I found this title just before I hit the ‘write’ button on my blog. The phrase said “Looking for Inspiration? Inspire me!” and the words ‘inspire me’ were hyperlinked to a ‘teaser’ blog – something that would give the writer a kick-start of inspiration.
Inspiration is a word usually linked to creativity – anyone who works has needed, used, or had inspiration to create.
Wikipedia has several definitions of this word ‘inspiration‘. The third one is listed as ‘inhalation’ or breathing in. The root of the word ‘inspiration’ is from the italian or latin root inspirare. To breathe in – you fill up your lungs with the air that is required for you to continue living, and then you incorporate that air into your body.
Look at this image of a mind-map below from a distance. Then look at the words more closely.
Image used with permission. Source: http://www.mindmapinspiration.com/
Now compare the mind-map to the image of lungs below:
Image: By Mikael Häggström [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
It’s so fascinating that we echo in our creative mental output a physical process that at first might seem unrelated! We need to ‘inspire’ or ‘inhale’ to sing, but we also need to be inspired mentally to sing as well. It is not enough just to make a sound with one’s voice. YOU must be mentally engaged.
Look at those words in the image more closely. All of them can be considered in the context of singing and learning to sing!
So, when we sing, where do we look for inspiration? Start within yourself – why are you singing? Why do you like to sing? Write it down. Put it somewhere you will see it on a regular basis. Look for other words, phrases, art work, anything that crosses your path that inspires you to sing.
If you practice meditation, the next time you inhale, find a singing word on which to ‘inspire’. If you don’t meditate, think of singing as a form of meditation. The breathing is there, the intention is there, and now you have the inspiration of the words in front of you.
Inspiration is found in the words of the music (songs, pieces, arias, scenes, etc.) you are singing. Read the words aloud, away from the music, and find the reason the writer wrote them in the first place. In many cases the composer was inspired to write the music by the already existing poetry or story. Now it’s YOUR turn to be inspired by both the composer and the writer. If you wrote the words and the music, go back to what concept or event inspired you in the first place.
Inhale and speak out loud what you ate for your last meal. Now inhale and read/recite a line of poetry out loud. Inhale and sigh. Inhale and sing a few notes. How are these inhalations and intentions different? Where are the similarities?
We are so quick to rush into singing something – the opening, the next phrase, the next gasp of air. Take the time to inhale with the intention and thought of what comes next.
Prepare your thoughts, inspire, and sing.