By Brett Manning
There's one thing you will never hear on the Grammies:
'I'd like to thank my vocal coach!'
Of course you won't, because artists feel the need to perpetuate the idea that they were born talented...and then woke up talented every day after. 'I won this with one hand tied behind my back.'
I guess the same goes for sports figures. You'll hear 'Mom' thanked a gazillion times a year if you watch sports. But they never say 'I'd like to thank my 'personal coach,' or 'my personal trainer' or 'my orthopedic guy.'
There's something about the vulnerability that happens in that one-on-one trainer-trainee situation that's...well...it's uncomfortable to be in, to think about, or to talk about.
The same is true when you're in a vocal coaching situation. Maybe you just came in to get through a trouble spot in your voice. Maybe you came it to acquire that sense that you can command your voice and it will obey.
In any case, it has the potential for being embarrassing (especially if you're well-known already--because you're supposed to be 'all that').
You stand there without the lights, the fancy PA, or the adoring fans and dare open your mouth. I've found that it feels like I'm 'naked' at times.
You almost feel like a nurse might come in and say 'put this on, please' as she hands you a blue paper gown.
But you better believe that Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Keith Urban, Andre Bocelli, and even Steven Tyler of Aerosmith have their coaches in the wings.
The coaches have a job to do and they do it whether the thanks get televised or not.
Why do people get coaches? Why go through the embarrassment, the discomfort of asking for help from a coach?
The high achievers do it for just one reason. They know it works and they WILL do what works even when it's costly in the present tense.
They do lots of things NOW that only pay off in the future.
A friend of mine has taught his 3 oldest daughters to drive, largely with one bedrock peice of advice. 'First look close, then look down the road. Then look close, then look down the road again. Do that over and over the entire time you're driving.'
This is what achievers (vocally, financially, sportally-no that's not a real word) do over and over.
They look at what they want to achieve (down the road). They find out what it will cost them (close--today!). Then they pay the price over and over, day after day, to achieve it.
They have discovered that being coached is an essential part of getting past barriers, inside and outside.
Coaches ask them to do stupid things. 'Run in circles for miles.' 'Here, say 'nay, nay, nay' over and over.'
Stupid things...until the results put them past their competition.
Stupid things...until they have the seemingly 'instant' breakthru. Then they have the confidence that comes from knowing that when it comes to that next high note...it's just a walk in the park.
He can't give you the desire.
But once you know what you want...a great coach can give you the will, confidence, and skills to go past yourself to what you want!
Let me just stop here and say that wishes and desires are not that same thing.
Wishes are almost always pleasant. They are often interchangable. Collect them, trade them, chat over them at the water cooler.
However, DESIRES will burn a hole in you!
Your heart may just come alive if you get a real burning desire.
If you find yourself with a burning desire to sing, get a coach, whether on CD or in person.
If you find yourself near Nashville, come see how we do it here. If you are too far to travel to Nashville, let us make our best recommendation for a coach nearer to you.