Feel every emotion.

12 Sep

During my early teen years, I took voice lessons, and I still remember the first song I ever sung to Miss Julia Helen, my voice teacher. On my very first day of voice lessons, I was incredibly nervous, and I knew that Miss Julia Helen would ask me to sing for her (since she had told me to come with a song prepared). Around the time I began taking voice lessons, my mom and I had recently returned from a trip to New York City.

When my mom and I were in New York City, we saw the Broadway musical All Shook Up, which is a musical that was based on Elvis Presley songs. I hadn’t been a fan of Elvis before seeing the musical, but once it was over, I knew that I had to have the soundtrack of the musical so that I could listen to all the songs on repeat until I got sick of hearing them. My favorite song from the soundtrack was Fools Fall In Love, and therefore I ended up choosing it as the song that I would sing for Miss Julia Helen. The funny thing, however, is before beginning voice lessons (and even after I took 2 years of voice lessons), I never could read music. When I knew that I’d have to sing a song for Miss Julia Helen, my trick was choosing a song that I would be able to easily emulate with my voice. Knowing that I had to use this process made my song choice a relatively easy one. Though I know that “Fools Fall In Love” fit my voice, I also knew every single word of the song since I had listened to it on repeat for a week straight by the time my first voice lesson came around.

When I sang for Miss Julia Helen, I was practically beaming. Not only was I happy to be at my very first voice lesson, but I absolutely loved the song that I was singing. I just couldn’t stop smiling. Throughout my two years of voice lessons, I had particular songs that really touched me. “Fools Fall In Love” was one of them because it marked the beginning of a new phase in my life, my singing phase. However, two other songs that I will never forget singing are “You Raise Me Up” and “Colors Of The Wind.” Even though all 3 of those songs are each very different, they spoke to me. As well as loving the accompaniment, I was also very attached to the lyrics. Since I was able to become more attached to the songs themselves, I was able to bring more emotion into the songs when I sang them. From my history with singing, I’ve found that emotion is the key component. You want to make the audience feel what you’re feeling. You want them to feel the song inside of them. The only way to do that is to connect to every possible emotion that is present in the song.

Now that I think about it, I realize that the point I just made applies to writing as well. If, as writers, we want to have our readers feel the emotion in what we are writing, we’ve got to feel every ounce of it as well. If we don’t feel it as we are writing it, how can we expect that kind of response from our readers?

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.”-Anais Nin

 

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3 Responses to “Feel every emotion.”

  1. mcwoman September 12, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    I totally agree with you — emotion is key. If we can make our readers laugh, sigh, and cry, we’ve done a good job. It’s a good lesson to learn early. (By the way, I took some voice lessons too — first soprano.)

  2. 4amWriter September 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    This is so true, painfully so. Because that’s what makes it hard to be objective over the areas that don’t work so well. I think we have to be emotionally connected when we write, then we need to cut that bond when it’s time to re-write. But it is such a difficult process, and it takes a lot of practice and a willingness to step back and let go.

    I love Josh. 🙂

  3. belasbrightideas September 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    Yes, this is a good reminder. However there are people like me that feel those emotions so intensely that singing certain songs dissolves them into tears. I’ve never discovered a ‘cure’ for this, so I just sing and play guitar to myself or those very close to me 😉 Sing on, Amelia!

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