I Feel Like A Singer Again!

“Following a strict rhythmic pattern for an entire song and feeling vulnerable when singing for an audience were very challenging for me before joining the Shine Program. I put a lot of pressure on myself and am working through some music perfectionism, which does not put me in a very useful mindset for performing. I’m quickly learning that Ruth’s program is not just helping me with my musicianship technically but mentally and emotionally as well.

I feel much more comfortable opening up to a vulnerable place in front of people, instead of relying on relying on vocal technique alone. I always felt like I couldn’t do that because it would risk me making a musical mistake. Listening to the recordings of our group and private sessions, however, has proven to me that the emotional vulnerability (even when it’s overwhelming) enhances the sound so much that I cannot discount it. Now, each time before I work on a song, I get in touch with my emotions about it FIRST and make that equally as important as the technical warm ups

Having a group to work with and in front of has definitely benefited me in ways that I would not have been able to predict. Ruth has been able to create a safe space where we all witness each others’ growth and learn from each other. The support and championing that we provide each other is so encouraging too. I feel like I’m in a singers’ support group sometimes. Haha! But it also makes me feel more accountable in making sure that I have prepared sufficiently because each group session is like a very private performance.

I feel like a singer again. That makes me feel very emotional because being a singer has been a part of my identity for most of my life, but before I joined the Shine Program, I was feeling so out of touch with that part of myself. Ruth really helps you narrow down which exercises to work through that are catered to address your tendencies, so I’m no longer trying to find a 2 hour chunk of time everyday to do an hour of warm-ups plus song rehearsal. I can now do as few as 10 minutes of vocal warm-ups and feel ready to go because they are so specific. I can also just do an hour of exercises to strengthen my technique and have fun with it instead of it feeling like work. I feel like I can accomplish anything I really want to as a singer with Ruth on my side because I don’t have to put in the years of trial and error to try to do it on my own. I can tell Ruth what I’m seeking to accomplish as a vocalist and she can point me in the right direction with strategies and techniques that will get me there. I only wish I would have found her sooner.

I have been working through feelings of unworthiness for a long time. Feeling more confident as a singer has helped me feel more confident as a person.Also, once I was able to be emotionally vulnerable in front of the group and realize that it wasn’t all that scary and nobody judged me, I was able to express that in my everyday life as well through humility and authenticity. I would never have expected my participation in this program to have impacted the rest of my life, but it has. 

With all of the amazing changes and growth I’ve already experienced, I cannot wait to see where I am a year from now! Thanks, Ruth!”

Rachael Shaffer.