When we perform, we must put our technical concerns away for the most part, and “just sing”. Most of us have heard this advice many times. We psych ourselves up to “let go” and “just do it” for the big show.

How about when we practice? The yin and yang of practicing gives us opportunities to practice allowing something to happen on a daily basis. Too many people are all yang – thrust, aggression, agendas, and domination. That heavy attitude is not the artist’s way.

Our vocabulary can be problematic. We talk about “reinforcing habits” and “making changes” and “solidifying technique”. How often do people explicitly “weaken [bad] habits”, “allow changes”, or “flexibilize technique”?” Don’t those phrases make as much sense?

Learning to allow means yielding space for something different. What would happen if I didn’t _____? What happens if I do the opposite of ____? If doing this equals that, what happens if I don’t do “this”? Do I get none of “that”, less of “that”, or something even better to take its place? Then maybe I need to find a different way to do “that”, if I still need “that” in my singing.

Consider a spirit of play, experimentation, and discovery as part of your practicing. Allow what happens to be there without judgement, at least for a few moments. Only good can come of it.

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