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Country Vocals Lessons: Everybody Sings

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So the name of this lesson
is Everybody Sings, or
a brief anthropological
history of singing.
And I know that's kinda a goofy title but
I really do think about
singing as a part of our
evolutionary process,
how we became human beings.
Everybody really does sing.
We're designed, we evolved as human beings
to produce sounds with our bodies so
that we can communicate with one another,
we're made that way,
it's like you can't escape it.
But I'm sure that there at least a few of
you out there who have had an experience
where somebody in your life told you
you can't sing, or you shouldn't sing.
You know like maybe you started
joining in and singing, and
your brother or your aunt or a friend
looked at you like, [SOUND] not so much.
Maybe you should not try that.
But I'm here to tell you that whoever
told you that was just wrong, and
you can sing, and you should sing.
I mean, to tell somebody they can't
sing is kind of like, I mean like,
if you see a little baby,
a toddler who's just beginning to
learn how to walk, and they've
been crawling pretty well but they're just
starting to try to get up on their feet,
they fall down a lot, they're very
awkward, they kinda toddle like that and
they just don't walk very well, but
it's cuz they're learning to walk.
But you wouldn't look at a toddler and
say, I'm sorry, you're not so
good at the walking thing,
maybe you should just kinda skip that.
You wouldn't do that!
Because you know they're
going to learn to walk.
And they are gonna fall down
until they learn how to walk.
Singing is no different than walking.
You've got two legs,
you've got this great balancing system.
You're designed to walk.
So you're designed to sing.
Unless you cannot, for physiological
reasons, you cannot produce sound
with the muscles and mechanisms
that are here built into your body.
And that's very, very rare,
so everybody sings, you sing.
So give yourself permission
to fall down and
not be able to sing perfectly until
you can, until you master it.
Until you come to know your body and
your instrument well enough to run.
That's what we're going for.
One of my favorite books that I've read
in the last ten years is by a guy named
Jonathan Haidt and
he wrote The Righteous Mind.
And it's a pretty intense examination
of how human beings became human.
But one of my favorite parts of the book
is his metaphor of the elephant.
And he describes the elephant
as a symbol for how we evolved
as a species for hundreds of thousands of
years to communicate with one another.
That's what we're better at than
any other animal on the planet.
It's what we do better than any other
primate, any other creature on Earth.
We communicate with each other for
the purpose of collaborating and
working together, creating relationship.
We became the best at communicating
before this part of our brain even
showed up on the evolutionary scene.
The frontal cortex is kind of a late
addition to the human design.
But we were already communicating and
collaborating, and
basically kicking butt in the survival
of the fittest competition
because we communicated through
everything from microexpressions,
body language, pheromones,
all this subconscious information.
And our ability to make sounds was a huge,
huge part.
We would chant, we would yell, we would
grunt, we would communicate with sounds.
So before we even had
this part of our brain,
that's how long we've been
communicating with our voices.
And that's what it's about.
It's about communicating.
We bonded in tribes,
we collaborated as hunters so
that we could survive,
we developed ways to worship and
honor the mystery of our existence and
that's how religions started.
All of this involved using
the sounds that we can make long
before we started being able
to have thoughts about it and
observe it and come up with
lyrics that go with the melody.
All of that happened before
we even had this part of our brain.
So in other words, you can sing.
Everybody sings and we're gonna make
sure that it's a joyful experience.