Recently I gave one of my fantastic students an assignment to help her break out of a shy place that she seemed to be stuck in. What she came back with practically brought me to tears. Before the assignment she was doing great crafting every note sung to be just like the original singer in the work song that she choose (a common, and helpful default for singers who are learning or just starting out.) She is very good at this and usually sounds technically “perfect”. My challenge was that she tends to sound too tentative when she sings - like she's not allowing herself to let her true voice out! So... I gave her a very daring homework assignment to write a simple three chord song and melody with no lyrics and to come back and sing it for me. I was not asking her to write a musical masterpiece or even a good song. I was asking her to not have a preconceived idea of what it was supposed to sound like so she can start to discover what her personal sound is without anyone else's ideas influencing her.
Needless to say I was very proud of her. She did great work, her bravery was commendable, and the song was (not surprisingly) beautiful. It's never easy to take the plunge and put yourself out there, but she moved past her comfort zone of sounding like someone else to start the search for her personal sound! Yay her!!! It was exciting to listen to and next week (the assignment continues) she will sound even less scared and more confident, and the individuality of her voice and sound will not be overshadowed by her idea of what she's supposed to copy.
I encourage YOU to break out of your shell, and write a song. Even if it's terrible!! You don't need to be a fancy trained musician, just start creating from your own experiences, feelings, and energy. The world needs you and your voice. We all need to know who we are to squeeze every last drop of awesome out of life!! Embrace it!
Now go sing something-