I've started vocal lessons and am trying to learn to sing, but I've come across a very difficult situation which makes me want to quit, as it makes me change myself completely, although I understand that I absolutely agree with what my teacher is telling me.

I do the exercises and train my vocal almost every day, but the thing that bothers me most is not being shy of doing something silly or awkward, being open and artistic.

I am a rather calm person with not much of me to entertain in life. I can do some stuff but not all of it. Today my teacher wanted me to imaging a rope and try to pull it with my both hands in turn while singing at the same time. I couldn't do it. Firstly, it looks really silly and strange. Secondly, why must I do such a silly and awkward thing? And third thing is, what would people think of me had I done something similar on stage?

I know that practically she is right - my psychological barriers prevent me from doing it, I block myself at that level.

I surely know that people like Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel did really silly and stupid stuff on stage and it was always embarrassing for me, but me, no. I just can't step over myself, although I realize I should.

What can help me? How does one do it in music? Who had such problems? Is it okay to not be able to do such things?

  • 1
    [I don't have enough to make this a full answer, I don't think] It's the same thing as stage fright - you ought to research that. The 'weird' thing about performance is you just need to subsume yourself to it, go with the flow. Many actors & musicians 'invent' a new persona for themselves when they're performing.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 2, 2018 at 18:39
  • Do you trust your teacher or not? If not, then why are they your teacher? If you do trust your teacher, then you should assume that your teacher was having you try something that they think will help your vocal technique somehow. If you truly want to improve your technique, then use that desire as the motivation to push yourself into doing something (within reason) that you otherwise wouldn't prefer to do on your own.
    – mlibby
    Aug 2, 2018 at 20:44
  • @mlibby It isn't about trust. Aug 3, 2018 at 5:00
  • have you tried doing this when you are alone?
    – b3ko
    Aug 3, 2018 at 18:45
  • @b3ko It is easy when nobody is looking, although it is really silly Aug 3, 2018 at 19:18

4 Answers 4


Give yourself a stage name, create a stage persona.

Let yourself go..become your stage persona while you are singing.

What is the worst that can happen? What are you afraid of?

Give your stage persona a "tell"...like a hat or something, it will allow you to "get into character".

You will find that there is something liberating in letting yourself go, stepping out of your comfort zone.

  • +1 but I don't think you have to be quite that overt. I have a 'stage persona' for both music & acting that looks exactly like me but is just more confident.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 2, 2018 at 19:35
  • @Tetsujin agreed. but if it is really debilitating maybe get extreme to try to swing it the other way.
    – b3ko
    Aug 2, 2018 at 19:49

You are not alone in feeling awkvard in various kinds of situations. Most people, I even venture to say everyone, has his or her hangups. This can be the limiting factor in how far you can go in order to be a good stage performer. If you feel intimated when doing something, you will simply not be able to do a good performance.

It seems like your teacher has recognized this and wants you to loosen up a bit and go outside your comfort zone. Moving on to the unknown places is one part of becoming a good performer. It sounds to me that the teacher looks as this as your largest problem in singing right now -- and if you want to reach new levels this is what you really should adress.

I strongly suggest you go along with this. It will make you grow as a person and as singer.

The very best way to attach this "problem" is to sign up for beginner theater training. In theater training there are ways of training in order to gain a larger confidence even in uncomfortable situations. This will not help only on the stage, but as well in the rest of your life.


Also think a bit about what 'silly' means. I suspect your teacher is trying to enable your imagination/creativity so that you can apply it to your interpretation of your music. To start with, practice doing such silly things by yourself where you aren't concerned about someone else's opinion. Over time what used to be 'silly' will begin to seem more like 'normal'.


It is possible your teacher was asking you to do this for a technical reason (i.e. something to do with breath support, for example). It doesn't mean that you would end up doing it on stage; it's simply an exercise. My teacher has me do many things in lessons that I would never do as a performer, but they are useful to help me achieve a better singing style.

  • Yes, she said it will help. But I'm trying to overcome myself which is very hard. Somehow, I am afraid of what it will look like. Aug 3, 2018 at 19:21

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