The Liberated Voice

Revolutionizing vocal technique with timeless wisdom

How to Enjoy Practicing More Than You Currently Do

I have always loved to practice music. I have been obsessed with practicing from the moment Mrs. Pickens, my next-door neighbor, put an alto recorder in my hands. I was six years old.

It was the beginning of a lifelong passion. I had so much fun playing around with the instrument, figuring out the fingering, learning to navigate the register breaks, playing scales in different keys, and best of all, teaching myself to play songs I heard on the radio. I spent hours learning Simon & Garfunkel and Jim Croce songs by ear.

When my neighbor invited me to play in her [otherwise adult] recorder ensemble, I had to learn to read music. It was confusing and challenging, but it was also really fun. I enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of interpreting rhythm and pitch notation, and I really loved figuring out how the part I was playing fit into the overall musical design.

When I was eleven, I took up the clarinet and started playing in wind ensembles and orchestras. The clarinet opened up a...

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What Do You Need from Your Voice Teacher?

auditions pedagogy singing Mar 14, 2022
Some years ago I became aware that within our vast and varied constellation of voice teachers, I was regarded as a technique specialist.
 
When I asked a prospective student why they were interested in working with me, they often replied with something like, “I‘ve heard you're great at teaching technique, and I really need to get my technique together,” followed by a caveat along the lines of, “I learned so much from Professor Famoso at Conservatorio Stretto, I‘m incredibly grateful to them! but they didn't really teach technique.”
 
I would think, “if they aren‘t teaching technique, then what the hell are they teaching?”
 
I would also occasionally receive an SOS from a singer currently enrolled in a conservatory program who urgently needed help their Official Voice Teacher was unable to provide: to resolve habitual tongue tension, or even out their registration, or develop the breath coordination to navigate...
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What It Means to Be a Singing Body

fitness singing wellness Mar 07, 2022
Your voice is everything you are.
 
It encompasses your mind, your physical body, and your feelings. Its expression is informed by all your life experiences, aspirations, and fantasies.
 
From your voice’s point of view, it is impossible to separate the role your mind plays in singing from the role played by your physical body. Your brain is, after all, a component of your physical body. And if your imagination originates in your mind, aka your brain, it follows that your imagination is a component of a component of your physical body.
 
Consider for a moment that, rather than being a musician who makes music with your body, you are your body. A body that sings.
 
It is the body that breathes.
It is the body that feels.
It is the body that is vibrated by sound, when we listen to music.
It is the body that vibrates, when we sing.
 
You are the only one who knows what it is like to live as your body—how it feels, how it likes to move, the...
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The Liberated Voice Version 2.0

Welcome to The Liberated Voice, Version 2.0!

It’s time to transplant and reboot my blog. My reasons for the refresh are logistical as well as philosophical.

I dubbed my practice The Liberated Voice when I first launched my blog in 2010, and I appended the tagline, “Revolutionizing vocal technique with timeless wisdom.” What I was implying without making explicit, is that the “timeless wisdom” I draw upon is largely inspired by Buddhist philosophy and practice; by “Liberated,” I’m referring to not only unfettered vocal expression, but also the liberation to enjoy our lives free of unnecessary suffering and limitation.

So why not make my influences explicit? At the time, I personally found it too challenging to decouple Buddhist philosophy and practice, from the hierarchical thinking and the “woo” that characterizes every “spiritual” path I have yet encountered. I’m in the camp that doesn’t...

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