I hear it again and again, students of mine want to “build confidence” with their singing voice. The following was taken from a message to a student who’d recently sent me a self-assessment of her level of preparedness for a role.
“One note about “confidence” while singing…If confidence is the measure of how good we feel about how we’re doing, as singers we can come about this in a variety of ways. The most readily available is to listen to ourselves in the moment and assess how pleasing the sound is to our ears. The only problem with this model of developing confidence is that we will invariably sound LESS good to our audience if all we’re focused on is making our sound SOUND good to us. Instead, focus on releasing the sound as much as you can. Think about the way that you would shout your words from the roof tops or across rice park. Throw your voice out of you the way that you’ve used your voice before… Anytime we call out to someone or cry for help, it uses ample space, direction, purpose, resonance, articulation, etc. AND we don’t stop to think about how it sounds. Focus on the feeling of releasing/throwing/giving your voice instead of improving your audible sound.”
I believe that we’ve been built this way on purpose. A good voice is something that is functioning its best when it is being shared in a selfless way.