By Alexis Rastovich
Since the day they start walking, it is always a struggle to keep children away from out-in-the-open pianos or making unnecessary noises from their little voice boxes. My question is, why do we restrain them from these instruments? In fact, why do we keep ourselves away from unknown instruments? Yes, it sometimes is inconvenient to listen to the sounds of imperfect harmony, but the active learning that occurs when exploring is vital to our ability to grow as a musician, and perhaps more importantly, to grow as a person.
The primary reason we refrain from exploring our instruments is from the fear of making a mistake, or making a fool out of ourselves. Don’t let that stop you! Go into your closet and sing your heart out if that is where you need to feel safe while exploring your voice. When I’m telling you to explore, I am telling you to test your instrument and see what it can do. We all have a part of ourselves that wants to make expressive music, so why not give it a shot? Why wait until we are “advanced,” to make the music we hear in our heads? For example, if you play piano, try playing random notes together and see what sounds good. Or if you sing, try to make weird shapes with your mouth, or try to sound like a Metropolitan Opera Star. Exploring will develop your musical ear, and will create even more inspiration towards mastering your instrument.
Exploring puts us in a vulnerable spot, which I think all musicians can tell you from experience. Being able to reach outside of our comfort zone allows us to go further than we expected, and in any discipline we desire. Being able to explore in music has allowed me explore other disciplines such as acting, tennis, and cross country running, because of the confidence that exploring the music has given me. The kind of passion that comes from, “Hey, I figured out how to do a cool thing today,” touches every aspect of your life… so why not start now?
For more information and tips on exploring your voice, read our blog post "Singing With Noises" by Nathan Straub.