The voice and the psyche are intricately related. The human voice communicates from the inside out. As a vocal coach, I have discovered that when I help someone “find their voice”, there is often an accompanying holistic improvement in their psychological health.iso 45003
Many times it is psychological blocks that keep the voice small, thin, strained and weak. When a person discovers and feels the vibrations of vocal resonance they never knew or had forgotten they could create, it can be quite freeing for the spirit. The speaking voice can illuminate issues just as much as the singing voice, and healing the speaking voice is frequently a prerequisite to healing the singing voice.
Everyone needs to know their voices are valid. I have become quite sure that to live a truly satisfied life we need to believe our lives have important meaning to others. If I somehow come to believe my voice is –
- not allowed
- not heard
- not valued
— I will not sound my voice, or will sound it weakly, thinly or harshly in rebellion of the suppression. After all, what’s the point in making pleasing, melodic sounds if there is no reception for the message? My voice gets lost.The truth is, everyone’s voice is valid! This truth can get muddied in childhood by parents who for one reason or other don’t offer quality listening ears to the child, or by siblings who get more attention than the child or when the child merely perceives that he or she is not worthy of attention. It get lost in adulthood from subtle negative cues from society, abusive relationships, traumatic events and physical illness, mental illness, acquired phobias and emotional disorders or perceptions of unworthiness. But the truth about a voice’s validity can indeed be learned or re-learned.
This voice I’m talking about starts in the heart. It carries messages that the person must come to believe need to be delivered. This can happen when even one person notices… and begins to be present and truly listen to the person. That means everyone can help!
- I challenge you to try a little experiment… find one person a day, a family member, friend or stranger. Carve out a time (even just a few moments) and give them your ears at full attention. Notice the subtle lift they, and you, experience. You may find yourself truly caring about what they say and learning something new.
- Remember that every ear is also valid and important. After all, without ears, voices are rather useless!
Sometimes the voice needs professional attention. Talk sessions with a great therapist can obviously help, as can free sources of help such as 12- step groups and trained clergy.Vocal lessons with a vocal coach sensitive to what your vocal tone is communicating can help you discover a voice you never knew you had. Learning to breathe properly to power your voice, to open your throat channel to clear any tension and to get you focused on communicating messages can help your voice trust itself. It is important to find a teacher that you feel comfortable with. A lost voice will not show itself under intimidating circumstances. It is also, you must realize, a TEAM effort. You must be willing to experiment and learn to play around with things you’ve never tried. This can lead to a freedom that can make you sing like a bird, and talk where people can’t help but listen!