An artist once told me that drawing is a matter of training your hand to produce what the eye sees. Her advice was in response to my saying “I can’t draw.” I took her words to heart and began playing with art. There really is no difference with any art form, even singing. They all require dedication, practice, and a playful, adventurous spirit.
The voice can produce only the sounds the ear can hear. In this regard, it is a matter of listening to the tones, vocal fluctuations, and nuances of each healing voice practice: microtonal singing, overtone chanting, toning, and sacred sounds. On that note, if you are new to vocal healing practices, begin with the awareness that using your singing voice for healing is not about vocal talent or performance. It is about singing the present moment with attention to your feelings. Take note of your responses to each practice mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Listen to your voice as it rings forth in each moment. And don’t be surprised if you laugh at the vocal sounds produced while exploring your voice. Honor your voice as a sacred instrument while singing from your light essence with loving intention to bless and heal yourself, the Earth, and all life.
It’s time to add some levity to our healing voice practices even though they can also induce transcendent meditative states. Sing with a light heart and acknowledge humor when it arises.
“So let’s sing. Take One.”
“You want me to do what? I’m sorry. I can’t sing. I only play the guitar, and I can’t sing and play at the same time.”
“Well, that’s the problem! You have to play with your voice when you sing.”
“You don’t understand, Ma’am. I can’t sing.”
“If you can speak, you can sing, little buckaroo.”
“It’s not that easy for me. Guitar is what I know after years of practice.”
“You have also been using your voice for many years when you speak, sing, laugh, or even cry out loud. Put the judgment aside. Don’t allow it. Okay?”
“Well, I can’t multitask. I mean playing the guitar and singing at the same time. I have never done that.”
“Then simply Sing. Let me give a listen.”
“Oi Yoi Yoi Yoi Yoi Yoiiiiiii”
“Very good! You are exploring your voice. You must have explored your guitar in the beginning, familiarizing yourself with its sounds and capabilities. It’s the same with singing. Have fun investigating your vocal instrument in the same way you came to know your guitar.”
“Do you realize that your voice is a rainbow of colorful frequencies?”
“Never thought of that.”
“And the sounds you just sang are part of your rainbow voice. For this next week take a good listen to the colors of your voice by singing a scale, not with the Do Re Mi solfege, but with these syllables: Sa Re Ga ma Pa Da Ni Sa. It’s the same scale of whole tones that you know, except when you sing “ma” practice wavering your voice as you sing up and down the scale.”
“To have some fun. To add microtonal variation to your voice. It’s the Raga form way. Try it just for the experience of singing in a new way without preconceived ideas of how you should sound.”
“Okay, I’ll try it and see what happens.”
“Sing and enjoy the sound of your voice. It is your own personal sound. You know, each person has a unique vocal quality to be treasured. So treasure your voice.”
“I’ll do my best even though I only know the Bluegrass way.”
“The Bluegrass way is great. Now you are learning the Raga form way.
“What Take is this?”
“It’s Take One.”
© 2012 and beyond by Linda L. Nielsen, Ph.D. All rights reserved.