Three Important Life Lessons Learned Through Singing


I have been taking singing lessons for a year. I have a wonderful teacher, Kyle Jones – he is super-talented, kind, patient, and funny. He sings like an angel, no kidding, and has two Masters Degrees in music. How lucky I was to find him. Seriously, if you’re in Central Florida and want the best music instruction, get in touch with Kyle (I link because I love).

I think we can extract life lessons from any experience, beyond the obvious (learning to sing from singing lessons). Here are some of the more-than-singing lessons I am trying to apply to my life-in-general:

1. Don’t give up just because you suck right now. Everything, everything worth doing takes commitment and practice and determination. Staying happily married: not a coincidence, and so worth it. Changing careers at 40 and going back to grad school: lots of effort, and so worth it. Very few of us have naturally-gifted vocal chords (lucky those who do!) so singing takes a lot of practice, and failure, and forgiveness, and optimism too.

2. You are your own worst critic (probably). I am harder on myself than my teacher is. Perfectionism, OCD, these are thieves of joy. I can relax once in  awhile and say “well done.” The doubt comes about when I think I’ve nailed a song, but check my iPhone recording and I sound like Elmer Fudd. So be kind to yourself, and realistic as well.

3. Decide on occasion to listen to the expert, and not to your own will. This was hard for me as I have been called, ahem, “opinionated” and, gasp, “stubborn.” It’s actually quite freeing to hand control of my voice lessons over to Kyle. I hear lots of singing advice elsewhere, and take it all in, but I give Kyle the final word. This is relaxing and lets me focus all my efforts in one direction. If he’s wrong about something, I am willing to take that chance.

Have you extracted life lessons from learning to cook, write software, dance, draw, or other?

Stay fabulous, and don’t give up,

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  1. I’ve always admired you for taking singing lessons – I always wished I had a better singing voice, but knew I didn’t want it bad enough to stick with lessons. I’ve taken guitar and saxophone lessons, and lessons in various styles of dance over the years, and while I’ve enjoyed the learning process, I obviously didn’t love any of them enough to stick to it. My blog is the first creative pursuit I’ve had that I’ve stuck with!

  2. I love that you take singing lessons! I have been on the verge of taking dance lessons, but never followed through. I need to follow your sage advice – and Nike’s – and just do it!

    • Patti,
      Kudos for taking singing lessons! I am a vocal coach and your thoughts confirm my practice- Vocal and life lessons too. I have found that singing and music in general are metaphorical to life. For example, sometimes life hurts, but you have to keep going. The good times will come again. It can be discouraging at best and painfully worse to listen to yourself on a recording. But as I tell my students “ You’ll have a lot of bad notes on the way to the good ones.”

      Great tips and keep on Singing!

  3. These are all great tips.

    I’m like Susan in that I hate starting at beginner level with anything. I want to be advanced right away. I get frustrated easily, especially moreso now with the advancement of technology. I spent years creating at a slow “normal” pace only to have my company and then need to create endlessly at breakneck speed. This was possible due to Photoshop, but now I rely on it. I don’t like things without an “undo” or “go back” button. I’ve just bought three new creative books and I’m hoping after seeing Sue’s latest piece of art that it will force me back into a more normal pace of traditional creating so I don’t need to be so manic about it.


    • wonderful point – to not let ourselves get “manic” about it – that takes the fun out. xox

  4. Patti thanks so much for sharing! I have always loved singing, took some lessons but gave up in-between and am so desperate to pick it up again, actually. Keep enjoying it and thanks for making me giggle once a again. “sucks” :)) xo Sabina

  5. I always have a hard time being a beginner at anything, and I’m slowly learning a) to allow myself to do something “badly” at first, and b) that most things require practice and perseverance to achieve any kind of competence.

    • Well said, Susan, it is difficult to do things “badly” at first. Then remember, we didn’t know how to write a blog until we did. xo

  6. It has been years since I took singing lessons, but what they taught me was
    1. Breathe…always remember to breathe (great life lesson)
    2. Have confidence
    3. Perseverance and practice always pay off!

    Keep up the good work!

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