Singing saved my life. I don’t in fact think it’s an exaggeration to say so. Even though there have been times where singing was emotional torture, or where it challenged me to the depths of my being, putting me in touch with shadow sides I would rather have left untouched, the fact remains: the power of my voice to help me feel and process my emotions is one of my saving graces.
I’ve been dreaming of the concept of this blog for some time, because in my work as a singer and teacher of voice it’s been my honour to walk, both with myself and alongside my students, as we suffer the proverbial slings and arrows and transform them through our voices. I’ve seen often enough that as a student gets deeper to the kernel of their essential being, it frees their voice. We all have internalized messages and stories, many of which are damaging; as we begin to unravel these, to breathe deeper, to explore the wisdom that is stored in our bodies and to create vibrant sound that is from our centre, we become more powerful, more honest and more balanced in our singing, and arguably in our entire selves. This has also been my personal experience: trauma, shame and fear shut down my voice and my self, and deep, soulful work with resonance and breath has connected me meaningfully to my truest core, creating healing. It’s these stories I wish to share.
So often I have found myself uttering the phrase “you just met yourself” when a student has been able to access an anchored, centred sound that is full and open. They are often so surprised at the power of it, and it not uncommonly moves them to tears.
For myself, I know that this feeling is one of connecting with a primal force that is so grounded and elemental that it’s like electric shock waves, shuddering into the earth. Yet it’s more subtle than that: you could almost say it’s ethereal like morning mist, or a homeopathic essence that can’t be detected or measured but it’s there and it underlies EVERYTHING. The relationship with “Mother” is something like this: it’s the first relationship we have, a relationship so close that we share blood, water, nourishment, oxygen and yes: vibration.