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Have You Ever "Lost" Your Passion For Singing? - ClassicalToContemporary - 02-07-2017

My thoughts are if you were ever truly passionate about it, it doesn't go away. You might put it on the back burner, but you never lose passion for it.

Two students quit last month because of this. It's convenient because I was about to drop them both anyway.

What are your thoughts? Can you actually lose passion for something?

RE: Have You Ever "Lost" Your Passion For Singing? - owenk - 02-07-2017

Yea you can lose and gain passion all the time. Here are some of my examples:

With singing I went from trying it out for a couple weeks to quitting for several years and then going back to it with full passion and working on it hard for 8 years with no hiatuses

With drumming I went from being totally passionate hard working for 8 years to doing it more sparingly for 4 years then working hard at it for a year, realizing the passion wasnt truly really there and then back to doing it sparingly for 4 years

With golf I tried it for a couple weeks and then quit.

With karate I trained it for 3 or 4 years and then quit indefinitely but I feel like I may go back to it later.

With wakeboarding its just a hobby I only work on it on vacation but when I do I work pretty hard. Im passionate about it but I can live without it.

It just depends. Anything can happen.

RE: Have You Ever "Lost" Your Passion For Singing? - ronws - 02-08-2017

I have never had a time when I wanted to get away from singing. I might be tired, overworked, sick, but I always want to sing. Any given day that ends in "y" I can be seen hurtling up and down the freeways at .8 Mach singing away. A capella, along with the radio.

To quote Bing Crosby, "Good or bad, I sing either way."

RE: Have You Ever "Lost" Your Passion For Singing? - Bassolyricspintolighttenorino - 02-08-2017

I think you'd need to define "truly passionate". Because I think passion is developed over time. I've ice skated one time in the past two years, but I really really like ice skating. I think i have a passion for it . I think I have a passion for any kind of physical activity that is challenging and enjoyable to me. I don't have the means and ability to always seek those activities and interests out but when its presented to me I jump at the chance to do it. Like ice skating... I don't have the money (or car right now) to go continually right now. And that applies to a lot of things for me. You can certainly make the argument that if it was something i was actually passionate about I would take the extra steps to make it happen... Like take a bus to go Ice skate. But i think passion needs a good environment to develop itself and manifest. For instance... A young guy that loves football and trains really hard and tries his best to get better and improve. Maybe he's in high school and he wants to make a career in the NFL... He certainly had a 'passion' for football? Why? Well , perhaps his home situation is terrible. Maybe he's abused. Maybe he feels like he is worthless as a person, and he's not good enough for anything. Maybe when he plays football is the only time he feels good. Feels like he matters. Feels like he has a family with his team mates. And his coach is like a father . who knows... But why football SPECIFICALLY? Why didn't he choose soccer? Or some other sport or something...? I think because his situation/environment provided that specifically football worked out the best. For instance, maybe the kids dad pushed him to go into football when he was young... Maybe the football coach really pushed him to join, maybe he made a bet with someone... But the kid probably didn't just one day randomly develop an interest out of nowhere. The interest was probably already there and then the environment allowed it to become a passion.

So I think theres a balance of if its 'easy' enough for you to do something and get involved and how interested you are in it... But this probably depends on the person too. Its funny, I was just talking with my friend about this the other day. Lol

Out of curiosity , why were you going to drop your students?

RE: Have You Ever "Lost" Your Passion For Singing? - poochypooch - 02-08-2017

I'm on the autism spectrum; singing is probably my "special interest" right now. I've had several, and have had them ebb and flow for various reasons. The level of obsession a special interest entails (belting for 3 hours a day 5x a week in the music building at my college while everyone around wonders wtf I'm doing) probably is what brought me from being a horrible singer to a somewhat decent one. I love singing, and find it cathartic. Bonus points for having some pretty good guitar skills to go with it. Right now, I don't see my passion for singing going away.

RE: Have You Ever "Lost" Your Passion For Singing? - ClassicalToContemporary - 02-08-2017

Big Grin I didn't define "passion" on purpose to see where everyone's interpretation lies. Interesting to hear the different viewpoints. I googled the term, and it's the one I relate to:

strong and barely controllable emotion

If you can't control this emotion, how can you just lose it? Simultaneously, if you can't control it, how do you keep it around? I can't tell you how many times I've tried to stop singing. It happened several times a year while I was going to school. My family didn't think I was good. Classmates didn't think I was good. I KNEW that I wasn't good. I changed my major around 10 times only to still get a degree in music! Heart-wrenching bouts of worthlessness and such! Yes, yes. I know I'm a diva LOL One of the vocal coaches at school gave me positive advice that also suggested my singing wasn't that great. "Sometimes, it's not always how good a singer someone is. You always give 100% when you sing. You're always prepared. There's never question on whether you'll know your music at rehearsal. That quality alone will guarantee that you'll sing professionally." There was an intolerable cast member that acted as though she was too good for us.

