I Don't Think People Like My Singing

February 9, 2020

At various points in my life,I’ve been convinced that no one liked my singing. You may be in the same boat. And as I teach singing, interact with voice clients, and continue to perform, I’ve come to see how important it is to talk about our motivation to sing.

One of my voice clients recently shared with me that no one likes his singing. When I asked him why he believed this to be true, he replied “when I play people recordings I’ve made, no one tells me that they like my voice.”  

The problem with his conclusion is that he's making an assumption.

There could be many reasons someone doesn't come out and tell you they think your voice sounds good.

They could be distracted, they may not feel well, they could've had an argument with someone, they could be thinking about your music and what it means to them without being present enough to talk about your voice, etc.

I once sang at a concert and had a hard time keeping my eyes off of a guy in the audience. His arms were folded, his whole body looked tense, and he was scowling. I just knew that he wasn’t enjoying my singing.

When I got off the stage during the intermission, he was the first person to rapidly stride up to me, and I was actually a little afraid.

He looked me in the eye and said, "I've heard you sing a few times before but tonight your singing was incredible. A couple of your songs just changed my life. Thanks!" I had made an assumption about what he was thinking based on what he looked like–and I was wrong!

You can NEVER tell what somebody's thinking about your singing just by the way they look or what they don't say.

The bigger issue here is being attached to having everyone in the audience love your voice. I knew the old cliché was true–that “you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” But earlier in my career that's exactly what I wanted. And… it's completely unobtainable.

This leads us to examine the “why”of our singing.

I believe there are two main motivations to sing: to get something or to give something.

When you place your attention on getting something when you sing, you will never be satisfied. Trying to fill this kind of need from the outside never works. You constantly need more input from others to make you feel like you’re on the right track.

Let go of singing to get something (money, fame, attention, love, or any other fleeting pay off) and instead sing to give your gift. You will experience greater joy every time you perform.

You can then let go of trying to make everyone love your voice. You won't try to do things just to get a reaction that will make you feel good.

When you focus on moving yourself when you sing (feeling the emotion), you’ll be able to give the gift of your singing without expectations and attachment.

Learn to love the feeling you have while singing and share that emotion with others and you can’t help but attract your audience—those who want to receive your gifts.

If you want people to love your singing, you have to love it first.

Try this approach and you’ll find yourself experiencing your confident voice!

Mark Bosnian

Mark is an award-winning songwriter and professional voice coach with 30+ years of experience teaching people how to take center stage. He has toured nationally with the 80's hit band Nu Shooz and coached Grammy award nominees, American Idol semifinalists, and singers on The Tonight Show.