When you are resting, you don’t even think about it. Right now as you’re reading this, you’re breathing in and out. When you are breathing naturally, you’re not lifting your shoulders or expanding your chest. You’re taking “belly-deep” breaths. You are breathing from your diaphragm.
I’m not a classically trained musician, but from my experiences in choir that is what I have learned.
Breathing correctly is so important to being a good singer. Having enough air to sustain your notes and phrases helps a piece sound more connected. Stagger breathing in a choir helps continue the illusion of one voice made by many voices.
Many times, people compare the relative easiness of a task to being “as easy as breathing”. When the truth is, breathing correctly can actually be a difficult thing for singers.
If we think about breathing in a different way, we can think about it as something natural and life-giving. If we think of it like so, breathing is not difficult at all.
When I think of singing, I often imagine the singer “letting go” of all of their baggage, worries, and emotions when they are performing. I know that when I am truly in the music, I am not performing for anyone. I am simply opening my mouth, releasing sound, and enjoying myself every second. It’s funny how you can be singing in front of hundreds of people, and completely forget that they are there.
Every other Sunday, I get up in front of the church and sing in front of 200-300 people, give or take. The amount of attendance depends on what time the mass is, and whether there is a football game on that night.
After a year of doing so, it’s become as easy as breathing. I hardly ever get nervous anymore, at times the task is almost ingrained in my skull. I go through the motions without having to think too much about each movement I make.
It may sound ridiculous, but there are times I forget the congregation is even there. Because I am so overwhelmed by the beauty of the music, praising God, and showing others the essence of my soul.
I feel proud of myself for overcoming my fears and finally feeling comfortable in my own skin. It’s a good feeling to stand up there, smile and welcome the congregation, and hear a mass of voices join you. I feel very blessed to be able to do this, since I know it is something few people have experienced.
It’s a beautiful thing, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.