Speaking from MY experience, I couldn't get away from singing no matter how hard I tried! IMPOSSIBLE!

In my opinion, they never had a passion for it. One was taught by my friend when he was in choir in high school. Once, he had to choose between singing and running. He chose running. Singing was just an interest, and he was really good at it. The other student had musical goals, but he wasn't really serious about it. He rarely practiced.
Wasted time is worse than wasted money!!! I was going to drop them because they were just wasting my time.

First student, I taught technique first and told him to research the musical theater and bring some songs in the next month. No songs brought until I said I was going to have a recital. Even then, he waited until a few weeks before hand. He prepared well enough, so I let him perform. Every week, he'd come in with the same issues as the FIRST lesson! Either he was not practicing or practicing wrong. I doubt he actually practiced. He didn't even bring songs. Usually, students confuse vocal practice with singing songs. Sometimes, this student would get angrily defensive when I asked him questions about his singing. "How does this feel? How was that different from last time? Etc." I was ready to drop him the first time he did that. I'm trying to help. If you've got anger issues, leave them at the door.

Second student was interested but didn't really progress or progressed super slow. I don't know which is the most accurate description of what happened. Always expressed interest, but never excited. I've spoken to him about food. Never as excited about singing as he was about food LOL I'm sure he didn't practice either. Sometimes, I would explain something, and he would tell me I'm wrong. Uh...if you know so much, why don't you teach me?

Rant over! LOL I only shared because I want to express to students not to waste their teachers' time!

Here's some students with different practice habits that aren't perfect but I do like/tolerate because they're actually doing something:

1. Guy probably doesn't practice vocal technique as much as he just sings songs. He has so many songs he tries to bring to lessons! We can only get through a few because the technique isn't there yet! I tolerate this because there's so much interest in singing. I'm just waiting for it to click that he has to practice our exercises more than just sing songs.

2. She practices, but comes the next lesson in a place unexpected. Not always a bad place, just unexpected. I'll suggest a few things for her to practice, but I feel she might get obsessed with only one thing, so it's better the next lesson, but not exactly where we want to be. Some weeks she doesn't practice, but I suspect she tries to apply what she learns in songs she sings during the week.

3. DOESN'T PRACTICE VOCAL TECHNIQUE...HOWEVER...she doesn't need to. I'm super jealous!!! She can just apply whatever I tell her! For this phrase/vowel/note, do [this]. She just does it. I explained how runs are sung because she's never been able to do them. We go back to the song, and she does it flawlessly. I paused for a moment because I didn't know where to go because I thought it would take longer for her to figure it out. UGH! I'M SO JEALOUS OF HER SOMETIMES!!!
I am interested in a great number things, but passion rarely accompanies. I guess I have a passion for learning. As a child, I would read countless books just to learn. I learned morse code at one point! I don't know it because I never actually needed to know it, but it was cool while it lasted. Like poochypooch, I can get obsessed with something and do it for hours on end but without any passion. I'll just get obsessed.
Will you each share your definitions of passion if it was different from mine?

RE: Have You Ever "Lost" Your Passion For Singing? - owenk - 02-09-2017


man I can relate to this---- "practices, but comes the next lesson in a place unexpected. Not always a bad place, just unexpected. I'll suggest a few things for her to practice, but I feel she might get obsessed with only one thing, so it's better the next lesson, but not exactly where we want to be"

That happens sometimes for me! Im really passionate and put in the work but sometimes i just go too far in a certain direction and imbalance the voice in a weird way.

I agree quite closely with your judgements of which students are tolerable vs not. I would personally be more sympathetic to students where singing isn't their greatest passion, but definitely not the students who aren't putting in the effort.

I have skills where I have a mild passion for them but not an obsession. if I got a teacher I would work well enough at them to make the lessons worthwhile, but I may prioritize something else I'm more passionate about. So rather than being a model student who does everything perfectly I'd be more of an average student who just learns it for fun.

