From Singing To Channeling With Roger Burnley – Episode 15

For more than 30 years, Roger has devoted his life to personal development. He has accomplished this through experiences and those of others he has coached.  Every morning, Roger’s higher aspect, “Wilhelm” channels messages through him during his automatic writing process. Roger works with everybody, from all walks of life and from every corner of the world. Roger is an outstanding vocalist, vocal coach, life coach, speaker, author, and Intuitive.

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welcome everyone to the confidence in singing podcast. My guest today is Roger Burnley vocal coach from California. Welcome, Roger.

Thank you so much. You have no idea how happy I am to be here and to be speaking with you about this because it’s it’s close to my heart, as you know.

Yes, we came across each other. And when we chatted, we realized that we were 100% aligned in terms of our values. And one of my biggest values is to let people know that their voices matter that their voices have value, and that it is possible to enjoy music and singing, no matter what age you are, or what your starting point is.

Absolutely. And it’s so interesting to hear you even just say that, because I think my life covers all of those starting points and ages and the whole bit. And age is one thing that I keep talking to everyone about because I’m 70 I keep shouting it to the rooftops now, because most people are afraid of talking about that. And I said, listen, listen to my voice. It’s listen to what’s happened. But it came from this journey. And that’s what I really want people to understand. Because it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy for me to see when I started because I thought I was terrible.

And you know, being terrible. And noticing that you’re terrible is a great starting point. We do. As one of my guests has said recently, nobody is born a great singer. Nobody is born a great. Anything. Right. So Roger, before we start into our conversation, would you like to just tell us a little bit about your work and what you do like your short bio version of what you do, if you don’t mind.

My short bio version version now is that I work with people in all areas of their life. I mean, singing was the first thing because that’s what I came to first. But then it led me to which the fascinating thing which all of your clients will start to understand, because it led me to empowerment, life coaching, see, because working on your voice causes that to happen. Mysteriously used to oh, I have a voice I feel confident with it mean that I start feeling more confident in my life, I can go out and do other things. And when I started discovering that it shifted me into really dedicating, you would say, more of my life to helping people feel more more confident wherever they’re going, you know, but it started with the singing. That’s why I have to. That’s why I love the name of your podcast. I love the name of your YouTube channel, because it’s it’s what I discovered.

Yeah. Singing brings you confidence. Yeah, yeah. Wonderful. And I know you have a few other things that you do. I mean, I don’t not sure if your still performing. Are you still doing any performance yourself?

I haven’t been. I did something a few weeks ago, I just performed on someones summit and I sang a song I recorded a couple songs, and did that which was fun. And I thought, Oh, I remember doing this and I want to get back to more of it. The difference for me now is that I know a lot of people sing and go out and try to perform because they’re trying to make it. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m doing it because it’s fun. And I want people to understand they get to this place where they just do it because they enjoy it. Not trying to get anywhere with it. And so that’s been the the beauty of this experience. So but I’ve moved in more into my spiritual work as well. I do I meditate. I’ve been doing that. And I do what’s called automatic writing and channeling. And I’ve done that. I have a website called any advice for We’re all I do it every day, I post spiritual writings that I receive every single day because this entire journey has led me to that place in my life where I know what everyone has to offer. And I have to give it back in that way, which is what I’m doing more of now.

Isn’t that wonderful? It’s like you’re finding that treasure within you through this exploration of your voice and the things that you enjoy because not everybody would enjoy singing. So it’s not that we’re saying everybody should be singing but if you enjoy music and enjoy singing, it can lead you somewhere that the the reasons to do it and the result of doing it is can be far greater than just being able to sing publicly or to you know, to do it for others. It’s as much as important for ourselves as it is to have others listening.

Okay, so let me, I can’t believe you said that, because I’m just going to talk about it. I’m just going to put this out there. As you said, it will lead you to something else. Well, that’s exactly what my life was. That’s exactly what happened in my life. And I, I will kind of say to my clients, I think I really did singing, only so that I could figure out all the other stuff, I think I only did singing so I can become comfortable to really do the other things that I want to do in my life. That’s really how it felt. And I’m saying that because I’ve had clients who have had that similar experience, you know, they, and I talked about this in the beginning, and you probably do this with your clients, I said, your voice is your most personal form of expression, you know, whether we’re speaking or singing, and whenever we know that we will be perceived a particular way, when someone hears our voice, or we might make that up, we may think that, but it’s always there, we feel it. So if we’re not feeling confident, in how we’re controlling or handling our voice, how could we possibly expect that to translate into our lives and feel confident in other things that we might do? I didn’t know that in the beginning.

