All creative people seek a way to control the process of making art. Just like a sculptor approaching the clay, we singers are in the habit of shaping, molding or creating a performance. We believe thats how we can make the music strongest and express who we are to the larger world. To some extent this is true. But this belief (which most of us hold on an unconscious level) is also a way to allow our perfectionist full reign!
Art built from fear is never as strong as art built from trust- courage- faith.
By faith I do not mean a religious practice but a habit of letting go and surrendering our "need to be good" to the universe so that the music can move through us unimpeded.
However when coming into the presence of a true master singer one notices a peacefulness that seems to exude from them. A stillness that seems almost spiritual in nature. That is because the truly wise among us understand that seeking to control the process is a worthless cause. The truly wise among us are looking for ways to surrender our control when we are singing. We've all heard of the account of the sculptor Michelangelo feeling his way to what is waiting inside the clay to be revealed.
The actual goal of the master artist is to let go and allow the music to happen with as little "getting in the way" as possible.
I'm not suggesting we stay so passive that we don't know the words and music properly. In fact the better we have gained an understanding of what we are communicating the better we can let go and deeper the communication!
Once we have "done the work" then letting go and allowing the music to happen is all we need to do in the moment.
That's a scary prospect for most of us. Letting Go means having "no control" and that means anything can happen.
We might sing out of tune, or not come in at the right time. We might end up looking or sounding bad! Sure all of those things might happen, if we are underrehearsed or under prepared.
However by seeking control we are tightening our reins on the machinery and often creating a “tense and forced” physical approach to making the sound. That means our voices are hostage to our fear and there is no room for the music to happen.
“Surrender” becomes the key action for us "control freak" artists who seek perfection!