The Mind – A Powerful Tool in Singing
You have probably been told to “think positive” at some point or another, because “we become what we think” or something like that. Well, it turns out there’s actual scientific research to back up this claim. According to Bruce H. Lipton, PhD, a Stem Cell Biologist, our cells are maintained by blood. The chemical composition of the blood is regulated by our brain. This control is related to our perception (mind) and emotions. If you perceive (think) love, your brain releases oxytocin – the “love hormone” that regulates your metabolism and supports growth, along with serotonin and the growth hormone. This means that the chemical composition of your blood enhances the growth and health of your cells. When a person perceives fear, stress hormones such as cortisol, norepinephrine and histamine are released, which shut down cellular growth and inhibit the immune system.
So, as you see, negative thoughts and emotions are completely unsustainable for life… and therefore, for singing. Your body hears your every thought about yourself as either positive or negative and your brain prepares the chemical mixture of the blood accordingly. This means that your vocal instrument can only stay healthy and/or recover when your cells receive a chemical mixture that actually supports growth.
There’s another VERY interesting study, conducted by Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD in Psychology with a minor in organizational behavior. The study found that when we think negative thoughts or feel negative emotions, our mind is narrowed and our thoughts are focused – you guessed it – on all the possible negative outcomes of a situation. For example, when you get stressed out about a song that you want to learn, and your focus is on how you won’t be able to sound as good as the original artist, etc., you spend a lot of time pitying yourself which takes away all your energy or will to start vocalizing – and you get partially paralyzed by this. So instead of sitting down, warming up, getting into the vocal gym, building your skill set and practicing the song, searching for ways to make it your own, etc., your brain has these negative thoughts playing on a constant loop, and your focus is solely on the negative part of the situation. This keeps you from actually doing something to change the outcome. Instead, if we think positive thoughts or perceive our surroundings in a positive way, we start thinking of more and more options and possible outcomes to a situation.
Same case scenario: you have a song, let’s say by Beyoncé. Everyone knows Beyoncé, right? And I’m pretty sure you won’t sound exactly like her when you sing one of her songs. But, this excites you. You start looking for ways to bring yourself into that song and to make it yours. In order to do this, you may be considering a key change or make some subtle changes in the melody… or you can go all out and completely change the concept of the song, where you take an upbeat song that is in a major key, and turn it into some minor key slow jam or an acoustic version. The possibilities are basically endless. And all of this came to mind because you decided to see this “song” as an exciting challenge rather than an intimidating project that you would probably fail at, anyways. This shows that if we start thinking positively, our vision and thought process broadens, which doesn’t just affect this particular situation, but future ones too. We develop more skills that eventually will last way longer than these emotions and thoughts at the start of the journey.
So, there’s two main points I want you to keep in mind:
1. Your body hears your every thought, and it “feeds” itself accordingly. Make sure that your cells get tons of love and growth support.
2. Projects, and in our case, specifically songs and/or performances that intimidate you: start seeing them as an exciting new challenge or adventure. Start thinking about all the ways this could possibly benefit you instead of worrying about all the possible worst outcomes.
So, keep loving yourself and your voice. And if you ever need help with a certain song, there’s us, your Certified THROGA Instructors, that are always happy to work with you and be part of your journey.