Absolutely. And I, I mean, I feel like when we stand up to sing, I mean, how often has anyone listened to us for three and a half minutes? Nobody, like a conversation is like 30 seconds soundbite and then you reply, and then I reply. So when you saying you’re actually standing up, and almost taking a leader ship role, the way someone might give a speech, or, you know, we have to have a certain amount of confidence in what we’re about to do in order to say to people, Hey, listen to me for the next three and a half minutes.

Right. And it takes that confidence develops and grows. Because what we’re trying to do is just really be ourselves. We’re just trying to move into that place of being ourselves. And I would tell the story all the time. And this is I’m not making this up, everybody can find this information. Because I love telling the story. When I was I started performing. When I came to Los Angeles, in 1980. I moved here in 1982. And a few years later, this is about the age thing again, because I didn’t start performing again, I had done it years ago, but I let it go, I actually let it go for a while. And then I came here and I’m in my 30s now, and I’m thinking well, I still want to go back to it. I still want to do singing, I don’t know why. But I still have to do that. And as I got into it, I started encountering so many of my insecurities. If they just started coming up in every way imaginable, I would tell the story of going to this one, so I got to the place where I had a regular gig, I thought I would do basically once about once a month, I would do a full show with a band BACKUP SINGERS a whole bit. And I got to that place because I would go in and do the shorter versions, you know, I would go in and audition, basically. And then they said, Oh, well, this guy, we can put him into a show. And but it was my responsibility to put it together and get the people there and all of that. And so I would do all that thing. And then I’d be there on the night of the show. I’m standing backstage about to go on. And I am terrified. And I’m thinking why did I do this? Nobody told me to do this. Nobody told me I had to be I’m just, I’m just sweating. And then I get on stage and I can see it. I have videos of this still to this day, where I’m performing. I’m sweating, because I’m so nervous about what I’m doing. And then it got better over time. But later in years ago, why did I do that to myself? And I thought, Oh, I did it because I wanted to get over my fear. I wanted to get over my nerves. And the only way to do it was to jump in was to go and do it. That’s what happened.

When did you start singing? Like when? When did you? When was when did you notice that singing is something I love? Yeah,

