In my previous article I wrote about what I consider one of the absolute most important skills to develop in life. And as much as it has to do with improving the quality of our lives in general, it also has everything to do with improving our singing and performing. It has everything to do with learning effectively. It has everything to do with being able to release restrictions within body and mind and set the real you free.

If you haven’t yet read that article, go here to read it first or the following will make no sense.

The subject was the “ability to respond”. Our entire life, the outcome of everything we do, is shaped by how we respond.

A lot of my teachings center on developing greater awareness, and it is how we respond to what we become aware of that determines how effectively you learn and develop. The results always come from “how” you do something rather than just “what” you do.

As a communicator and influencer (which is what you are when you sing), you need to develop the ability to respond. And I don’t believe it is ever possible to experience true success in anything if we don’t learn to respond effectively to challenges and to “failure”.

As I mentioned in the last article, the human tendency is to respond negatively and abusively when things don’t go well – abusively towards our mind in the form of negative self-talk – abusively towards our body in the form of unhealthy eating, drugs, non-activity, etc. – or abusively towards others in the form of blame, accusations, violence, etc.

A comment to my previous article was that many are rewarded in society by complaining and bullying. This is true. Many have come to believe that you get what you want by complaining and bullying. And many times their beliefs are reinforced, because it is easier to just give a bully what they want to have them go away.

Just a few days ago something happened that was very interesting, and which I’ll take the opportunity to use here as a perfect example.

This will also be helpful for those who are members of The Singing Zone or those who are considering joining, so it doesn’t have to happen to anyone of you.

First some background facts:

As all members know, The Singing Zone provides new content every month, and as all members also know the billing is automatic. In this day and age, most subscriptions and recurring services offer automatic billing for a very good reason.

If I would be forced to have to sit and write checks every month to keep my telephone, Internet, website hosting, video hosting, newspaper, and all other recurring services alive, I would go insane. Even payments to our son’s private school, monthly tuition to swim team, etc. are automatic. Automation is always a service to the customer to ensure that there is no interruption in service. With The Singing Zone, I also must have automation in place for programming reasons so that the new lessons are delivered on the promised day for each individual.

Now, there are those who respond internally with great resistance to the idea of “automatic billing”.

Some people react negatively because they have heard of, or been exposed to, the dubious practice when the information of automatic billing is hidden.

Others are of course really not afraid of the billing. They’re really afraid of themselves, of their level of responsibility.

Now to help out with the first category, I go to extreme lengths to inform. Those who have visited the Sing With Freedom order page see that joining The Singing Zone is optional and there’s a big paragraph that explains the necessity of automatic billing.

Then, if you check the check box to add the membership, a second box pops up above the order button.

It now becomes impossible to place the order without once again reading the information in the bright red can’t-miss background. One has to check this second checkbox of agreement to proceed.

Now, the reason I have two check boxes and make it so “difficult” to order is to protect the customer. This way, no one can order the membership by mistake. I of course only want members who really want to be members and I do everything I can to make sure they have a phenomenal experience once they become members.

In addition, I provide a welcome video, I send out several emails, and I even send out a reminder before the first billing so they don’t forget to cancel if they want that. Most importantly I try to engage people so they get the results they came for.

So here’s what happened the other day: A person who had been a member for several months emailed and was raving mad because he didn’t know why he had been billed.

We emailed him back with the information and gave him a link to the member log in page and the order page so he could reacquaint himself with what he had ordered (which he obviously hadn't taken part in).

Now the “responsible” person, once he realizes he has made a mistake, would simply acknowledge it, and then he could make a decision on how to solve it from there.

This person instead emailed back, called me a rip-off and threatened to write bad things about me all over the Internet if we didn’t do what he demanded.

Now what is so interesting is his response and his belief that doing something against someone else - me in this case - would help him.

So here’s one question:

It is easy to just say, “ah, give him what he wants so he goes away”. But is this the behavior that should be rewarded? Are we if so helping him, or are we really hurting him? Are we helping the next person he comes in contact with if he has learned that the way to get what you want is by making threats.

So the topic is to develop our abilities to respond, which is closely tied to the fear of mistakes we hold within. Like I mentioned before in the previous article, the initial mistake is seldom an issue. It is the negative response to that "mistake" that compounds and becomes the real mistake. And that will always happen if we are afraid of making "mistakes".

Here’s a perfect example of a person who is so afraid of making a mistakes that he refuses to go back and find out if indeed he might have made a mistake.

People who are afraid of making mistakes are also the ones who make mistakes. And to try and protect themselves they blame the mistake on others. It is when we are afraid of making fools out of ourselves that we make fools out of ourselves, and we can go on and on.

But remember, being able to “respond with ability” and becoming more and more responsible for our successes and “failures” is a developed skill. We could easily call it an advanced developed skill. And when we respond effectively to what we experience in our body and mind we become effective learners.

Today is a beautiful day to practice responding in a resourceful way to whatever happens today. What do you say?

