Some people call it ‘self-efficacy.’ Some people call it ‘believing in oneself.’ Some people call it ‘not giving a hoot what others think.’ There are many names given to this amazing ‘confidence’ thing that apparently makes people happier.
For good reason, we are constantly on the lookout for ways to ‘boost’ it. What’s more, singing is often deemed as a go-to to achieve it, but can singing actually help?
Well, yes… in a way.
How about that for a vague answer?
The truth is, there is a lot of confusion over this topic, on many different levels. It goes without saying that your child will require a certain level of confidence to belt out a tune on stage, but it doesn’t mean that the activity itself will guide them to that place of fulfilment.
As a matter of fact, singing can, often times, work in quite the opposite way.
You don’t need me to point out just how much of a psychological roller-coaster the singing industry can be. Oh, you do? Okay then.
Whether it be forgetting lyrics under the bright lights, not getting the part in the recent amdram auditions or getting ridiculed at school for being a boy who sings… The singing industry is an absolute minefield. And that’s fine/exciting for those who can ‘handle’ it, but we really need to know what we’re getting ourselves into.
Clearly, I’m talking about the judgement and social stigma that comes as part of the deal when you sign up to be a singer. You could call it ‘anti-confidence land.’ Jokes aside, I think this is way more damaging than is acknowledged.
I really shouldn’t, and actually couldn’t, fully explain the complexity of child self-identity but, the development a healthy one is at the heart of producing confident little superstars.
To balance the volatility of the social singing world and to see confidence in our young ones, we must begin by creating an environment that nurtures personal stability. Once that is in place, we have a better chance of standing back and watching the confidence flourish.
Just in case you don’t know, personal stability has been described as a lifestyle ‘characterised by appropriate and well thought out decisions, consistent behaviour and moderate mood swings.’ It’s said to be encouraged by creating habits, solid routine and establishing strong, healthy relationships.
The world is fast changing. Relationships end as quickly as they start, judgement is thrown around every playground willy nilly, and every single status update posted on Facebook is stimulated by the ever increasing need for validation. This is why we need to prioritise the facilitation of stability in our teaching.
But, we must remember that when it comes to a child’s personal stability, not every child starts at the same place, and not every child has the same requirements for fulfilling their needs.
And, when we consider this, it’s easy to see why the act of standing on stage belting one out is a positive exercise for some, but playing with fire for others.
Singing has been proven to be good for you. Mainly in a group setting. But if we can be aware of the pitfalls and use it as a tool to produce a stable environment that encourages challenges, achievement and contentment… it could actually change lives.