you’re asking all the right questions, because now again, I told you, I’m going to cover the gamut of all the ages of anybody that’s going to listen to this podcast to see wherever you come in and understand it’s going to be help you. And 12 years old. I’m in grade school. And we were about to we were getting ready for a graduation to go to high school. And so we were going to perform at the graduation we’re going to all sing and all that I said and I started to sing I had never done it before I never thought about it and I thought maybe there’s something there. Then we had a coach, a choir director who came to our grade school, and I’m in the US. So you know, we have these things set up where we have a grade school, we go to eighth grade. And then we go into high school. I know in different places, it’s called different things. But that’s what happened here. So when I’m about to go into high school, this coach from the high school came, and he was auditioning people who was to see who could come into the choirs with they had a boys choir, and then they had a junior acapella choir and all of that. And so the natural place for me to go would be into the boys choir, because I’m this kid, you know, very young are freshmen. And I don’t know what happened. I could be making this up. But somehow I’m thinking this guy said, There’s something wrong with your voice. Your voice is too high. It doesn’t sound right. Oh, I, I put that in me. I, I held on to it. I think something is wrong with me. Because he said this. And I didn’t know what to do. But I, I can I carried it around, I felt so insecure the entire time. Now that I go to high school, my voice changed a little bit over the summer, maybe that had something to do with it. I was growing up. I was going through puberty, which is what happens, our voices changes. So maybe it got a little better. I don’t know, I don’t have a memory of that. Except now the same person, the same choir director who told me that something was wrong. Or at least I perceive that that’s what he told me. Now he’s telling me, No, you have talent, you have something you can do. I’m saying no, that can’t be true. I didn’t believe it. I said no, he kept pushing me the entire time, even till. And I just want everyone to understand this because I resisted it all the way. Sometimes we always need people I talked about this in terms of coaches and mentors and all that. I said I’d never done anything in my life without a coach or a mentor. Because I was just a little too afraid. And so when he kept pushing me now, I just it just doesn’t make sense. He says yes, I want you to go. And I in my junior year. He then said, we’re going to put you in the acapella choir. In my sophomore year, they moved me to the junior acapella choir, which was really unheard of because you weren’t supposed to do that until you’re a junior. But he says no, you’re that talented. I go, No, I’m not kept arguing the whole time. But I went along with it. Then he says, Now we’re going to send you to the all city choir. That was where it was. I live in Chicago at the time, Chicago, Illinois, here in the US. And that choir was made up of all of the best singers from each high school. So you had to be selected by your directors in sent there. And so was a select thing. And you had your good when you I never felt good. I was terrified the entire time. And then we would have I want everyone to really get this because it’s, it’s unbelievable, then we would have rehearsals on Saturday, because that was the easiest time for everyone to come. Because we were from all over the city different high schools. And it was early in the morning where we had to go, I wouldn’t get up to go to the rehearsal. I couldn’t get up, my mother would have to force me out of bed to get me to go because I was just terrified. Then we got to the place where they wanted to test us they wanted to give us a test. I could never do this. And then test was we had to sing our part by ourselves. You know, we had four parts. But we had to sing with all the other three parts, but individually because they want to see how good we were the most terrifying thing ever. I thought I’m fine if I can stand behind everyone and listen to them and rely on what they’re doing. But to believe that I could bring that up myself. No, I couldn’t do that. Well, I did it. Virtually I did it. And it was the best thing ever. So now I’m looking at this journey. I want everyone to understand this. So I went from being 12 years from 12 years old, going through all of the rest of my high school feeling incredibly insecure that I had nothing and had everybody else telling me till I finally figured out okay, maybe I can do something. Maybe it just took a while. And so anyone who starts on this journey, they will find that it will expose them to something that is valuable within them. I don’t know what it is, but it’s going to be there. I’ve never seen anyone who has not had that experience.

That’s a wonderful, it’s so interesting. So when you did that all the choir, the you know, with all the other high schools there was a turning point there where you suddenly realized I do love this and I can do it and I’m actually going to allow myself to enjoy myself more would that be right?

That’s pretty much it because one and it was that last test, and I’ve had so many of them all along the way but that one was where I had to do it by my myself, you see, where I had to sing my part, my tenor part, which is what I was singing at that time, I had to sing it by myself with the alto, bass and soprano. And I thought I could never do this. But when I did it, it shifted everything. I recognized that all the training that I had done all that time had been had worked. It was it produced results. It was me, who didn’t trust it, to say yes, and so the journey of developing your voice and, and singing and all that does require you to develop more trust in yourself and who you are. That’s what starts to come about.

That is beautiful. Because when I talk about the word confidence, you know, it actually when, when we when someone is in our confidence, there are the person that we trust, they’re the person that we tell things to. And so being confident is a little bit to do with trusting yourself. Knowing. And also, I mean, I really like to emphasize that self love and self acceptance along the journey, that even when you don’t feel as confident as you think you should, that that’s okay. And even when it doesn’t sound exactly as you would hope. That’s okay, too.

Yeah, I this is what I want everyone to understand. Because I told you my thing to talk coming on this podcast is that I wanted everyone to understand this, that it’s a journey and they will get there. I and I’m totally transparent with this even when I’m working with my clients. Because I don’t sound quite right yet. I don’t sound the way I want to I still sound terrible. Yeah, I said that to forever. But I didn’t stop. I kept going. And I would record myself and I would listen, I say it’s still not right. And I keep doing it. I knew that it was taking me somewhere and I had to finish it. And then there was one day. This is and I want everyone to understand this is not like I was some new person. I didn’t just start I had been doing this for a while. But I finally reached that place where I listened to a recording. And I said the words, I sound like a singer to say what I had been, yes, I have been coaching, I’ve been doing all of that. But I finally reached a place within my own development and what I felt that I could listen to myself and say, I sound like a singer

