Why we don’t and How we can.


Once you have identified those areas that need improvement, you should probably pick one area to work on and work until the improvement becomes habitual.  Then move on to another area.


We often have good intentions but find it doesn’t happen.  Why?  First we need to recognize that significant change is difficult.  Changing means establishing a different habit.  Habits are persistent and take many consistent repetitions to change.  Some say it takes 21 consistent repetitions to establish a new habit but I’m sure that depends on how ingrained the competing habit is.  Practice until you hardly ever get it wrong.  Water flows down hill and the natural tendency is to “take it easy” and not push ourselves.  So how do we motivate ourselves to make the effort to change?


Motivation starts with a vision.  “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18  You need to have an idea of some improvement that can be achieved in the future - a vision - a goal.  And the goal needs to be very clear.  This can come simply by knowledge such as what we talked about on the last page.  But sometimes it requires a catalyst.   At least a catalyst is helpful.


The initiative to change often takes place thru a catalyst.  When something pretty drastic happens, a person may feel the need to change and commit to it.  Such situations as a major embarrassment, changing our geographic location or taking up a new challenge such as competition may spur us to change.  A new chorus director can motivate us to make a change as we don’t want to let him down.  Even being aware of some new knowledge may be enough of a catalyst.  The catalyst becomes a landmark that we can hang onto in our thinking.  But the initial change needs to be followed up with consistency if the change is to happen.  We need to commit to the change.


Often change is made with with baby steps.  Starting out with an internal commitment, we may take gradual steps along a certain path that leads to solid change.  Whether we have a strong goal in mind at the beginning, whether there was a good catalyst or not, or whether we just go along, being surprised as we look back, is quite unimportant.  The important thing is to move ahead as consistently as possible on an informed path..

There needs to be an understanding of steps that can be taken to arrive at that visionary goal.  Without a clear road of attack, the goal may seem unattainable.  We need knowledge of what it takes to achieve that vision.  Without seeing these achievement steps, the vision becomes a fantasy. 

The problem is “discouragement”.   But, “Think of an obstacle as just something to be overcome”.   By knowing what smaller steps can be taken to achieve the goal, one can keep the motivation and work toward the larger vision.  So for personal motivation, divide up the vision into smaller steps that can be achieved more readily.   This will give satisfactions along the way and thus help the motivation to continue.


Decide how and when you are going to work on the improvement.  Be realistic but put it in your daily schedule.   Suppose you want to work on your register break.  If you commute to work in a car, would that be a good time to work on it?  Or would it be better to work on it in your weekly Chapter Meeting?   Plan your work but then work your plan.


The important thing, as the Niki ads say, is to “JUST DO IT”.  Lots of good intentions are defeated by the attitude of “I don’t feel like it now.”  Instead just do what you should.  If we depend on our feeling to motivate us we are bound to fail.  Instead, we need to depend on our better rationality.   When it comes to emotions, “Appeals to emotion leave appeal to logic in the dust”. a Newsweek contributor said.  So we need to NOT rely on our feelings as to whether we should get at it.

Here’s a review of the categories from the last page.  Choose one and get started.

    1. Breathing

  1. 2.Vowels and Consonants

  2. 3.Tone Quality

  3. 4.Intonation

  4. 5.Rhythm

  5. 6.Dynamics

  6. 7.Expressiveness

JUST DO IT!  Good luck!

Happy Singing!

         Click Here To Continue to “The Worst Performance

  I would love to hear from you.  I appreciate any comments or suggestions.