I was sitting on the living room floor, with my body comfortably leaned up against my parent’s, old, stereo console. My ears were attentively focused, memorizing every note and nuance of Eydie Gorme's, “Shall We Dance.” I sang along at the top of my lungs like I’d known the song all of my life, which at that point was very young. At the age of 3, I had given myself permission to sing.
I didn’t think that there was anything special about giving myself permission to sing. Not that I took the singing, or my abilities for granted, I simply held the belief that everyone could sing. Those beliefs became convictions over the years through my work as a recording artist and teacher, and in large part, inspired the vocal methodology book I wrote.
One of the primary vocal issues I’ve observed in my clients is the resistance to embrace the permission to sing. I’ve worked with a broad range of voices from amateur to professional, and this is a common wall that prohibits progress. Someone can clearly want permission to sing, but have an equally resistant attachment to their familiar psychological programs. Most people really love the experience of singing, but when it comes to self permission, to share their voice, or to be heard, their belief system, or rather, their attachment to their belief system, shuts them down.
It is very common that somewhere in our early childhood someone tells us we don’t deserve to be heard, we’re not good enough, ..you can fill in the blank with your own story. However, that kind of judgment comes from people who most likely had dreams themselves, but weren’t able to climb over the wall of doubt, and now want you to carry it for them. Let go of those voices of the past, so that you can enjoy the voice of your present.
One of my favorite movies, “The King’s Speech,” serves as a poignant example of what happens when permission to speak freely, and to be heard is thwarted. The deep wounds of denied permission can however, gratefully, be reversed with courageous, consistent work.
At this point in my career, several decades after that first moment of giving myself permission to sing at the age of 3, I can see that the best gift that has come through my own permission to sing is to give others permission to sing. Everyone has been gifted a voice, every voice matters, and every voice deserves to be heard.
I remain curious about the healing attributes of the voice, and observe that they offer a profound path to self knowledge. Through knowing yourself, your awareness of being arises and that changes your life for good. When you give yourself permission to sing, you are opening portals and pathways of permission in other areas of your life.
In summary: The worst thing that can happen to you by giving yourself permission to sing is that you will end up with a greater knowledge of yourself, and maybe heal your life a little bit in the process. That isn’t so bad is it? On the other hand, maybe you'll become the next Josh Groban, or Celine Dion, and bring us all to our knees with your technical prowess, and heartfelt performances. Either way, the permission to sing is yours for the taking, and it is a road worth traveling.
Felicia Farerre is a recording artist, author and teacher living in the sticks of France with her husband, daughter and zen master cat. For more information about Felicia, or to book a vocal session with her, please visit her official website: https://www.feliciafarerre.net/ onceupona voice