The word I use most when coaching singers is “relax” and then another great word: “trust.” When you trust that your voice will work for you — that the notes you want to sing are already there, that you and your expression of self are of value — then you can relax and focus on the activity of singing. In this case “relax” doesn’t mean put your feet up and read a book while sipping hot cocoa. Although similar in feeling good-ness, when I instruct “relax” I mean don’t do anything extra or contrary to sound production. The act of singing does require “effort”; The practice of coordinating mind and body mechanics along with a willingness to try. And “ease”; A mind and body, both engaged and relaxed, allowing openness for inhalation and exhalation, sound resonance, and most of all, a whole lot of room for trust.