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Someone recently told me I was afraid of joining a musical project because I was afraid of being shown up by other vocalists. Sigh... Disappointing when people project things on you.
My vibe is this -
Let me tell you why - I am a spiritual person (not religious - spiritual). As such, I don't see life like most people do. I respect life, love, The Creator and other people. I try to look beneath the surface and to see a person's soul. I look for beauty in everyone. It's a little much to go into here at this present time, but I process experiences and situations differently than a lot of other people.
I respect the fact that each of us is significant and special. Each of us has gifts, talents and skills. When it comes to music, as with anything else, appreciation of things is subject to what people like and appreciate -- what they vibe with personally. Sometimes judgement, especially when it comes to today's televised talent shows, is very subjective.
But, anyway, I don't advocate talent competition. I believe in talent display, but not competition. It is subjective. How will children ever develop confidence in themselves and in what they are working on developing, if they are torn down after losing a subjective competition? We want to pass accolades on who's the fastest, the strongest, the bravest, the "most talented." Certainly, having measurements to gauge is important, but it should be done differently. Award everyone for displaying their gifts.
Granted, while searching for work as a vocalist, it is considered a "competition," with the award of the winner being the one who gets the job. However, I don't see auditions as competitions. I see it as showing people what I can do to see if what I do fits with what they are trying to do - just like any other job. The only person I am competing against is myself as I am seeking to reach higher plateaus with my skills and abilities. Period.
When I was teaching voice lessons, I had a young female student who was intent on entering and winning a talent contest at school. I gave her my philosophy on competing and emphasized the importance of focusing on developing her singing gifts and skills versus using them to compete. "The only one you are in competition with is yourself," I told her. But, of course, I supported her decision to enter this contest and worked with her to help her make her performance the best it could be.
She did not win and was disappointed in herself. I pointed out the subjectivity of the contest and how it all works. We talked about who did win, what they did and what the judgement was like. I helped her examine the event and the outcome of the event. I helped her explore the development of her own skills in comparison to where she was when she started. What do you want to get from singing? How does it make YOU feel? What do you want to do with it? How will you help yourself and others by sharing it? Such important questions. At our next class she was able to answer them and felt elated at not having to place the pressure of disappointment on herself for losing.
It's not about being the best - it's about being the best you can be.
Gifts, talents, skills - - they are for sharing, displaying, helping, supporting - - not competition.
My voice, my vocal ability is a gift! I have worked very hard to develop it, hone it, love it, praise it, enjoy it, embrace it and to share it. I will not use it for competition. And, I am not afraid of what anyone else has in comparison to mine. In fact, I appreciate others whom I can learn from - who can help me get up to my own "next rung." And, as someone who has studied for a long time and taught voice, I can learn something from everyone. We all have something to offer.
But my gift? I will use it to add to the vibration of the planet as it was designed to be used - as all gifts are designed to be used. Each of us has special abilities to share with everyone else. It's what we should do in the love of life.