What I learned in gospel class

As mentioned in my previous post, I recently attended an inspiring introductory workshop to singing gospel songs. Apart from the joy of singing as such, I also took away a number of valuable reminders, aphorisms and new tips on how to foster and sustain a creative way of being, be it expressed through singing or any other form of creativity.

Following, I’ve tried to just summarize my “lessons learnt” succinctly. A list of inspirations so to speak. I will keep coming back to these little bits of wisdom and try applying them in new situations every day.

  1. If you can talk, you can sing. Sing anytime.
  2. Breath – it’s the most important thing.
  3. Be fully present, always.
  4. Make every song your own. Find your own unique voice.
  5. Make it urgent. Artistic expression flows from feeling you must tell this story that is important to you in a personal way.
  6. Imagine your artistic expression as a conversation with one person. Real conversations are about showing emotions, not perfection.
  7. To find your own interpretation of a subject (song/character etc.)
    • engage sense memories  to discover associations that are meaningful to you in a personal way.
    • be precise in finding the exact nuance of the emotion you want to express.
    • keep repeating the song until you get its exact meaning  for you. (Rephrase sentences to mean more to you.)
  8. Experiment with your voice, your creative expression without judgement. Rather focus on the fundamental human experience of expression, connection, comfort and the own particular harmony that is created each time people sing together.
  9. Be spontaneous. Just sing the way you want to sing.
  10. Cry if you need to cry. Wailing is our first song. Release the painful energy through movement, clapping and song.
  11. If you are unwell, ask yourself: When did I stop singing?

 

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