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Should You Always Sing When People Ask You To?

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

A few days ago I was asked to sing on a Zoom call while we were waiting for a technical issue to resolve. It was a half joke but it happens quite a lot and it sparked a conversation that I have every few months.

At first I sang something silly. I didn't feel like singing. Understandably, a well-meaning friend later commented that I should always be ready to sing. This is something I've heard may times in over twenty years as a singer. And if I'm honest, I've heard many more non-singers say it than singers.

Eventually I did sing and a few people were entertained. But I didn't really enjoy it, and this is why:

1: I was on the call to learn. My brain was empty

of everything else, as I have trained it to be when I’m learning. I wasn’t ready to sing, because I was ready to learn.

2: I wasn’t warmed up. Everyone knows that you should warm up before you sing! It meant that, even though it was a little impromptu piece and just for fun, it wasn’t a good representation of me as a singer.

3: I actually just didn’t want to sing at that time. I’m not looking for work as a singer and I wasn’t trying to recruit anyone on the call as a client, so the "always be ready" so-called rule didn't apply.

As a singer you're going to be called upon to sing at any moment. For some, it's a great feeling; for others, it's not always appropriate.

If you don’t feel like singing, you don’t feel like singing. You are not a performing chimp. You’re not obliged to perform just because someone demands that you do - especially if the people asking aren’t prepared to come to a paid gig.

Set your boundaries and the people who are really interested in hearing you sing will respect them; the ones who don’t, won’t. You can't please everyone all of the time.

And that’s ok. ❤️

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