But I don't think learning for fun or as a hobby means not practicing or progressing at all between lessons, it would just mean going at a slower more relaxed pace. When a skill is your top passion you just do everything MORE. When there's no passion you do nothing at all and those students who act like that should stop wasting their time and money taking lessons.

My definition of passion is pretty similar to yours. I would be able to articulate it more in explaining it as an example though. What you are most passionate about is what you would do, learn, think about, etc. all day every day, if there was absolutely nothing holding you back. If you would do it less frequently but still feel that urge to do it, then it is a lesser passion.

"If you can't control this emotion, how can you just lose it?" Changing your value system. For instance I used to be super passionate about drumming because it was just so much fun and I was really good at it. But then my value system changed. I didn't want to always need to be in a band and not always like the music I was playing. I wanted to take control of the music, write songs and sing them, and now it became important to learn to sing. Since singing felt so important to learn, I just switched my passion over. My passion for it is fueled by the fact that I feel its very important for me to learn at this time. Another example is I used to run everyday. But then I realized I was getting knee problems and had to take it easy and do more stretching. So I had to leave my passion behind for logical reasons. I still run sometimes to satisfy my passion, but I don't do it as much because I have a slight weakness in the way and I want to take good care of my body so I can eventually run everyday again.

"Simultaneously, if you can't control it, how do you keep it around?" Keeping the same value system. I think this part is easier. When you are really passionate about something you have so many different motivations for it that you will pretty much keep doing it long term no matter what unless there is a major value change that interferes with many many many of those motivations. People will tell you to stop because you aren't good or whatever, but you already have dozens of motivations to keep going. Little comments like that aren't strong enough to budge a strong passion. A weaker passion, where you only have 2 or 3 motivations, those are harder to keep around.

So I also think passion has a lot to do with being able to easily answer the question "why are you doing this" and give so many different reasons about why you should be working as hard as you are on something. Like you have truly persuaded yourself to put a great effort into it all the time and it feels great because you are following your own belief system. You have many many different motivations, so that if you start to question some reasons you are doing the skill, you keep going for other reasons. Even if you can't explain these reasons easily you can feel them. I think as soon as you don't understand why you are doing something, your passion for it will be weak.

RE: Have You Ever "Lost" Your Passion For Singing? - ClassicalToContemporary - 02-09-2017

I REALLY like your answer! Passion is tied to values!

That's the kind of practicing I did too. I always went overboard somewhere!!! Sometimes, I would also practice and get nowhere. I would freak out before a lesson because I had the kind of teacher who would kick out students who didn't practice. He never kicked me out. I was just a slow learner. I'd practice and not figure out what we did in lessons. I was so stressed! Then, at times, I would figure something out and go "too far" LOL It's fun seeing it from the teacher side of things.

RE: Have You Ever "Lost" Your Passion For Singing? - ronws - 02-18-2017

I think this thread would be a good place to share some ideas I have learned and would repeat.

Some of you may remember a show called "Dirty Jobs" with actor and comedian Mike Rowe. And he would work as an apprentice at any job, regardless of how distasteful we might find it. Cleaning sewers and grease traps, animal husbandry, digging, you name it, he did it. And dirty means that the jobs often involved physical work that might get your clothes soiled. Jobs that others look down upon because of misconception that such work is "menial." My college education was EE major, electrical engineering but I never completed a degree plan. Outside of that, I have made more money digging ditches to install electrical pipe underground.

There is a shortage of plumbers and other construction and maintenance workers. Rowe gave a TED talk about work ethic. The problem is that there is a surplus of skilled trade jobs and not enough people to fill them. So, when pundits and politicians tell you there is a job shortage, that is not accurate. It would be more accurate that there are not enough jobs where you sit at a desk and bark orders to an assistant. There is also a need for architects and engineers. So, there is not a lot of work with high pay for people with degrees in gender studies or underwater basketweaving. Point being, if you want to make as much money as an architect or engineer, you need to go and study and be an architect or engineer.

As Rowe pointed out, don't let passion block opportunity. Because you may not make as much money in singing as we would like to. But, like anything, it depends on the opportunities that you find. So, in the mean time, while singing may be the passion, you may have to get a job that pays you well enough to pay your bills. Contrary to the wishes of modern socialists, no one owes you anything just because you exist. You have the right to pursue success but you do not have the right to guaranteed success. No one can stop you from wanting to be a truck driver but you could still fail it. Or succeed. It is, like anything else, a skilled trade and some people are better at it than others and there is more to it than just mash the gas pedal and turn the steering wheel.

