Okay, time for a little bit of honesty. How long has it been since you last sang? Oops! Did that question make you squirm? Was it yesterday, or last week? Maybe a few weeks or months ago? Or has it been (gulp) even longer?
It’s okay. The longer we go without singing, the harder it feels to get back into it after a long break – why is that? If you have avoided singing for a long period of time, it’s a tough cycle to break. First, we avoid singing, or get busy and forget, or have an illness or injury that makes it impossible for us to sing, but then we begin to guilt ourselves for not singing, and then that guilt makes us continue to avoid singing, and we, of course, continue to feel guilty. How do we get out of this avoidant/guilt-ridden chain of events?
No worries! I can help!
Don’t think that you need to push through your guilt and anxiety by forcing yourself to sing for hours at a time on the first day you decide to start singing again. You wouldn’t try to get back into a running practice by running 16 miles on your first day back, would you? Singing is no different. The first step towards rebuilding your practice after a long pause is to just start enjoying music again. Put on an old playlist that you love, watch one of your favorite movie musicals, listen to one of your favorite albums; basically, do something that will make you remember why you want to sing in the first place.
Sing easy songs
Usually for me, listening to a favorite album or watching a movie musical that I love always tends to get my toes tapping and occasionally I end up singing along, which is enough to break a funk. When you’re trying to get back into singing, it should be fun! Sing things you love like songs that make you feel good and sing them in a way that makes you feel good. Go do karaoke with your friends, sing a favorite song in the shower, dance around your living room while singing, and participate in my Sing For Yourself challenge – Whatever you try, really go for it!
Do a little every day
Start building a small daily habit and start small. You can start in 3-minute increments if you need – the time it takes to listen to one song. Do something every day that makes you want to get back into singing. Eventually, you can stretch those three minutes increments to ten minutes. Ten minutes can eventually become twenty and so forth. Listening to a song every day for a week can eventually become listening to a song and then singing along to its karaoke track. Whatever you do, listen to yourself, go at your own pace, and don’t feel bad if you miss a day! Just get back to it the next day you remember.
Maybe find a singing teacher
If all of this is starting to work and you feel like you’re ready to start singing again after a big break, it might be time to reach out to a singing teacher to help come up with a more intense practice schedule, to help you set goals and to achieve them and to help cheer you on to singing again, even if it’s just for yourself.