Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Why I Sing

I was recently reading Classical Singer magazine, and there is a section for singers to write in and let the world know why they sing. These are two responses that I had to share, because the way I feel about singing is identical to what I read.

Why I Sing
By Gretchen Retka

I sing because I breathe. Breathing and singing go hand in hand. I inhale and I sing, inhale and sing. I'm always singing wherever I go. It's my passion. It's a gift that I choose to share with as many people as I can. I endure the challenges because I love it--and not in the sense of romanticized love, but in the form of pure and spiritual love.

I once heard about love described in terms of a relationship: When two lovers first meet they are wild, attracted to one another, passionate, all full of kissing and lust--"in love" and crazy! But once (to put it plainly) the period of insanity wears off, the two people are forced to look at what is left and decide whether or not its worth it to continue. After it all, if you couldn't even imagine going through the rest of your life without that person, then you know: it's true love.

I feel this way about singing. At first it was crazy childhood fascination, singing everywhere I went, entertaining the family and friends but without any formal training--just crazy about music. Later, after having some letdowns, reality set in and then I had to ask myself: Do I love singing this much? I know I can't go the rest of my life without singing, having found a love like this.

So I stay, I endure whatever comes--happiness and heartbreak--and I grow. My life is forever changed because I love so deeply. I didn't ask for this voice, but I've chosen to cultivate it because I can't imagine another way.


Why I Sing
By Daniel McGrew

I sing because I must. I sing because I have a song within me that I cannot silence. It's part of who I am. Like someone blinks or breathes--that's how I sing. It's involuntary. And if one stops the eye from blinking or the breath from cycling in and out, the urge will build and build--and despite one's most earnest attempts against it, the eye will blink, the breath will assume its familiar rhythm. I will sing again!

And so here I stand, 17 years old, dreaming of a career that is, very apparently, full of obstacles, brutal disappointments, hurdles, and difficulties galore. Why? Why not something else? Something that is far more stable and secure? Because I am determined to live the life that I feel I am being called to live.

As singers, part of what we do is based upon our own enjoyment. I am never happier than when beautiful music surrounds me and fills me up--the joy of song is a thrill that never fades or dulls. This personal enjoyment is an important motivation within me--but even bigger, I feel, is the need to share what I've been blessed with. What is a song if nobody but the singer gets to experience it? I love to make people feel things through my music, make them think, make them laugh, and make them cry. It's all about the music--getting inside the heart of the listener and stretching it, making them bigger inside. And suddenly, if only for a fleeting moment, they see themselves and the world in a new way. They remember something. They discover something. They are changed.

I cannot miss out on the opportunity to really affect people through the power of music in the name of fear or sloth. I'll face the fear. I'll conquer the seemingly impossibly tasks. Because if I can touch lives with the talents I've been blessed with, then I have not lived in vain.

I must sing. And because I must, I will!


I don't really think I need to say anything else.


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