is so interested i, i A friend of mine, well, a friend of mine really asked me. I was think 28 And he asked me, What’s my dream. And I said, Well, my dream is to be a singer, but I can’t do that. And you know, I’ve been singing my whole life. I was singing through the choirs I had taken, you know, classical music lessons, I had done lots of small performances, I’ve certainly singing in church a lot. And I didn’t credit myself as a singer at all, at all. I thought a singer is only someone who does it professionally. And I did study music for a couple of years. And and one of the first lessons was, you know that you can be a part time professional, that you can be a hobby profession, you can be an amateur professional like that you that these categorizations are none of them is set in stone. There’s nobody going okay, a professional musician has to do 365 performances a year. You know, there’s some professional musicians that perform twice a year. And you know, you know, they they may not be doing it full time, but they can still consider themselves professional. And so being a singer, that identity of kind of saying, I’m a singer, like I asked a gentleman at a reunion, my husband’s high school reunion. I said, So are you a singer and he said, Oh, I love to sing. I said well, you can call yourself a singer, you know, you can still call yourself a singer even if you just love to sing and you’ve only done it in a couple of musicals. You don’t have to compare yourself to Pavarotti and the you know, the the the very kind of well respected musicians and singers. And even then, like a lot of singers don’t consider themselves musicians, which I think is a pity because a lot of singers are musicians that they play an instrument or two and they understand music theory to some degree. So sometimes I think we we, we don’t give ourselves the credit that we’re do.

And a part of it, too, is unfortunate. I’m glad you’re doing this because you’re giving people a lot more education. One of the things that I discovered, especially working with a lot of my clients is that they didn’t understand how many opportunities they were out there. And being a big star is just one small aspect of it. There’s so many people who are having wonderful lives, performing small gigs clubs, traveling around summer doing cruise ships and loving I mean, just all sorts of different things that we don’t Think about all the different careers. It’s not about being the weed look at the, I think the recording artists and we think oh, that’s who we’re supposed to be. No, you’re supposed to be what’s what’s right for you. And there’s so there’s just so much of it. And I never knew that, I will tell you this, I had a an associate, she told me that she had done 350 shows in a year or something crazy like that. She was traveling around doing all these shows and, and making this money, she was saying how much money she had made during the show, like, how’s that possible? And then she’d said, Well, I’ve done it. So she’s decided to create a course. And I go, nobody’s gonna buy this, nobody believes it. And she said, how to create how to make a career performing around without an agent or manager or social media. And, and she actually put together a course to show people how to do it. And she would take them through that to talk about her journey, how she went and found gigs on her own the resources that she used. I mean, it was crazy, but she did it. So the point is, there’s always something if people want to do want to do this. And maybe you don’t want to do this. But the other thing that I would always say to my clients is that when they come up like with you the excuse, I can’t sing, yes, you can. You can sing. Because if you wanted to take the time and effort and learn and get the right tools and instruction and stay with it, you can sing. There’s nothing within you that wouldn’t do that, except you giving up and stopping. That’s all.


I’m proof of it. I can say that, because I’m proof of it.

There. Yeah. And it is a process. I mean, I really believe that is a process. And what I love to do is try to make the process fun. So doing if exercises should feel interesting and fun and something that you’re going to enjoy. Because if it becomes such hard work, and it’s kind of because I studied some you know, piano and I was told to learn this piece and learn that piece. And you’re doing all these pieces that you don’t even like. So I like that to make what I do more fun and more at the pace of each student. And is there anything that you wish you’d known before you started? Your singing kind of career part?

Hmm, I don’t know. I don’t know if I wanted to know that. I I mean, to know what it would have brought me I might not I don’t know if I would have done it might have felt too scary. I’m not sure did I have if I if you could have told me at that age, when I was still still so insecure about absolutely everything. If you could have told me that I was going to morph into being a speaker, a coach and an author. All those things I probably wouldn’t have believed in, I would have stopped I don’t know. But I what I can’t say what I say to everyone now is that all I know is that practicing and working on your voice is the journey that’s going to take you to understanding everything about yourself. And whatever career you want, whether it’s singing or anything else, it’s just a tool that you’re going to use to get to what you’re supposed to be doing in this life.

