianist in the South of Spain that this belief was dispelled. He was fifty years old and he had begun to learn the piano when he was forty. Ten years of studying and he was playing like a pro. He owned his own jazz club because he had always been passionate about jazz but had never had the opportunity to learn to play an instrument as a child.
Are you a slave of your own expectations of what learning to sing might look like and how long it would take?
Another thing that can hold you back is comparing yourself to others. Ever thought, if I can’t be as good as him or her, why bother?
I have met many singers who I’ve really enjoyed listening to but who perhaps weren’t as technically brilliant as others. Everybody has a different taste, both in music and in artists and how they perform. We are all different and every expression is unique. When you learn to sing, it doesn’t matter who likes it and who doesn’t. Comparison, therefore, is ridiculous.
Comparison AND expectation can hold us back.
Let's dispel the time factor:
The voice is an instrument - your body is an instrument. Instruments take time to learn but you definitely have some advantages to being mature. You know yourself well and you probably have a bit more discipline and free time when it comes to practicing and getting into a consistent and committed routine.
The trick is to not emphasise the negative thoughts that arise about not having time. Time constricts you so think more in terms of SPACE and not TIME. Time is linear and has a beginning and an end, space on the other hand is the ever present NOW.
Your expression is unique and beautiful there is ALWAYS a point to expressing yourself authentically as only you can. You don’t have to aspire to reach a certain level or throw in the towel because you’re not sounding like your favourite artist. All of those conditions you have on your voice keep you in a pool of comparison rather than exploring the ocean of your own voice.
Go at your own pace, in your own space with your own face!
And when people say that the older you get the slower you learn, don’t join the stagnant regurgitated phrase pool. Be courageous and have a go. It’s possible that as a mature student, you are a lot more responsive!
Why learn to sing at my age?
You can learn to sing at any age but WHY would you want to?
I imagine that if you are reading this blog, there is something about singing that appeals to you. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to sing on stage or perhaps you always just enjoyed singing and feel like you’d like to know how to help your voice to be stronger, clearer, or more resonant.
The WHY is something that only you can know but what is absolutely imperative is that you don’t bury the why under heaps of arguments as to why you should bother because the ‘why’ is not the same as why. And here’s why (haha).
The why has its roots in something far greater than everyday choices and individual curiosity. The why to anything in your life is usually something very profound. A step towards connection, love, joy, healing, brotherhood and other evolving and enriching expressions. When you learn to sing you are not just learning a skill with a means to an end, you are learning something about your body (especially when you approach singing holistically - more on this later in this blog).
You are also learning more about your unique and authentic expression in life, so the why, then, is actually something that we all share i.e. a love of expressing what we are here to express.
‘Why’ can be, why me? Why at my age? Why do I sound that way? Why do I even bother? This version of why can drown out ‘the why’ or true purpose of learning to sing.
Connect with your ‘why’ and learning to sing will feel simple and free of all of the ‘heady’ complications. Your voice is a gateway to a deeper connection with yourself so it's always purposeful.
How learning to sing is healing, evolving and transformational
Sound is a vibration. Vibration is energy. Everything is energy - including your voice!
What vibration is your voice transmitting?
The simple answer to this is, ‘whatever you are living at any moment in time’ i.e. your voice will transmit rage when you are angry, frustration when you are frustrated and love when you are feeling loving.
So, could we address the big white elephant in the room and say that anybody's voice can either harm or heal?
The vibrations produced by our voices are felt in our bodies and in the bodies of those around us. When you sing, you can connect more with your body and it will help you to reconnect to an inner stillness that is forever present. Your voice becomes a healing instrument (picture a mother gently talking to her child after hurting themselves and how it reassures them).
When you sing you can also be bound in emotions (emotions pass through us all but if they are held onto, they become toxic for the body) and these emotions are transmitted outwards to others. Have you ever felt like crying after hearing a sad song?
We can use this science of the vibrational effect of our voices to use them as a way to heal ourselves and to evolve with regard to the integrity of our communication.
The way we are before we speak and sing, has a powerful effect on how we feel and how others feel if they are listening to us. there is an energetic integrity to consider.
The journey of discovering my voice has led to a beautiful connection to myself, my inner being and how I relate to others. The relationship I have with my family has improved greatly.
As a healing facilitator, I use my voice in healing sessions so that the body’s vibrational frequency is raised and responds to a pull up. You can all do this by gently singing to yourself.
I feel that this is a transformational area of singing that few people consider but which never fails to bring joy and vitality to our bodies.
How to approach singing in your later years
Approach it with space and allow yourself to have fun. You’re not in a race and excessive practice may hinder your progress rather than support it. I have seen many dedicated students try too hard and fail to enjoy their voices due to having too much tension in their bodies and minds.
Approach this challenge with love and openness and without expectation or comparison. Singing is great for your health, your mental wellbeing and your confidence. Enjoy the process without putting emphasis on the outcome.
Approach it with wholehearted commitment so that you create a rhythm in your life that feels comfortable/doable and consistent.
The holistic approach to singing
If you have always wanted to learn how to sing and you resonate with what you have read here, you may enjoy a more holistic approach to singing.
Some people tell me that they don’t understand the meaning of ‘holistic’ vocal coaching and wonder why it’s different from regular voice coaching.
My answer is the following:
Holistic means whole - as in whole body instrument (body, mind and soul) and whole as in, not just looking at one part but the whole (the whole of our lives, the whole of our expression in all areas of life).
The voice cannot be separated from the rest of the body instrument and therefore there is an element of self-care and health, both physically and mentally, as well as technique and performance.
A holistic vocal coaching session combines three elements:
Reconnection to the whole body instrument through meditative practices
Breath and voice technique
Discovering your authentic voice and letting go of what gets in the way (mindset/transformational coaching).
As we use our voices in all areas of our lives, holistic vocal coaching has a panoramic viewpoint of all that can affect our expression, how the voice can sound and what impact our voices have on ourselves and others.
So, whether you are learning to sing or you need to meet sales targets, your authentic expression is always going to show up when you are connected with yourself and being all of you in the present moment.
If you would like a no obligation chat about your own voice and how you would like to use it, contact me by clicking on the button below in this blog.
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Sharon Wright is a life coach, vocal coach, naturopath and esoteric healer. She has many years of experience teaching people to use their voices professionally and as a means to heal relationships and self-realise. She is the owner of Gorgeous Hearts Holistic Vocal Coaching.