1. Gotta Be Perfect - No. Somehow, people think they have to know how to sing absolutely properly to join a choir or sing alone. Back in September, I wrote about the Magical Hat of Confidence that Gareth Malone told about. He had started a choir with those wives and girlfriends of soldiers left behind to keep the home fires burning while their men were in Afghanistan. If you watch the programs on BBC you will see how he builds almost non-singers into confident choir members and even soloists.
2. Practise - Sing. Sing alone, sing in the shower, sing with the radio and sing into a recorder even your computer will do. Sing at church. Sing with a group like ETS. Just SING!
3. Choose Music You LOVE - The Embro Thistle Singers love ABBA. We are adding more to our repertoire all the time. Are they easy to sing? Gosh no but we are enjoying them so much we continue to work at getting them well learned. If you are singing by yourself, and a song doesn't feel good, stop singing it and pick another. The better it feels to sing something the more confidence you will have.
4. Choose Music with Meaning - Okay so we have sung, Purple People Eater and it means, well whatever you want it to. Did we have fun? Oh you bet. We also sing Wonderful World, Hallelujah, Over the Rainbow, Because We Believe and You Raise Me Up. For each of us the meanings are personal but we bring part of ourselves to the music. As you lose yourself to the music, your confidence builds because you forget to be too self aware.
5. Sing for Others - When you sing for the Embro Fair, or Relay for Life or even the Japan Event the reason is bigger than yourself. When you are giving, you can lose your fears and sing for a reason beyond the normal.
So give yourself a break and sing anyway! Stop thinking so much and open up your mouth and SING!