It’s all in the P’s and Q’s: The Singers’ Mindset


Let’s talk punctuation.

I know, I know … what’s punctuation got to do with singing?

Turns out, everything.

(But first, eeee! I have my very own singing blog!!)

Okay, back to the post. Allow me to offer some context: Tonight as I was about to write this post, I decided first to take a wee timeout: a bubble bath and podcast. Delightful!

Tonight’s pod of choice: one of my favorites, Conversation with Alanis [Sidenote: (1) Yes, the Alanis Morissette, and (2) yeah, it’s 5-star material, not that it needs my judgment. Big love!]

Anyhow, our backstory continues with me “randomly” selecting episode 15 where Alanis chats with self-inquiry author Byron Katie. And a few minutes in, that’s when the gals rocked my world with one succinct takeaway:

“Replace the period with a question mark.”

(Cue Hallelujah chorus!)

Profound on so many levels, but let’s first relate this to singing.

As a vocal coach I’ve heard every “I can’t” statement in the book (and have used many myself!):

  • I can’t sing high.
  • I can’t sing loud.
  • I can’t jump around with my voice.
  • I can’t practice; I’m too busy.
  • I can’t take time for myself.
  • I can’t (fill in the blank).

Applying this simple punctuation twist allows us to think anew on an old belief. Check it out!

  • I can’t sing high?
  • I can’t sing loud?
  • I can’t jump around with my voice?
  • I can’t practice; I’m too busy?
  • I can’t take time for myself?
  • I can’t (fill in the blank)?

Feels a lot different, huh? Not so concrete.

Breathe in the possibility. 🙂

Happy singing!


*Of course, there’s more to it (with followup questions to further unpack this: is this true? how do I know? and who would I be without this thought?), but what a beautiful start. The full episode is available here:

Music Lessons in Victoria, British Columbia

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