Well, what what kinds of advice do you give to people that are just starting out? What kind of what what’s your first couple of little steps, you know, when someone says might be interested? And I’m sure there’s a couple of things that you suggest people

do? Well, I it depends on where they come from. First of all, if they come, most people will say I can’t sing, or I can’t do any of that. I said, Well, yeah, you can. And then I’ll explain well, why would you want to try, you see, and so trying is means you’re developing some sort of skill. And no matter what you will start to know more about yourself, you’ll start to understand your body, you will become more more connected to yourself to your body just by going through that process. And so that’s the value just in that. And then I would say you have to be patient, you have to be patient. Because when I love using the years of my life to talk about this, because it’s taken me so long to move and go into all of these different areas. So I said, Look at my journey. You get there eventually, but you got to be patient with and I I used my giving my three P’s practice patience and persistence. That’s all you just get that it’ll get you there practice patience and persistence.

Beautiful. Yes. And I would 100% agree with agree with that. And trying the process of trying takes you somewhere that you know every step Yeah. matters. Yeah. You know, sometimes I think a lot of people compare themselves too much to others, number one, and also compare themselves to where they want to be that we never ever get to where we want to be. This is something a lot of people don’t realize, I get to my next stage and then I want to be even better than the stage I’m at. So like I never, I mean, if I had looked back and said, Oh, I’m going to be running a podcast. I’m going to be this, you know, voice coach data. I mean, if I had what I decided I wanted all of that, by the time I get here, I’m going, Oh, now I also want this and that. So we never get to where we want to be when we appreciate where we are. And like that, when you can say, oh, that’s where I was. And this is where I am. And you know, that’s kind of cool. But I’ve done.

Yeah. You said the most important thing, though, about comparing yourself to someone else. And so this is what would have won, the client would come to me a new person would come and say, I want to sound like so. And so some big artists that they’re mentioned, I want to sound like them, I go, No, you don’t. Because we have them, we don’t have you. Everyone was born with this unique, beautiful voice if they’re willing to find it and uncovered. So we want to hear you, not the other artists that we already have. So when they start to get that and go, Okay, maybe there’s something in there that I can find. And there is always,

that’s beautiful. And I also feel that the experiences that each person brings to song so even if you have a similar voice to someone else, you are you completely unique human being. And when you sing the words, you know, black is the color of my true loves hair. That’s a typical Irish one. Like, I mean, I’m thinking of, I mean, I’m thinking of Roger Burnley’s gorgeous dark hair, or I’m thinking of, you know, my mom’s or so we’re thinking about something different. And we’re bringing ourselves and our experience and our soul and our heart to the song. And it’s always gonna feel very different to someone else singing the same song.

I am, I gotta say, I’m so pleased with the work that you are doing, I just have to say this, because my mission now in life, because I, you know, I still do some of the other things. But now, it’s really important for me, for people to understand how important they are to come into owning themselves, loving who they are, and all of it. And so seeing that you have a challenge to the stage with this name is just so thrilling for me.

It’s, it’s so true. I mean, each person matters. And I feel. And at a certain point, I realized that it’s a life or death situation. I’m either expanding and learning to be myself more and trusting myself more and following my bliss more, or I’m going down a deep dark path that takes me nowhere. So each person that I speak to, I feel that urgency, not enough kind of oh my god, we better hurry. But more so actually does matter. It actually actually matters. That, you know, Roger does that singing or Aideen does it singing or Mary or Jane or whoever it may be that you each person listening here, you have a path forward, that is valuable, and it matters. And sometimes it’s only going to matter to the people that know you closely. But when you step into your own power, other people notice that and they will step into their power because of you. So if you stay small, those people that know you, they will have an excuse to stay small as well. And sometimes you’re the only person in your immediate circle who’s doing unusual things or taking chances. But that’s okay. Because there’s a lot of other people taking chances. And if you’re the only one in your small circle, then you’re important. Yeah, you know, you we sometimes need to lead by example, and lead by doing what we enjoy.

Yeah, I’m glad you said that. Because I’ve said to so many. We’ve been taught out of having fun sometimes in our lives, because many people No way man, I used to enjoy singing when I was younger. Well, why did you stop? Yeah, I used to enjoy these things. And you’re right, we need to have fun and enjoy it. And and many people have memories, that they enjoyed their singing even when they were much younger if they’ve given it up since.

