How To Allow

Perhaps you’ve heard the old story about the elderly gentleman who was at the altar during a Pentecostal revival?

On either side of him stood stalwart members of the church praying for him to “get religion.” One shouted: “Hold Ooooon, Brother…Hold Ooooon!” Another shouted: “Let Gooooo, Brother, Just Let Goooooo.”

Praying through to salvation was, for this gentleman, like learning to sing: at times, a study in contradictions.

But there’s also a great truth here.

All the world’s major religions include as part of their faith expression the idea of the release of the self … letting go, in other words. Budda, Mohammad, and the Hindu faith all address this concept in their culturally unique way. The major example in the Christian faith is Jesus himself who, even though he was God, humbled himself to be born as a human man and at the end of his life, was willing to be crucified to save humankind.

Of course, for Christians, that’s not the end of the story, but only the beginning. Christ’s resurrection and ascension to the Father followed, and, for Christian believers, the story continues today.

To bring this idea into our world of vocal training, for us as vocal artists, developing the ability to allow singing to happen is one of the most important aspects of singing and is also only the beginning of our vocal artistry.

As most of you have heard me say many times: release, relax, allow.

But how do we allow?

In the context of vocal training, it’s about the singer’s willing release of the intellect, and allowing the ear, brain, and vocal cords, as well as the human respiratory system, to function as the automatic systems that they are — without our willfull input.

Once mastered, this is a powerful and compelling gateway to effective vocal training and elite vocal artistry.

So whether it’s “overthinking it” or “manipulation” or the ever-present “EMG” (extra-muscular gesture), our weekly vocal training sessions do two things for you:

1) Condition the mind towards the awareness of these elements; and

2) Develop your willingness to release them and allow the automatic systems to follow their own best practices.

Simple? Yes. Easy? No.

But then, that’s why we train, yes?