Singing Lessons Improves My Skills As A Speaker & Writer
Pursuing an interest or hobby is a great way to develop a skill set through practice. In college, I took singing lessons to have fun, meet people outside of my orbit, and to help breakup the tedium of a full load of courses. Gradually, I took the technique and etiquette I picked up from that vocal training and parlayed them into tools that I continue to reference when honing my communication skills.
4 ways singing lessons has helped me to become a better speaker and writer
- Refined my presentation and public speaking: vocal training has empowered my voice. I’ve never suffered from stage fright, but initially, those butterflies do flutter in the pit of my stomach. And it’s from the pit of my stomach that I unearth and project my voice, so that it’s heard. Singing has made me conscious to my diaphragm and physicality. I’m mindful of my breathing and how it affects the volume and tempo of my speaking. Posture: feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders back and down, body relaxed – my voice is made flexible, and suggests confidence. Being tense can limit how effectively I use my voice, and can indicate uncertainty.
- Polished my silver tongue: singing has made me wise to speaking clearly in lucid context. Vocal technique has made me perceptive to tone, enunciation, inflection, and the pronunciation of vowels and consonants. I’m thoughtful of the words I chose, and how I articulate them when making a clear point.
- Made me an attentive listener: singing has made me a better conversationalist. During my voice lessons, I spent a majority of the time just listening to discern sounds, so that I could match pitch and phrasing. It’s like a game of Telephone: to contribute, you’ve got to listen closely. And in my experience, good conversations consist of give and take – I give insight, and earnestly lending an ear, I take away insight.
- Sharpened my writing: learning to read music, I’m more focused on syntax, rhyme, and meter. It’s not a new revelation, but nonetheless, how words are written determine how they’re read, sung, spoken, and subsequently, understood by others.