by Ramesha Nani
I can tell a good movie by how uplifted I feel afterward. With really good movies, the feeling of upliftment and expansion can last for hours, or even days. Lincoln was such a movie for me. I saw it at the Grove Theater in Los Angeles. I was struck by the fact that, unlike any other movie I had seen there, at the end of the movie nobody was in a hurry to leave. Almost everybody sat through the credits quietly. There was a tangible feeling of stillness pervading the theater. I distinctly remember the sense of deep love and harmony I felt for everyone I saw when leaving the room. Quite a contrast from the usual “push-and-be-pushed” that you experience when leaving a crowded movie theater!
I reflected afterwards as to why some movies have that effect on us. I think that a movie inspires us when it helps us expand beyond our mental horizon and see things from a broader perspective. Mere sentiments and emotions cannot do that. The same is true for singing. If all we do is express ourselves in a purely emotional way at the level of jealousy, anger, hatred, or other base emotions, the effect on our audience will be shallow and short-lived. Only when we share the higher qualities of love, forgiveness, compassion, beauty, and joy through our voices, does our singing become a powerful source of blessing for us and for our audience.
I think that many singers today focus too much on developing an impressive technique, and too little on doing what a true artist should do: inspire and uplift people. If you can hit all the right notes perfectly, but you don’t inspire, your performance will impress your audience, but it won’t bring about any lasting changes. The next day they will just move on with their lives, as if nothing had happened. If, on the other hand, you touch their hearts and souls with your singing, you could change their lives with just one song! Such is the power of music: in just three minutes you can change people’s state of mind and consciousness. All it takes is to consciously sing from your highest self to theirs.
DO YOU SING IN A CHOIR OR WOULD LIKE TO JOIN ONE?
Since I’m working with so many choir singers, I’m creating a special section on my vocalbliss.net website where singers and aspiring singers can find resources to improve their singing. There will also be a section with a special curriculum of vocal training for brand new singers who want to get started but have never sung before. Please email me if you have any suggestions for things that you think it would helpful to include in this section. Thanks!