Singing is self-expression in its fullest manifestation. We make complex vocalizations to communicate meaning, emotion and state of being. As a classically trained singer, however, I can sometimes get far too prescriptive about the sounds I am “allowed” to make. And my students do too.
This past week with at least one of my students (who themselves is exploring their identity and gender fluidity) we have been playing with making sounds that just come to us naturally. Sounds that we might otherwise think are “inappropriate” in our classical singing. We both find it immensely freeing and oh-so-informative. How surprising when a sound from deep in our being, a sound that we associate with a different genre of music or simply an expression of deep feeling that seems too “raw”, turns out to be the most immediately communicative and vocally centred sound we can make! It’s been a delightful journey, where practice becomes so much more playful. We feel more like explorers and researchers rather than singers working at their craft in some predetermined way.
In my own practice, I notice that showing up in my creative space (or even outside of it) and just making the sounds I want to make in that moment can kickstart my voice work in a fresh way. I can shine my own little light the way I feel like, and so can everyone else.