So, I would like to think that time you spend pursuing a career or vocation that pays does not mean that you have lost passion for singing. I also think that wanting to give "training" a rest and just relax does not mean that passion for singing has waned. However, for some, singing passion may wane and ebb and that is also okay. Especially in the modern day of online singing programs where you have to be so earnest and "training hard" and comparing it to professional athletes. The athletes I have known did not look at their skill and craft as a job. They just liked doing it and got good at it and had plenty of other interests, too. And a number of athletes who went on to jobs not involving their favorite sports. And it does not diminish their previous accomplishments or their current enjoyment of the game.

And you will likely not make a lot of money from singing. And some musicians branch out to other fields for both interest and income. Maynard Keenan from Tool built his own vineyard and winery in Arizona. Geoff Tate did the same thing in Washington. Sammy Hagar owns restaurants, owned a brand of tequila (Cabo Wabo) that he sold, and now he owns a brand of Rum and has a cook book, because cooking is another passion of his. Having these other ventures gives him the time and freedom to enjoy friends in his super groups, such as Chickenfoot and Circle. They record and tour when they feel like it. For example, Chad Smith, who drums for Chickenfoot is on tour with his first band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, so Chickenfoot is on hold, but will come back. In Circle, Jason Bonham fits in when he has the time. His dad, John Bonham, was a farmer, so there was always something to do when not on tour.

But don't lose hope. Success is often a happy accident and if you keep your eyes open, it can find you. Mike Rowe has a series of inspirational short stories called "The Way I heard It" and it is designed much like "And now, you know the rest of the story" from the late and great Paul Harvey.

For example, there was a singer from Hawaii named Peter Hernandez and he moved to LA, wanting to be a singer but all the know-it-alls wanted to produce him as a latino artist and he was not interested in being pidgeon-holed as the next Enrique Iglesias. So, he made up a name of his favorite wrestler and a planet and started introducing himself as Bruno Mars.

Two brothers immigrated with family to America when they were little. Grown up, they had a band called Mammoth and played frat parties. A cocky loud-mouth from Indiana suggested they change to their last name, as it sounded more inviting. Ka-boom, Van Halen.

And, by now, everyone knows the story of a guy trying to ressurrect the Yardbirds and friend Keith Moon of the Who said, "I imagine some of your gigs might go down like ours, like a lead zeppelin." And you know the rest of the story.

Another guy who had a bad stuttering problem and often would not speak in front of others was assigned with others in his English class to write a poem on anything they liked. Well, he had just received some big grapefruit, a fruit he really enjoyed. So, he wrote a poem that would have a butterfly effect on modern world culture, though no one could guess that at the time. He presented the poem to his teacher who thought it was so good that he accused the student of stealing it from someone else. He dared the student to recite and he did it. And while reciting poetry in rhythm, he did not stutter. This later led to acting jobs and then to one of the most famous voices, ever. The voice of Darth Vader. James Earl Jones loved grapefruit and stuttered as a kid.

So, here's the tihng. Keep doing what you do but be watchful for the little turns in the road that may not seem like much at the time but could lead to a whole new life.

You are singing a song and it is kicking your butt. So, change the key. I would suggest a higher key. Not because I sing high but because doing so forces you to break out of the habits you have built from a lifetime of speaking. And while admiring a singer, remember that your voice is valid, too, and I don't say that to justify my voice.

Any of the famous singers I have read, which is quite a lot, ended up finding their own sound, regardless of influences. Not only because it is the natural course of their voices but because the separate and iconic sound of their voices sets them apart. I can think of a number of singers I would consider technically better than Ozzy Osbourne. I can think of none who sound like him and if others did, their fate would be "the guy who sounds like ..." And that is sad. Sure, we may sound similar to some singers but we are different. I have been compared to Glenn Hughes, which is a big compliment. But I have no desire to sing as tribute to him and I have covered only one song, from when he was with Black Sabbath for the Seventh Son album.

So, take a break from singing and do some other stuff. And you may find yourself returning to singing from a slightly different direction and that is also cool.

RE: Have You Ever "Lost" Your Passion For Singing? - Lolo3000 - 02-19-2017

I believe a persons passion for creative disciplines can be severely diminished by constant overtly negative criticism. IMO disciplines such as singing whereas the practitioner seeks outside approval constant negative feedback can cause the person to become discouraged & eventually disinterested. However I also believe that the flame may be diminished but not entirely extinguished & overtime the individual will likely revisit their passion in various forms.