About the author 


  • Hi Per, I added a comment to your first piece so I’m going to be the first to add my comment here. If that makes sense.
    The guy who was so intolerant of you sounds very similar to the kind of people who say ‘do you know who you are talking too?’ ‘ You should have more respect for me’ etc. They are in a desperate situation and clearly out of control.
    They really on a certain reaction – capitulation/argument to get a buzz. Sadly we cannot change people like that but teaching ourselves to react in a way which is not the norm does phase them and they have to then change direction.
    I now try to react to circumstances in as positive a manner as possible, hoping for good karma. It does work – most of the time!

  • most of the people who react negatively are people who don’t know who they are and in not knowing they are afraid and do anything to protect the image that they have for themselves,It’s all a learning curve

  • “How do we respond to mistakes?” is a very interesting issue, particularly when it comes to singing. Singing is scary, because it makes us vulnerable. We have to face questions like: “Why am I doing this? Because I love the music? Because I love applause? Am I singing to the audience or at them? What do I feel about what I’m singing? Do the songs have deeper meaning for me, or are they merely audience pleasers? Am I singing out of my own experience or just imitating other singers’ much-loved renditions? Do I love my own voice or do I wish I could (and try to) sound like someone else?” The fear of making a mistake, it seems to me, is related to an underlying question, namely, “Who am I?” Because I believe that if I truly know who I am, I can’t be afraid of making a mistake, I don’t think it’s possible. What I’m usually “correcting” is my self-image, not the mistake at all. Which is what makes singing so exciting, too. We come face-to-face not only with our audiences but with ourselves at the same time.

  • Yes, I have being a victum of bullying and yes they get away with it! That’s why I dicided to become selfemployed. I’m a therapist , and I rais funds for research. I thoroughly enjoy my work now, as I hold the rains! If I make a mistake my responce would be, it was the best I could do at that time, and try to do it better next time round. Im not saying everyone should be selfemployed it has disadvantages as well! But for me personally I cant go back, this new found freedom keeps me going through thick and thin, and there’s no one to blame except myself ! I love it!

  • I hae always loved to sing and I thrive on the applause. When i watch someone who is really great not that crappy music and screaming of contestants on American Idol but people like Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett, Michael Buble I cry at the applause – it’s the greatest compliment any performer could ever get. I’m a former professional singer from the late 40’s early 50’s. Had some lessons at the end of my career as I was pregnant with my first child. I had a wonderful teacher named Bea Lypsig and her studio was in the Brill Bldg. My biggest thrill was my job at the “500 Club” in Atlantic City and it was my worst singing of my life. It wa after Labor day and the weather there really changes – such damp humid weather caused a terrible horseness and I even cried after my first performance. One of the singers at the time working with “Four Beaus and a Peep” she went on to work with Woody Herman, Pat Easton calmed and soothed me never forgot her and told me it happened to all the singers at that time of the year including her. Many long years later I still sing, never stopped. it was usually with a Choir and now here in Naples Fl. I sing with a group in our developement. I have never lost my voice and my only problem is so frustrating – it’s mucous which is a recurring problem and I’ve never been able to overcome it. I won’t eat before we sing as I always have a solo to do. it helps somewhat but never to my satisfaction. Without that I could go on to more professional things again. I am working with an older guy but even when we rehearse that phlegm is there. It’s there right now. Wish I could find the solution what do the professionals do. Only once did I see that happen and it was Susan Boyle at one of her performances. She apologized cleared her throat and continued singing. Sometimes it takes more than one clearing. I never blame anyone else for my shortcomings and just get angry at myself. Thanks, Joan Burke

  • Hi,
    You not only give good singing lessons but also see that your students become good, successful people. Thank you for your valuable advice.
    Elsy John

  • I agree with all of the above( what beautiful people). I too believe that when you like yourself you stop critizing other people. Everyone is doing the best they can to improve themselves and to follow their passion.Per, practice & persistance will get us there. Don,t listen to people who do nothing because they are afraid of the same judgement they use on others. Stay Beautiful all you beautiful.

  • Dear Per,
    I am so grateful that I found the singing zone through YouTube. I regularly visit YouTube to listen to the most beautiful choir singing ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep you’ by John Rutter, from Westminster Abbey at the Queen & Prince Philip’s 60th wedding anniversary. There on the site was a link to The Singing Zone and the rest is history. I am so thrilled to have the benefit of your advice and help, I am blown away with the 3rd program. I have a reasonable baritone voice which has improved considerably from the exercises. I am now sufficiently confident to have a choice of
    auditions at the many male voice choirs in my area of Cheshire, U.K. I would like to quote “real men sing real loud!” At least when they are singing to Jesus. Finally, Per, I would conclude with the following ‘A vision without a task is but a dream, A task without a vision is drudgery but a vision and a task are the Hope of the World. Bless you Per for giving me hope for the future. If there’s hope for the present, there’s power for the future. Bob 13th July, 2012

  • I really like what Per writes.

    However, I would very much like to see more endorsements of his singing tuition. I regret that I have not seen very many. If these do exist, where can I see them.

    Many thanks,

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