what does learning a song teach you about your own learning process?

“I love teaching singing. One thing that excites me about singing is how it shows us how we learn. I remember when I first started teaching singing noticing how we reward or punish ourselves while learning a song. Singing is so personal it very quickly brings it out into the open, the inner voice that judges or scolds. Singing presents us with an opportunity then to notice how we are with ourselves, are we kind on ourself while learning a song? Do we have a little voice that says “oh how stupid I got it wrong”? Noticing that voice is a gift. Because once we notice how we treat ourselves, we can move out from that noticing into cultivating an atmosphere of unconditional kindness toward our own self, and toward others who are in the same boat as we are! The idea of “that’s wrong” is actually a mistaken notion in learning. To me learning comes through play and in play there is no right or wrong, there is only play. People talk about ‘letting go’, but I prefer to think of ‘letting be without attachment’. If we can only ‘let go’ of our idea of “right and wrong” or at least notice it as it arises in the mind and let it be without letting it touch us, we’re now in a state of mind where we can play. The wonderful thing about singing is that there is no right and wrong, there is only your expression, your voice. What matters is that we permit ourselves to have a voice, and celebrate and appreciate our willingness and the willingness of others to speak and be heard for who we are right now.”

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