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The price of shame

The price of shame

The price of shame (self-portrait, Kimberly Barber, May 16, 2024) Shame is something that comes up regularly in voice work, particularly with folks who identify as "non-singers". It's pretty much a guarantee in the workshops I give, that someone or other will confess...

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Feel, sing.

Feel, sing.

What appears to be true is that the spontaneous NEED to communicate originates before cognitive thought. So before our analytical mind is even aware of the impulse, our intuitive side wishes to break into song! (basically…)

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Singer’s mind

Singer’s mind

Think about that just for a second: through singing, through music, we evolved in community to mutual benefit. Let’s remind ourselves of this the next time we’re tempted to posit that what we do has no value…

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Friction Point

Friction Point

…the moment of friction [comes] in advance of doing something that we feel averse to, but know will make us feel better, stronger and more accomplished if we persevere. This feeling of “friction” is really where our desire for personal comfort and our will to challenge ourselves to do hard things butt up against one another…

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This is what growth looks like

This is what growth looks like

Hannah Piercey (Baker's Wife) & Roland Kessler (Baker), Opera Laurier, Into the Woods 2024 (photo by @kaelaboschcaptures) I don't often single out individual students in this column, but every now and again, it's important to acknowledge significant achievements....

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Intention. Conviction.

Intention. Conviction.

Alison Crockett (aka MsDivaBlu) and KB riffing at Shenandoah CCM Institute, July 2023 We have the great joy this week of hosting Jazz Diva Alison Crockett, aka MsDivaBlu, at Laurier Music. Talk about sending out Black History Month with a bang! I first met Alison last...

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Listen up

Listen up

Listen up (sourced on Snappa. com, Feb. 8, 2024) When considering listening, I need to be mindful of what I say and how I say it. It's so easy to imagine our thoughts and ideas are being clearly communicated, because we understand what we mean. But each one of us...

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Baby vs. Bathwater

Baby vs. Bathwater

Baby vs. Bathwater (sourced on Snappa.com, Feb. 1, 2024) We hosted a guest voice class from one of our most prominent and successful alumni the other day, Jane Archibald (check her out! janearchibald.com), and she provided our students with some wonderful insights and...

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Taking up space

Taking up space

All the colours of the rainbow (taken on Hallowe'en, October 31, 2023) This week a big theme in my voice studio has been allowing oneself to Be Large. Regardless of one's physical size, it's a fact that for many of us, the idea of taking up space is challenging....

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When words are not enough

When words are not enough

“singing, expressing through voice, seems to be the best way to get to the deepest stuff. Heartbreak deserves excavation and communication. And what better way to communicate than through sound, through song? David Whyte, in this short essay-poem on Heartbreak tells us that heartbreak is at the very essence of being human, a necessary component to our growth, our becoming…”

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The journey inward

The journey inward

What does it mean to sing? How is voice an expression of self? Where does song come from? Why do we want/need to do it? Why does it also cause us pain and grief? How does it, when done well (meaning: profoundly, thoughtfully, bravely) lead to deeper expression and understanding of self?

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Wintering

Wintering

Winter on the cow pasture (photo by Markus Philipp, December 2023) It's the quiet time of year. As a solstice baby (December 21 Birthday greetings accepted by email or other means!), this season holds a special place for me. It's also the end of term, and that's...

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Face to face

Face to face

Estruscan tomb (Kimberly Barber, Volterra, Italy, 2014) The impetus for me to begin blogging about Singing and Self was the desire to explore the interconnection between voice and identity. This exploration particularly pertained to the singing voice; both my own...

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