Happiness And Health First Performance Second
Do you view singing primarily as a performance? Or have you ever experienced the joy of spontaneous singing for no apparent goal or reason? Or do you doubt your singing abilities so much that you never sing at all?
No matter what your answer is, learning about the seven processes of singing can help you 1) experience multiple health benefits of singing 2) liberate your voice 3) experience inner joy and confidence. That’s what “Sing like a lark” is about. Happiness and health are the primary focus here while learning how to sing well is the natural outcome of the process. Indeed, a healthy way of singing and singing for health go always hand in hand!
Styles Of Singing For Health
You might have noticed that not every style of singing is a healthy way of singing. And you are right. Besides, there are vocal styles and traditions there that have both a great artistic impact as well as all the hidden benefits of singing.
Over the years, I had the opportunity to coach people who enjoyed different styles of singing at many different levels of talent and proficiency. At the same time, I enjoyed coaching non-singers who wanted to learn how to sing from scratch and didn’t have any preferences and expectations. I felt the need to create a simple structure for all the different exercises. I also needed an effective way to communicate the principles of holistic singing where health and happiness are the points of focus.
The basis of my voice coaching grew on the principles of two complementary schools of singing: 1) The School Of Uncovering The Voice (Werbeck) and the Czech Singing School by Rudolf Vasek. I received training in these methods between the years 2009 and 2012. It was during the time I had to recover and re-train my voice that suffered from Hyperkinetic (hyperfunction) Dysphonia. (The disorder is often found in vocal professionals faced with high vocal requirements.)
In 2013, I came up with the seven processes of singing that I described in my book On The Wings of Voice. As I mentioned earlier, this was a way to structure and organise my coaching around singing as a living process. You might think that’s obvious but the common approach to voice coaching is based on a rather mechanistic view of the human voice. That’s the type of coaching I received as a young woman which lead me to experience a loss of my voice – similarly to Mrs Werbeck.
The seven processes of singing are not only useful for structuring singing exercises and activities, they also serve very well to explain how different aspects of singing support health and vitality.
Luckily, happiness and health are finally getting support through “hard” science. Nowadays, there is technology in place for measuring the impact of singing in the body both energetically and biochemically. This will hopefully lead to a revival of singing for joy and wellbeing, something that our ancestors did instinctively without the backing of science.
The Life-Supporting Processes Of Singing
Here’s how singing can be described from a holistic point of view:
It’s about the energy generated from breathing naturally (with active diaphragm) and from the vibration of vocal cords. However, the sound of the human voice isn’t created only through the vibrations but through the process of acoustic resonance that takes place in different human resonating chambers.
While the vibration of our vocal cords is automatic and subconscious, the resonance is partially habitual (subconscious) and partially a conscious process. With help of vocal resonance, you can learn how to change the pitch, the colour (timbre) and the volume of your voice. You can do so by using different resonating chambers. This is the process of uncovering your voice.
Breathing from the diaphragm is the key to making the voice flow out into space (projecting your voice). This flow can be disrupted very easily through physical and mental obstacles. Practising mindfulness helps us to become aware of all the different physical sensations and thoughts that play a big part in how our voice sounds. Mindfulness also helps with quietening the inner critic and with dissolving mental blocks.
Imagination plays an important part in singing too. You can help your body and vocal cords to create changes through what I call active imagination. You need to use imagination when you try to interpret songs and music styles.
Imagination goes hand in hand with emotion which is the key to singing from the heart. It’s also the most powerful aspect of singing. Without imagination and emotion, singing becomes robotic, soul-less. It misses the final goal of being a human, it misses out true self-expression. True self-expression through singing is the ultimate goal of singing like a lark voice coaching. It’s about uncovering the unique qualities of your voice and bringing them out in the open with confidence and self-love. As one of my students said: “By liberating my voice I liberated myself.”
Exploring and uncovering the treasures hidden in your voice
It’s through these seven processes of singing you will – step by step -uncover the treasures in your voice:
1. NATURAL BREATHING
Based on these principles, you can develop your voice and singing abilities (technique) that suit well your style and goals. Each of these processes brings special physical, psychological and emotional benefits. Read more about them in the article Health Benefits Of Healthy Singing.