Putting People on Stage

I’m not claiming to have all the secrets to raising kids right but if I were to give one piece of advice to parents it would be to build a karaoke stage in your house.

I’m not talking about just going out and buying a karaoke machine; I mean creating a permanent space for singing and stage antics (think cartwheels, splits, and do-si-do’s).

I’ve seen the benefits.

Something happens to people when they sing into a microphone. Doesn’t matter if they’re out of tune or stumbling over the words. With support (and plenty of applause!), they come alive. In some ways, I see my work as a coach like this, as if I’m giving people the stage. Sing however you want, and I will applaud.

One of my favorite things in the world is witnessing people expressing themselves as they really are, particularly if they haven’t been able to do so in other parts of their lives. It’s like watching a flower open up, like hearing a swallow as the sun rises…. but in a headbanging kind of way.

Kids who grow up with their words amplified learn to love their voice, and everything else in your life is possible when you love and embrace your own voice.

Yeah, I love singing glam rock at the top of my lungs, but I’ll always make room on the stage for the shy kid (or adult!) who loves the song and needs an audience.

What you do on a karaoke stage, you can do in real life.

When I used to teach, sometimes I’d get nervous before a lesson. Singing always helped. Though it was scary to do, often on my way to class, I’d belt out a quick verse. It cleared my guts and gave me air. People’s heads would snap up in my direction, which told me, yeah, I was really doing this. Sometimes that’s all you need.

I give you the same advice when life gets hard.

Put your voice into the world, regardless of who’s around, and sing through your fear.