Tell me a little bit about why you ended up doing like the empowerment coaching. So do you have people that you work with now that aren’t singers that maybe are coming to you for a different reason?

Oh, yeah. Most of them now. A lot of them are coming to me, so they can feel confident in their lives. I said, I’m a life purpose coach, because I can do this really quickly. Having coached singers for all this time, what I discovered was that the process they each discovered and went through cause them to understand who they were, caused them to figure out what they were meant to do in life just from starting with singing. It didn’t mean that they stayed with me. But they went on and did many other things, some of them now I will say that some of them in the very beginning became stars. I had you know, Brandy started with me when she was 15 years old. And

Brandy which brandy now? Brandy Norwood

brand Brandy Norwood she’s on she’s just she’s on a TV show now to just new one. But in brandy and she was big when you know, this is back in the long time ago 90s ad. And then Macy Gray was another some people might know of Macy, great. She started when she was in college. So I saw these people develop into those artists. But then there were many other people who develop and did other things, the creative big businesses created other stuff, but they did the singing, because they both fun for them. They just want to do it in C, but I know that what occurred was that they started to understand and accept themselves a lot more because of starting there, which led them to everything else. That’s why I had to shift and do this work, as I said, and now that I’ve seen this, I know everyone has a life purpose. And sometimes singing helps them find it because they started developing who they are, because they started learning how to sing.

It’s wonderful. I mean, it’s so so true. It’s like you stepping into your own power. And I love that that confidence when someone builds a bit of competence that it rubs off on every area of their life.

Absolutely, yeah. Yeah.

It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show. And we do have a song of yours that you’re going to introduce in a moment.

Yes. And you asked about performing, okay, this was probably the last time I’ve performed and did a concert of my own was 20 years ago, I just want people to understand that. However, this particular song is one that I wrote for this concert that I did, and it’s called angel in disguise. And I wrote it for my sister in law. And I wrote it because and sometimes we need motivation. And she was my motivation. And the reason she was my motivation, unfortunately, was because she was dying. She had breast cancer, and she was in the process of dying. And I said, I’m going to write a song for you. And then she kept telling me do it, I want you, I want you to really do this. She said, but I’m not going to listen to it until you’re finished with it. And so I said, Okay, I’m gonna do a night I was stuck, I had such writer’s block, I couldn’t get it. And then I just got in there. And I said, Oh, wait a minute, do what you tell your, your clients, come from your heart, connect to what you want to say, be real, do all that. And then when I came to that place, I was able to write the song and record it. And then she was able to hear and she heard it on the day that she died the last day, and I thought there could be nothing more perfect than that. She was fine with it, she understood it. And and it moved me to a whole different place. And after that, I just that’s why that was 20 years ago. And I after that, I just said I have to devote my work now to Kant, allowing other people to come to this kind of awareness and know who they are and how they’re right place in the world, basically.

Absolutely. Wonderful. Roger, would you before we play your song, would you like to tell people your web address or some ways that they can follow you or get in touch with you if they’re interested? Yes.

My, okay, if they have a linktree, that’s about the all my events will be on my linktree, which I’ll give to you. But it’s linktree, the Burnley method. B, u, r, n, l, e, y the burnley method. And then also my website is Roger And so I am perfect. Okay,

I’ll put it in the notes. And we can put it on the screen for those of you watching the video version of the podcast. Is there anything that you’d like to say before we finish?

If they hear anything, if they take away anything from me from today, is to know that they have a right place here in the world, and they’re going to find it. And that if they decide because they got to listen to this podcast for a reason. And if they just dabble in, working on their voices, they’ll be really surprised at what they’ll discover about themselves. That’s it.

Beautiful. Thank you so much, Roger, thank you, everyone who’s listening. We really appreciate you listening and we ask you to pass it on to other maybe singers or people who don’t think they can sing but you think that this might inspire them. And we hope that that you’ve gotten something from today that you understand that you have value. And even if it’s just singing for the cats at home, singing can be valuable. That’s it. Thank you so much for listening and watching. Bye bye


See you Thank you.

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